You’ve read plenty of blogs. Surely you recognise this kind: a blog filled with sexist / racist / ageist / sizist / whatever issue it discriminates against or is contemptful of, and it is praised by the blogger’s friends as being ‘funny’ or ‘so true’. You’re probably aware by now that it’s a rather personal blog meant for reading by the people who know the blogger intimately and outside of the net.
Your likely response to these kind of blogs would be to secretly agree with some of the observations made and leave the post immediately after reading. Or you don’t approve of what the blogger has claimed, but you understand where the blogger’s coming from nonetheless. Or your defensive instincts kicked in and you have this urge of reeducating this blogger’s misinformed opinion of an issue that’s close to your heart.
What do you do?
Do you keep in mind that the blog is a rather personal one, made in mind to share with personal friends and not random visitors like you, and so you won’t comment because you want to give the benefit of the doubt to the blogger? Because in life there are politically incorrect things we’d say only to friends, and if we were addressing a more public audience we would edit our thoughts as such.
Or do you ‘gatecrash’ this private blog party to stand up for the issue the blogger’s mocking about in the post? After all, there are people who have never thought of looking an issue from another perspective and may just need yours to see it in a different light.
However, in doing so, you’re risking being private blog enemy no. 1 and incurring the wrath of the blogger, and the blog’s supporters. In this case not only would your intention of reeducating is not achieved, you would be made to look like a commenter who has no sense of humour, or is too uptight, or a troublemaker who wants to start a flame war.
The best case scenario would be that the blogger, realising that the net is made up of people with diverse backgrounds and opinions, is open-minded enough to accept your opposing point of view with grace. However, most of the time this does not happen, and is unlikely to.
Obviously, there isn’t a right or wrong answer to this. Standing up for what you believe in is great. But if you chose not to speak up it does not mean you aren’t standing up to what you believe in. Sometimes we have to choose our battles.
So, would you choose to do battle in this situation? Yes or no, why?