Disagree, just be nice, please?

Yesterday, Her Bad Mother wrote a very thought provoking post on cross nursing.  She was painfully engorged after being away from home at a conference with no pump available.  A newly befriended mother with a hungry baby offered to help.  Catherine could nurse her baby, who needed to be fed, and get relief in doing so, it was, for her, a perfect combination of supply and demand.  Catherine's perspective is that the offer was a beautiful example of the wonderful sisterhood that can be formed between two mothers.

Well, it so happens that the post had a second part.  It was also a response in self-defense to another blogger, who had witnessed the moment between the two women and decided to write about it in a way that not only expressed her opinion on the matter (she doesn't support cross-nursing) but apparently shamed Catherine for her choice.  No names were mentioned in either posts, but the blogosphere quickly caught on.

Of course, there was backlash. Most readers of HBM were supportive towards her, but some were not only supportive of her, they were also attacking the other blogger. Some comments on both sides were disrespectful, at times of other readers and at times of the bloggers, swinging words around that were just hurtful.

When will we see that in order to love one person there is no need to hate another? When will we learn that in order to defend one point of view, there is no need to disrespect the communicator of the dissenting opinion? We are free to speak our minds, but must we include insults in the process? We all make choices and there will always be someone who disagrees with those choices but we can we also choose to differ with sensitivity.

As women we must make a conscious effort to engage in healthy debate. It is wonderful when there are hot topics like this to discuss, it makes all of us excited, but we would all optimize our learning experience by being considerate of each other. 

I see valid points on both sides of the cross-nursing argument, as I believe most people can, why then must giant balls of mud be thrown?  We can have forceful, intelligent, controversy without the pain of being insulted just because we have a point of view.

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