Since the influx of new comments on my Male Privilege in Jiu Jitsu article, and the increase in vitriol and other feedback I’ve received, I wanted to put out a statement on how I view blogging. I’d like my tone to be clear – imagine the tone I’d use if I were talking about eating lunch. Not hostile, not overly enthusiastic – just a regular, friendly tone:
So here’s how I see things:
1. Some things are just a bitter pill to swallow. My job is not to make those things not bitter, but when I write about difficult things, I do my very best to write using neutral language and not to attack people. It’s why I will generally wait out strong emotions and not drop a FeelingsBomb.
2. I’ve been maintaining this blog for 3 years, written more than 250 articles, and having a few one offs that are not “bjj is all hearts and flowers and love and omg” is absolutely normal and natural. ANYTHING you do has ups and downs and mediums. Simply put, while I recognize that some people are new readers who may never venture past the single article, anyone who takes less than a minute to look at the blog will see that overwhelmingly my blog is very pro-jiu jitsu.
3. Not presenting the “whole story” is also not the job of every article. Just as I may have a crappy day and write about that, I don’t feel like I have to treat BJJ as though it’s a crappy abusive relationship where I say “This sucks, but don’t worry – it still treats me well!” Similarly, when I have awesome posts like my “I LOVE BJJ” posts I don’t feel like I need to balance that by saying “but there are, of course, downsides.”
4. I think it’s important for people to feel like there are others who have experienced those hard things. It sucks when you feel like things are all in your head, or you are alone – I say that from experience. So if it’s between making male grapplers feel better about this situation and making female grapplers feel like they are not alone and it’s not all in their head, I choose the latter. Fair or not that’s my viewpoint, and I’m comfortable about that.
5. I respect that not everyone will agree with me. That’s fine and cool and awesome! And feel free to speak up! However, do it respectfully. I decided a long time ago that my website would NOT be full of assholes. If someone writes in to tell me to STFU and train – guess what – it’s not being published. This is not Youtube. I’m a human being and would like to be treated kindly. Do I love when people send me kind words? YES! Do I love getting (nice) comments? YES! Do I like when people agree with me? Of course! And really – I’m fine if we agree to disagree. Being human, sometimes I do read my own emotions into other people’s comments. When that happens, feel free to clarify your tone. – I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.
e-mail generally increases the likelihood of conflict and miscommunication. One reason for this is that we tend to misinterpret positive e-mail messages as more neutral, and neutral ones as more negative, than the sender intended. Even jokes are rated as less funny by recipients than by senders. – Kristin Byron, Syracuse U.
Again – thank you to everyone who helps make this blog a success and not just me sitting in front of a computer writing to myself. You help bring these ideas to life, help inspire me, and help motivate me. In short, you rock, even if my magic spell to make everyone believe exactly how I believe has obviously failed (ps that was totally a joke).