Tellin' it like it is
" No, Auntie So and So, you don't look good in that color. I don't like your new dress..."
You get the picture? Those comments did not go down so well.
However, there's something to be said for telling it like it is. My mother-in-law (may she rest in peace) was very good at this, and now I get it...often people encourage girls to be nice, act nicely and be polite...don't make waves. Yet? There's some serious feminist power in speaking my piece.
Even so, I am sometimes too kind due to this childhood "girly" training. I try to excuse people by saying things like "I'm not entirely sure what they were doing" (when I knew, in this case they were definitely pirating ebooks) and making excuses like "I was really sleep deprived. Maybe I missed something." The truth is, heck no, I did not miss anything. As individuals, we often see people doing wrong. If I were not so tired that day, maybe I would have called out those people who were stealing digital content, but in truth, I wasn't up to doing it. I should have. I should have even been more direct about it in this essay I wrote. Oh well.
What am I talking about? I just had a piece published on the CBC about intellectual property piracy:
Time to assess the true cost of digital piracy
Some of the comments posted in response may have their points. However, some are downright mean and petty. The professor pointed out to me that I should read all the comments through this lens: Why are they commenting? Do they feel defensive because they are guilty of stealing someone's intellectual property/content without paying for it?
If so, we can chalk it up to this: some people say inadvisable or unkind things when they feel guilty and defensive. Oops. :)
Even further...why do these trolls comment on articles all the time in this way? Why not write your own opinion piece? Why not speak out about your point of view instead?! Are you willing to put your writing out there for publication and be open to the critique?
I mentioned this new article on a forum for knitwear designers, and got a lot of kind support, but the best one was someone who posted a link to this comic. The comic is about EXPOSURE. How creative people aren't doing their work for the money, but instead, for exposure. (Warning, there is one well-placed bad word in this comic.)
This comic gave me a laugh, and it reminded me too of how far I've come in my work life. When I first started writing for publication, I was very sensitive about every comment, criticism and critique. It all hurt. Now, I know that nothing I ever write is perfect, but that it's ok to write what I know...and sometimes it gets accepted for publication...anyway.
When I see the article go live, part of me is proud it was published for its own sake. Another part of me is going: Grocery money! Preschool fees! Maybe we can afford take-out now and again!
Cause the Canadian dollar is low these days, and groceries cost more and more. It's a fine thing to be able to put my education and experience to work, and earn money for that work. Some folks might not agree with me. Oh well. I can live with that, particularly if I still get to earn money for my writing, and it pays some of the bills. It's a feminist thing: getting paid fairly for my work.
That's saying it like it is.