If you are a blogger and a social media enthusiast (which I hope means addicted to Twitter) and you are married to a luddite (which I hope means someone who is not those things) I really recommend testing your marriage by describing a Twitter fight to your spouse. Because if the two of you can survive that, you’re golden. Mazel Tov.
This is what happened to me and Husbandrinka (who I love dearly even though, Sweet Jesus, a few weeks ago he asked me what a bookmark was.)
But this week, I decided to trust him. See, there was a Twitter kerfuffle because Heather Armstrong posted about her trip to Bangladesh, where she visited maternal health clinics, in connection with Every Mother Counts. She is raising awareness, she is giving a voice to so many whose words could not be heard but for her, she is posting gorgeous photographs and she is making people think.
Obviously, she deserves to be mocked.
Oh, under the guise of asking questions, to be sure. But some people questioned whether Heather paid for the trip herself, as she had stated, or whether a sponsor paid for her. Some asked if this was poverty tourism.
Because obviously, it couldn’t be a good thing.
Let me make a disclaimer here so that I’m not accused of duplicity. I am a huge fan of Heather and her website. I think she’s an amazing, smart and funny writer and I can say, without hyperbole, that if it were not for Heather, I would not have a blog. Which would not have been a big loss for the world at large, but it would have been for me. Because having this blog has allowed me to say the things that I didn’t think that anyone wanted to hear and be proven wrong.
And to further disclaim, I wouldn’t care if Heather’s trip had been paid for by a sponsor.
So when she was attacked, Heather stood up for herself. Publicly, on Twitter. Just the way that I like it.
Except some people questioned her right to defend herself against gratuitous attacks. Which, hello mindfuck much?
And then this happened. Sweetney wrote this post. And it made me think. (Which is ouchy.) And it made me wonder why I didn’t publicly stand with Heather when she was attacked.
And I’m not proud of the answer, but here it is.
It’s because I didn’t want to be labeled a sycophant. A fawning parasite.
Because on some level, I feel like the label may fit. I have tons of respect for Heather, I enjoy her writing. Does that make me a fawning parasite?
If it does, I can live with it.
When I finished recounting all this to my husband he looked alarmed.
“You’re worried that someone will think you’re a sycophant because you support a woman who actually did something?” he asked.
Seems so obvious.