Today, I am angry. No, I am outraged. Ms Single Mama, one of my favorite bloggers is basically being driven off line because of the actions of people who have decided that it is their place to judge her, her life, and how she raises her son. It should come as no surprise that most of these people are Internet idiots who post anonymously, use only their first name, or use some cryptic username whose origin or meaning is known only to them.
One of the things I have always preached to my girls is that when you are online you are responsible for what you say or post, what pictures you allow to be published of yourself, and in general your own behavior.
Of course, the one way around this responsibility is to use some anonymous user name.
This is why I post everything as Jim Brochowski, or JimBrochowski. Of course, if your kids are 13 and 17 you might not want them to use their full names. This is fine as long as they use names that uniquely identify them to their friends, their peers, and their family. When I reference K or D it's not just because I don't want to use their full names. It's also because that's truly what we call them sometimes. When I post somewhere as Jimbro or Jimmer, I do it only in a context where I know I'm going to be held accountable for what I say and do because that audience addresses me by those names.
It's called personal responsibility. We all should have it. It should be required for using the Internet.
Not demanding personal responsibility can lead to hateful remarks, deceitful lies, and the spread of ignorance, not to mention the complete and total lack of punctuation, spelling, or even sometimes grammar. But I digress...
More importantly it leads to hurt. It leads to fear, and it means that, in this case especially we will lose an important voice from our community.
Ms. Single Mama's story is an inspiration not only to single mothers, but to many others who are searching for confidence in themselves and their life choices. It is a way for children of divorce to understand what might have happened to their own parent's marriages and to find a "normal" in a life with only one parent, or maybe even several parents. It's a story for everyone to see that there is always a way, that we should never give up, that we should always keep trying to make our dreams come true.
That's what it is for me. That's what it should be for everyone.
I don't write much should or would or could. I don't get fired up about too much anymore at all. I don't do politics. I don't debate religion, and I don't address issues that pertain to a woman's body. The first two because a lot more negative than positive seems to stem from those discussions, and the latter because I'm not a woman.
But, I will defend to my death a person's right to not be judged, and especially to not be judged publicly.
When all is said and done; Wrong is still Wrong!
Note* I know there are people who use usernames that are very responsible, that use those names because they don't feel safe, and for a myriad number of other reasons. The difference is, those people don't act like fools. They aren't mean for the sake of being mean. They don't incite arguments for the sake of arguing. They don't judge.
I also know there are some people who are out there judging Ms. Single Mama who aren't hiding behind anonymity. To put it in the simplest terms, I'm not going to give them the traffic.
Now, here's your full disclosure: I am the son of a once single mother, and while my mother was fortunate enough to find a loving husband and father, (or maybe he was lucky enough to find her) there was still plenty of awkwardness, plenty of situations, and experiences that we had to deal with that just weren't, and quite honestly sometimes still aren't "normal."
What is that saying? Until you've walked a mile in their shoes...
14 hours ago