Wednesday, February 20, 2008
In the last post, a new commenter (Mrs. Welby...you can google her if you want) left a gratuitious comment asking people to go vote in her blog (on a political poll). As those who've been reading my blog for more than a month know, I had to make a rule that requested that people NOT make their first comments in my blog a link to their blog or other websites. It was getting time consuming for me to go through the sites being linked and...frankly, I didn't want to look at most of the links. Then, there was the discomfort when my daughter clicked one of the links and was shuffled to a porn site.
So,...Mrs. Welby broke the rule on the first time out. No links in your comments. Don't come here and link somewhere else on your first comment. Easy. Right? Sure.
Then the drama came. Her avatar was a photograph of a woman reclining with a cigarrette fully nude. I deleted the comment and suggested that the avatar was "porn". I also said that ON TOP OF deleting her comment for failure to follow the rules, I wasn't thrilled with someone leaving that sort of avatar on a blog that is clearly read by children. Well... this set the commenter into a tizzy. She had a hissy fit and left another comment that said, in some language, "you're an atheist bigot because you don't like my nudey pic." Berlie, Poodles, I, and a few others called her on that b/s comment. Being an atheist has nothing to do with my desire to keep this blog family friendly! Mrs. Welby lost any respect I may have reserved for her when she made that comment. She also sputtered out some verbage that said, in a foreign language (which... I guess she figures I'm not only an American-Atheist Prude, but an uneducated one at that...I read fluently in five languages, btw.), that said (in essense), "I guess atheist doesn't mean you're going to get a liberal person." That is true. But, completely unrelated to the issue.
I want to explain why I deleted the comment.
1. Because she didn't follow the rules. Short and sweet.
2. Because the picture was inappropriate for this forum.
I don't mind nudity. In the right circumstances, I encourage it! It's nice to spend time in your own skin sometimes. Without betraying the privacy of my children, I'll say that there are times when you will see someone streaking through this house with a bare bum. It's not a big deal. We have a rule in this house that if you are in your private space and you take care to not expose yourself to the public or make someone else uncomfortable with your nudity, then it's perfectly acceptable to enjoy your privacy. It boils down to appropriateness.
I am not a prude. Nudity, 90% of the time, bugs me not. And, I love classical art that contains beautiful images of the human body in it's natural form. There's much to learn from studying that art. You can make assumptions about what the culture, at that time, valued and how they perceived the body. I *get* art. However, there is a time and a place...even for "art". And, there's such a thing as accountability.
I know that this blog is read by several children. I know it's read by MANY teens and young adults still living at home. Knowing that, and knowing how I like to parent, I would never post anything here that would make any parent question my intent with regard to the personal choices and rules they have in their family. I am willing to give up my right to post anything and everything I may want to so that I know I'm not taking away another parent's right to have their child protected from questionable content. Therefore, I do not post pictures with nudity. I don't post pictures of graphic violence. I don't post pictures of things that would cause me pause to show my own children. Furthermore, I know (for a fact) that my kids have checked this blog from school on occasion. The last thing I need is for my child, or another child, to pull up a comment page with nudity while they're in computer lab. THAT could get them suspended. What might be appropriate at home may not be appropriate for school. That's not being an "atheist bigot". I see it as being the choice/standards of someone who respects childhood and parenting and families. Not all children are comfortable with nudity!! It is not my job, or Mrs. Welby's job, to decide for that child (or that child's parent) what is "art" and what is grautitous nudity. If Mrs. Welby can't understand that, then I would suggest she stay off this blog. Peddle your polls somewhere else. When you want to have a rational discussion about this, I will gladly indulge you...but, you will have to ditch the avatar so long as you're posting here. Don't like the rule? Don't post. Simple as that.
I hope that clarifies my position and explains my rationale.
Posted by Atheist in a mini van. at 3:38 PM