23 December 2008

I Hate the Holidays - Part 3

Part 1. Part 2.

Here's the last of the three posts. Private and public responses from listserv subscribers came between the three and continued after the last one.

It's interesting that my original 'I hate the holidays' post was taken as a philosophical point to be discussed, and therefore subject to dispute, rather than what it was - a message straight from the heart, from myself and my community. What I wrote is how we feel. Others obviously do not feel the way we do about the holidays, but I'd no more challenge their feelings than they should challenge ours.

My second post, about once-a-year gift giving, drew the most ire, as evidenced by the public and private messages I've received. The majority of writers were highly selective in what they took from that post - e.g., ignoring the 'once-a-year' qualifier and equating my words to be stamping such givers as "evil" (yes, one person used that word).

Of interest to researchers may be a tally of the public and private responses I received to those two posts.

Total received so far - 15
Number of positives (thank-yous, bravos, etc) - 6
Number of negatives (disagrees, how-dare-yous, etc.) - 9

With the exception of one person, the positives were from other people who currently live in poverty. How I appreciated your support!

The negative responses were all from people who do not now live in poverty. Some reported having lived in poverty at some time in their lives, or they know someone who lives in poverty, or they work with people in poverty.

Anyone else see the pattern?

Among the negative comments was that an 'I hate the holidays' post from someone marginalized by poverty, who was writing on behalf of herself and others in her marginalized community, was inappropriate for this listserv. Seems they may be right.

Afterwards, there was some backing off. Perhaps people learned something.

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