Monday, February 01, 2010

A word about civility

Hey folks--

It should be clear by now that I'm not going to post comments that are rude, spiteful, mean, or abusive. I make an effort to be positive and constructive in my posts and when I respond to comments. I hold you to the same standards, or I won't be allowing your comments.

We don't have to agree. We do have to have a civil dialogue.

Frankly, my college writing students are far better at the whole constructive criticism thing than some of my anonymous commenters.

And you know what? It's hurtful. And hurt just breeds hurt.

So please, do yourself a favor, and either grow up or go comment on someone else's blog.


Cathy (UK) said...

Hi Harriet, I think it's interesting and helpful that there are online debates about the important issues you and various other bloggers, or video-makers raise about issues which affect many of us. Disagreement is inevitable at times, but it need never be rude nor hurtful.

I have quite strong views about (e.g.) the causes of anorexia nervosa (AN) and what is/is not helpful in treatment or prevention. This is because I lived with this illness for over 2 decades. One example of my strong views is that I do not believe AN to be a disorder of 'body image'. Furthermore, I actually feel that the whole 'body image' construct is too vague and intangible. I find (e.g.) the theories of Susie Orbach intensely unhelpful in explaining why I personally developed AN and the factors that sustained my AN.

Having said that, I am interested to hear others' viewpoints because I also strongly believe that individual's experiences of AN are indeed individual. There is no single trigger for this illness, even if some of the factors that sustain it are common and related to starvation.

I argued/debated (hopefully in a polite and civil manner) on your blog about AN and autism. I don't believe that AN = autism, however, I have a mild autism spectrum condition that played an iunstrumental role in the development and maintenance of my AN. I enjoyed that debate, and believe, as an academic, that debating is essential to the further pursuit of knowledge and understanding of human experiences.

mariposai said...

I hope none of my comments on your blog fit into this category...if they do, then I apologise. I find your blog really interesting and would in no way deliberately seek to hurt/offend you.

Sarah x

Eating With Others said...

So I guess you really touched a nerve with the girl in the class huh?

I still think you should ask the gym to put up some of the posters from NEDA for the awareness week. I love their new poster.

Harriet said...

Touched a nerve is right, EA.

I don't consider any of the comments I posted to be offensive. They fall within the range of good debate to my mind.

Several others I chose not to post. Especially when they started the name calling. Methinks the lady (or the man) doth protest too much!

Thank you all once more for your civil (dis)agreement. We learn in part by being exposed to others' thoughtful explorations, not by being called name or deliberately shamed.

Eating With Others said...

Ok harriet, this is so not about this but I need you to read I need you op on this. Can you see them turning this girl into a bulimic or ana? And not just her. I know that it's not alway's environment but come on, talk about pushing a person over the edge. When they did my diet and I was on shakes only for 9 months, that really started me into the whole - I love feeling empty inside, it means I'm losing weight. And I don't care what anyone said sometimes I would burn like 600-800 calories a day on the treadmill and weights but I was only drinking 800 calories a day. I just had like crazy energy levels. Now that I'm eating again - healthy food - I'm flat on energy levels.

Sorry for the rant. This artical just really got me mad.

kyleth said...

Sadly, Harriet, there will always be little hate-mongering creatures about somewhere on the net. I think a lot of these people are afraid that they're going to become big fat fatties like us. On the other hand they might be angry that we don't really take the energy to make ourselves miserable by starving so we can look like those people on tv.

I used to let the trolls upset me but now I just reserve my pity for them. There's nothing more to do.

Harriet said...


This is soooo classic. With the best of intentions, people do all sorts of idiotic things.

This definitely counts as one of them. There's a reason why the American Academy of Pediatricians does not recommend dieting for adolescents: They're still growing and putting on muscle mass and fat. Even if they're done growing vertically, their bodies keep changing into their early 20s. Dieting messes with that.

You can see where this program went horribly wrong. It's great to educate people about eating better and exercising, though this girl was already getting plenty of exercise, it sounds like. She's an athlete, for god's sake. She already had some self-esteem issues around her body; now she's got more. Plus she feels like a failure because she couldn't stay on a diet--and it *was* a diet--that would not even allow for eating turkey at Thanksgiving.

Um, who the hell *can* stay on such a meal plan permanently? No one, that's who. To expect anyone to is absurd and a setup for failure. To suggest that in order to be "healthy" you have to deprive yourself permanently and constantly exercise is nothing but a setup for an eating disorder.

Your rant is completely justified.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say thank you -- I think your blog is terrific and it has been extremely helpful to me (as the parent of an anorexic).

Harriet said...

Thanks, Anon. That means a lot to me. I know when my daughter was first sick I was desperate to connect with other people who really got it. So few people do. Hang in there.

Elizabeth said...

Hello! I'm new to your blog through the wonderful poem that appeared online today at quartsiluna. I just loved it -- thought about cut and pasting it (with attribution, of course!) to my own blog, but then I saw that you had your own. I look forward to reading more of your work and thank you for a wonderful bit of poetry.

Harriet said...

Thanks, Elizabeth, and welcome!