Friday, February 11, 2011

Internet Hate

No, this post has nothing to do with Internet hate machine, Anonymous and their recent time in the limelight with WikiLeaks, racism, Antisemitism or anything of the sort. I'm talking about random ugly comments anywhere and everywhere that are hurled at other people on the Internet. It seems that unmerited hostility is rampant in every community, every forum. Do these people really have nothing better to do with their lives but to be aggressive to everyone who disagrees with them?

I seldom leave a comment on a blog or other site which has a large following (as in 100+), My OB Said What?!?, Northescambia.com, and Are They All Yours??!? are the only exceptions I can think of. On the first two sites, I have received replies to some of my comments that were nasty. It's not a comfortable place for me as I am not a "hater." I am really a sort of "you do your thing and I'll do mine" sort of person. Not everyone is like me and I can live with that.

That said, I don't often get ugly comments through on my own blog. If I do, I never publish them. Today was an exception, having received a mildly rude comment in regard to one of Lydia's birthday gifts. What is puzzling to me is why? Why does any one think that my personal beliefs are to be measured by anyone else's system of values? Furthermore, I really just don't understand why people think that if they are rude I am more apt to listen to their snide remarks.

The anonymity of the Internet makes people more apt to say things they would never, ever say to someone's face in public. It's a rare thing, but it does happen, that people will look you in the eye and say, "Why do you need 4 children anyway? What are you, a rabbit?!" People may think these things, but wouldn't say it to you face-to-face. I want to stress the point that NO ONE is anonymous to God. He knows the heart, the intentions. He knows that hate-filled comments hurt. He knows and sees all. Therefore, I personally have two criteria for leaving comments: 1) would it honor God and 2) is it something I could say calmly and kindly to someone's face.

I've argued within myself on whether or not to give any attention to the mildly rude comment. It's really not worth my time or energy, but I think I shall. The comment left read as follows:

Who the h*** gives a girl...let alone a 4 year old girl a BB gun? She needs to be playing with dolls and learning to be a mom.

This comment was left by "John" who left no link to a website of his own. As I have read and reread this comment I really believe it to be a frail attempt at sarcasm and mockery. There is nothing at all wrong with girls having guns. Shooting guns is one of my all-time favorite pastimes. I probably shot my first gun around Lydia's age. My 7 and 6 year old sons are quite the little marksmen. The part about "dolls and learning to be a mom" best shows that this person probably seeks only to deride who we are and the principles we stand for.

To answer the question, however, we are the sort of people who allow a girl to be given a BB gun for her 4th birthday. It was given by Jeremy's parents with our approval. I say with you, "John," that she certainly does need to be playing with dolls and learning to be a mom. She plays with dolls in healthy doses. She helps clean house. She helps cook. She's learning all these with close supervision. She also plays house, plays mommy, loves to fish, wants to learn to hunt, plants a garden, swims in a muddy creek, loves Bass Pro Shops, does yard work and plays with cars and trucks with her older brothers (only if her car/truck can be a girl!!).

If you know who we are, you know that we live in a very small, very rural area. Being able to use a gun is a helpful tool for living where we live, not to mention normal. Many men carry a shotgun on a gun rack mounted in the rear glass of their truck. A few years ago we had two wild boars rummaging through our backyard. I tried scaring them off by yelling, to no avail. So I went in and got the pellet rifle and got their attention, if you know what I mean. There have been other incidences with wildlife that made me glad that I had shot my first rifle at the tender age of 7.

The time stamp on the comment coincides with a hit from my traffic feed from Murrieta, California, which with a population of 100,000+ is polar opposite to our 1-traffic light town, population of 600. I don't pretend to know how to survive in the big city, but I could write the book on living the country. Girls with BB guns are totally normal here and, rest assured, will have no effect on her ability to mother a family. In fact, the ability to use a gun has been quite helpful in my tenure of mothering. Thanks! :-)

7 edifying expressions:

Lori said...

Amen!

This rude comment did not go over well with me.

There is nothing wrong with a girl knowing how to shoot a gun. There is nothing wrong with a four year old getting a BB gun. If I had a daughter, she would definitely be taught how to shoot.

I truly believe that there is a group of men in our society that do not like the idea of a woman being "strong" enough to stand up against them. These are the same men that prey on the innocence and weaknesses of women.

Girls need to be taught more than just being a Mommy and a homemaker. They need to be taught how to be strong, to stand up for themselves, to survive.

This "John" is definitely one from a big city.

Kimberly said...

I don't publish rude comments either- Your response is well said. We live in the 'burbs of a big city. Hubby and I often talk about moving, to a more rural area, which we know our family would thrive in, one of my thoughts that I've never told him before is regarding guns... and that living rurally it would be very neccessary to have that available to fend off wildlife, such as you mention. You are training your children to live, where you live. I would have no idea what a good age for teaching marks{wo}manship would be, but you're familiar with the area and you know your daughter.

Our daughters do need to learn to be young ladies, but they also need to be confident and strong. eak

Deborah said...

My 4 year old has piles of dolls, and loves her princess dresses, but what she really wants is a pink gun that she saw in the Cabella's catalogue! When I told her she was too little, she said, I'm big enough, I'm four!
Unfortunately for her, I think her social worker would agree with 'John' so for now she'll have to settle for the cardboard gun her big brother made for her yesterday! LOL

Elizabeth said...

I kinda forgot to mention this, because I didn't think it was necessary to say it, but we of course DO NOT allow a 4 year old to keep BB's in her gun. My husband pointed that out to me and I thought I'd mention it.

Sarah said...

What a gracious response Elizabeth! 'John' was obviously trying to provoke you with his frail attempt at sarcasm.

I also have been shocked at the amount of nasty comments some bloggers get! I was introduced to Zsuzsanna at Are They all Yours??!?, through your blog roll. I love reading her blog but I was absolutely shocked at how many nasty comments she gets.

Dawn said...

I also think that comment was rude , I'm from tn. and I agree that girls need to learn to use a gun just as much as boys , my 4 year old daughter loves to play with trucks and hot wheels to but she still plays with dolls and pretends to cook on her little kitchen , we all need to learn self defense , should women not learn to defend themselves ?

Aliene said...

Sorry you got such rude comments. I just wished for a pellet gun today for critters in the backyard. My daughter had a go-cart and did things her Dad did as she grew up.
All things done in dresses or skirts and blouses. We got a lot of not so nice comments about that. But she is surely not masculine now. She knows what to do when there is trouble with engines etc. It's a big help to her even now that she is grown.

We each have a right by God's laws to raise our children according to His standards. I think ~probably there are some that feel un-happy within themselves and they have to vent.
Keep on doing what you think is right and let the nay say-ers say on.