I usually lead the charge by bitching about the double standards applied to women by society. In truth,the anger that bleeds through in my articles is not because I am a woman but because I am unilateral opposed to double standards and hypocrisy. It’s because of hypocrisy that I am not a member of an organized religion, though I am a spiritual person. The most recent story that has my panties in a bunch is one that caught my eye in the San Francisco Chronicle about a father who was forced by a judge to shut his successful blog down under the threat of losing visitation of his two children. The media began to form an assault on the father by painting him as a selfish bastard who has lost sight of his children. Even Matt Lauer of the Today Show chimed in with his comment, “He clearly does not have the best interests of his children in mind.”
Now whether or not the constitutional grounds that the father is appealing the decision, will hold up in his State’s Supreme Court, remains to be seen. We all have to wait for the trial results. What I have a particular issue with is the fact that this man has been singled out. Was he singled out merely because he is a man? I am a blogger; as you may have noticed, and much of my time is spent researching, reading, and networking with other blogs and bloggers. Many of the sites I have discovered are moderated by women and many of these successful blogs are doing the exact thing that this man was sued for doing. These women post extremely unflattering tales about their ex’s on their blog’s. These women also use their real names; publish the area they live in, and often time’s actual pictures of themselves. You don’t have to be Magnum P.I. to figure out who exactly these women were talking about, whether they publish their ex’s name or not. What about their children? Are these women selfish? Have they lost sight of their children? Are these women portrayed by the media as selfish bitches? No, of course not! These women are celebrated for “expressing themselves” and are “hapless victims” of their ex’s wrong doings. Is the victim card only reserved for women? Can’t a man be a victim? Of course he can! Men have as much right to blog about their experiences with their ex’s, spouses, dates, family, and friends as women do. And believe me, women do it… ALL THE TIME! Shit, I do it! There are hundreds, if not thousands; crap who am I kidding, millions of successful sites that post the unflattering images of their family members all the time. And I am willing to bet most of the site moderators or contributors have children.
Are their children who get hurt by the cyber ramblings of their parents or caregivers? I’m sure there are but this is assuming that these children are old enough to access a computer, navigate a search engine, and rifle through a website to prove that it is their parent talking about their other parent. By the time a child is old enough to do all of this research, I firmly believe that they already have enough common sense to know fact from fiction; as well as, enough maturity to learn the truth. As much as we want to shelter our children from the icky parts of life, and our own lives in particular, there is a point in time where the truth will come out. For the sake of argument, let’s say that the children aren’t old enough to do the online research to discover the information on their own, but are told the information by the parent who found the unflattering tales…now whose to blame? I say it is the parent who told them about the information. The parent who uncovered the information would only convey it to their children as an attempt to vilify the other parent. The internet is one huge gossip circle; the world’s largest water cooler. But most of the ears, or shall I say eye’s paying attention to the gossip are those of people who don’t know you or your family personally. Would you rather your ex spew your dirty laundry at the next PTA meeting or online? Which forum would get the information to your children quicker? The only reason I am aware of The PsychoExWife blog is because the “psycho ex wife “ found it and took him to court. The children are now in the middle of another ugly legal show-down, only this time the entire nation knows about it! Who exactly has lost focus on the best interest of the children? Because of this court battle I know the mother’s name, the father’s name, the father’s partner’s name, the city they live in, the fact that the two children are boy’s, and the boy’s ages. All from a tiny article in a local paper. Nice!
This article is not to argue whether or not what the father is doing is right or wrong. It’s whether this father is being held to the same standards as millions of mothers who blog about their ex’s. Because from where I am sitting, behind my computer, I can say he is not…and that is very wrong. The other food for thought is at what point is our venting considered “appropriate” and within the protection of the First Amendment and when are they not. Does it depend on the number of subscribers a site has, the number of people in the room? It will be interesting to see the verdict of his appeal and the ripple effects that may come from the ruling. Blog moderators should be watching this one very closely. In the future the blogger’s that find success from blogging about the wrong doings of their ex’s, dates, family or friends may have to find a new livelihood; especially if he’s a man with children. This father has discovered the painful truth in the saying, “free speech does not come free.”
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