Life Without Baby

Filling the silence in the motherhood discussion

Whiny Wednesday – Thoughtless Comments March 9, 2011

It’s Whiny Wednesday and I’ve been brewing a post for a couple of weeks about people who leave thoughtless comments on blogs.

I’ve come across several cases recently of commenters posting hateful or at least unthinking comments on blogs and websites. The worst was on an article about infertility that I reposted here. That article generated some of the most cruel and heartless comments I’ve ever read on the subject.

Then, last week a fellow blogger told me of her experience with an equally unpleasant throw away comment someone left on a blog she visits. It was one of those comments about the childless and childfree that we know in our hearts aren’t true, but that sting anyway. The words, bitter, pathetic and whiny are often associated with those stereotypes.

I know better than to read comments on news sites, because I always get riled up, and yet I do it anyway, and then find myself stomping around furious that someone could be so thoughtless and insensitive.

Finally last week, I had lunch with a friend who had published an article called My Husband, the Convicted Murderer on Salon.com. Her article spawned 122 comments, ranging from support and understanding to the inevitable hate mail variety. I asked her; “How do you deal with this?” and she gave me some helpful advice.

She said (and I’m paraphrasing here):

“Some people just come looking for a fight. They’re looking for controversy and they’re looking for someone to leave their darkest thoughts. The internet is the perfect, almost anonymous place to do that.”

She’s right. People come from all sorts of dark places, and often with their own personal agenda. Sometimes people post before they think, or they just don’t bother wasting energy thinking at all. There’s nothing we can do to help those people, and odds are, they don’t want to be helped or educated or enlightened. They just want to fight.

I feel very fortunate that most of the people who find this blog are coming with something positive to say. It has helped create the kind of community I’d envisioned when I first started this project. But when I venture out into the wider world and encounter the other kind of commenters out there, I’ll be sure to keep my friend’s advice in mind.

It’s Whiny Wednesday, so chime in to the discussion or feel free to have a whine of your own.

P.S. On the subject of other blogs, here’s an article tying in to our National Women’s History month series that I posted on Divine Caroline earlier this week.

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5 Responses to “Whiny Wednesday – Thoughtless Comments”

  1. Iris D Says:

    My husband is Muslim. So, I have learned the hard way to avoid comments on news sites… Unfortunately, in current times, on this subject anonymity is irrelevant, people make cruel and uninformed comments to your face. Even people you have known your entire lives, are suddenly on this topic unrecognizable to you.

  2. It still blows my mind the comments some people make about our lifes. My sister even pointed it out. She said, “It seems like everyone has to comment or ask about whether you’re having kids” I guess its the age I’m at, but that’s hard too cause then you have to see the expression on their face when you tell them. Atleast with comments you only have to read it. I’ve been lucky on my blog and have only had nice comments. Hopefully it will stay that way.

    Really good post!!

  3. Cstelle Says:

    Just popping in on your blog..

  4. Mali Says:

    This was a very timely reminder, as I’ve seen several examples today where I’ve seen people make hurtful comments – sometimes intentionally, sometimes not – and was starting to seethe. Your friend is wise. And I know too that personally I get upset at something said innocently because of my own hang-ups, not theirs, because of my own insecurities, or self-esteem, or guilt, or whatever. And … this is a segue from a comment to a whine … I really wish I could brush these off more easily!

  5. Marcie Says:

    I too try not to read the comments. I used to read them and would become very upset at some of the insensitive thoughts people would write down. Now, I don’t read them at all!

    I’ve noticed that more women characters on TV are dealing with infertility. Some of it is protrayed well and others not so well. I watched the last episode of Desperate Housewives and was taken back at the comments made about motherhood and how it is the most important thing a woman can do. Comments included: 1)you don’t understand becasue you don’t have kids, 2) not everyone is me ant to have a child, 3) you can just find a hobby to fill your time. (That one is my fav! )

    Anyone else feel the same way?


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