I haven’t written a post for over a month now. I got busy with Zahara’s 2nd birthday and then side-tracked by her father’s attempts to drive me crazy again. But that will be another post. What finally got me in the mood to bang away at my keyboard right now is a whole bunch of girl on girl hatred and attacks I’ve seen recently. I just couldn’t stop myself from adding my opinion to the mix. Besides, I talk (and write) a lot so 140 characters were definitely not enough to address this issue.
A certain sexy single mom blogger was called “desperate…a motherf*cking whore…an insult [to single moms]…a trainwreck…[and a] slut.” It was also implied that her behavior is unhealthy and dysfunctional, that she is not actually a good writer, and that she is also a horrible mother. Umm, can we just pause for a second to take all that hatred in? WOW, what the hell did she EVER do to you to make you so mean? And let’s be clear. This is downright mean and nasty, and surprisingly comes from another single mom.
Okay, I have quite a few things to say about this. First of all, as I said to the woman behind all this criticism, if you don’t like a blog or the blogger, don’t read it. There’s plenty to read out there and billions of different viewpoints so I’m sure you’ll find something to your liking. But maybe, just maybe, you could try to read something you don’t agree with and see if there’s anything you connect to, like an emotion, a motivation, a certain situation. It’s called empathy. And it’s vital to humanity.
Next question: don’t you remember the reading comprehension lessons in English class? You don’t have to like or agree with what you read in order to discuss it intellectually. An intellectual discussion uses pros and cons, an analysis of the work as a whole instead of individual parts, and an attempt to understand the meanings behind the words or the author’s intent, using examples from the work to support your argument. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a negative reaction to what’s written, but you still have to back up anything you say.
The writer who made these comments claims that her evidence is the blog’s graphic language and discussion of sexuality and the blogger’s sexual escapades. Although there is a LOT more to the blog than that, the blogger herself agrees that a high level of salty language and adult situations pervade her blog. But so what? In this overly sexed world where everything from commercials to music to movies to clothing is suggestive to the point of pornography, are we really so closed-minded that we deride and berate a single woman who simply writes openly about her life, including her sex life?
I tweeted that I felt she is reclaiming her sexuality after being betrayed multiple times by her ex, among other disappointments and struggles. Doesn’t that make sense to the haters? Can a woman not be powerful, dominant, confident, and proud in her journey down the road of dating after divorce/breakup? Or before that? For that matter, at any time in her life? Why does becoming a mother limit a woman’s, well, womanliness? This mentality holds women down, keeping us from achieving our full potential as strong, complete people. A whole person cannot exist without a true understanding and acceptance of their own body. Do we tell men not to talk about sex a lot? I’m not saying everyone has to go out and date a lot or have a bunch of sex. To each his own. But why would you take away another person’s experiences on their path to self-discovery and self-love?
I am a modern Muslim woman, with moderate Muslim parents. I was raised in a household where we were not allowed to say stupid or dumb or jerk or any such mild insults as they, too were considered curses by ammi and papa. Since dating, and therefore sex, are not allowed before marriage in Islam, I was not allowed to have boyfriends. But my marriage was a “love marriage” so even with all the rules, my parents eventually adapted to my obvious liberalism compared to them, at least in their dealings with me. I don’t curse much. I don’t have an extensive sexual history beyond Zahara’s father.
With this kind of a background, you may expect me to shy away from such a blog or to copy it myself to rebel from my upbringing. I do neither. I enjoy what she writes, sometimes living vicariously through her “naughtiness”, sometimes inspired and strengthened by her courage to start over and start better. I know what it feels like to be cheated on and feel lost, diminished, and alone. This blog has shown me what it can be like to be productive, start a company, organize single women’s retreats, open your heart again, and grow into whoever you want to be, all while doing the impossibly fantastic and frustrating job of being a mom.
She is more than her sexual posts. She has just recently challenged herself to living a “fabulous single” life, and described the goals, methods, successes, and failures in detail. She may not be what you want to be, but she isn’t trying to be. She is showing us that we can each choose to be the most fabulous version of ourselves, without limits.
I am still far from the goals I have for myself. I have expectations that I’m working on making a reality. But when I read the sassy, honest words of this bacon-loving single mother, I laugh or cry with her, I empathize, I feel what she feels and I am motivated to continue to make my life what I want it to be. It won’t be what she is or what my parents are. But it will be what makes me proud, and what I hope to show my child as she grows into a woman.
As for the blogger’s son? I think he’s learning a valuable lesson about women from his mother: that we can be strong, amazing, and happy in whatever we choose, at home, at work, and in our relationships. And she’s teaching him all that in her daily life, not through this blog which he doesn’t read yet. But watching her cry because another woman all but stoned her in the street for her openness is really not good for him. So Ms. complainer, maybe you could keep your malicious attacks for someone who really deserves them and use the unfollow for this woman? If you really don’t like her, don’t read her.