Why Critics are Good

I’d been thinking about another ranting post in defense of women for today.  I’d read two things yesterday-an article and a blog comment-that got me all stirred up.  Though the author of said comment would never read this post, I wanted to rip him a new one.  (In case your wondering the comment was on a blog post over at Owning Pink and it listed the things that “the vast majority of men”  expect a woman to do/have including long hair on their head and no hair in their nether-regions.)

My anger came from fear and my reaction was to fight.  I wanted to defend all those young women who are jumping through hoops, going against their values, and making themselves smaller all in an attempt to get love from creeps like this commenter.  I judged and am still judging this guy for what he had the nerve to write on a website intended to empower women.

So I came here to rant, but when I arrived here I found a new comment for me.  It was on my Crisis of Faith post and it basically pointed out my own hypocrisy.  How can I claim to be a person who is both open-minded and compassionate if I can not open my heart and find compassion for people who have different beliefs and values than I do?  Jesus instructed us to love our neighbors and to forgive seventy times seven.  If Jesus is my way-shower, I need to go within and find forgiveness and compassion for the people that instill fear in me.  My anger always comes from fear.

So right now, because of that critical comment, I am thinking a lot about my reactions and how to transfuse them with love.  Is there a way to stand up for what you believe in without fighting against anyone?  Can I truly love and forgive the leaders who are butchering jobs in my community and the commenter who believes that a woman’s worth is measured by the kind of hair she has (or doesn’t) and the sexual favors she is willing to perform?  I don’t want to remain silent, but I also don’t want to judge harshly out of anger.

What are your thoughts on this?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

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5 thoughts on “Why Critics are Good

  1. meeshelleneal April 27, 2011 / 5:09 pm

    Wow, interesting… you’ve got my brain working away at this problem.

  2. Renee April 28, 2011 / 7:52 am

    I think anger at that commenter is misplaced. He’s a jerk and he showed his rear end. The key is not to lash out, but to teach our daughters that their self-worth is more than looks and where they do or don’t shave. And also to teach them that there are men in the world who are good and kind. That guy isn’t one of them.

    Honestly, I’ve been around long enough and dated enough to be able to say for certain that MOST men do not feel the way that commenter does. Knowing that tempers any anger I might have felt reading such a comment.

  3. Jennifer April 28, 2011 / 9:40 am

    I mentioned this on your facebook page, and I guess I haven’t come up with any more insight. I have trouble with this as well. But, Jesus did have an angry outburst in the Bible, with the money changers. You know me, I don’t think there’s a “one size fits all” answer to any problem, so let your intuition guide you. You can express both anger and love towards a person. Your anger can even come from love. And, maybe that’s the key, knowing the source of your anger.

  4. ThePioneer May 4, 2011 / 8:11 pm

    Well, my friend, I am back, and have hopefully found a blog that is my home. This is Israel “Truthwalker” Walker, in case my brilliant writing doesn’t tip you off immediately. 🙂

    For me one of the greatest moments of freedom in my life was realizing that I no longer obey the Bible’s commands to love all. To me, not having to love people I loathed made the love I feel for my wife and daughter bigger and purer. When I had to love my enemy, my neighbor, my parents, and the laundry list of other people the Bible commands one to love, it was abit like the old story of the 15 year old telling his girlfriend he loved her, “I love french fries and you too, honey.” Cheap. Weak. Trite.

    I feel the same way about the Bible’s very liberal concept of forgiveness. How special is forgiveness if everyone gets the same amount for all transgressions great and small? True forgiveness, giving your heart back to someone to break again…should be treated like the rare gem it is. It is not something to be extended to every yahoo can hurt you. You can’t live that way and respect yourself.

    However, if you go with a different use of forgiveness…choosing to ignore your natural inclination for vengence or punishment, I’m all for it. I apply that standard to civic leaders who are making a grande charlie foxtrot of everything. Denying someone the ability to hurt you is not the same denying your desire to hurt them. By all means forgive people in the sense that you choose not the punish them, but forgiveness never means letting them be free to punish you.

    • lesleehorner May 4, 2011 / 9:50 pm

      You’ve popped in again without leaving a link to find your blog! I’m going to search “The Pioneer” but put a link here if you pop back on please!

      I particularly liked this “By all means forgive people in the sense that you choose not to punish them, but forgiveness never means letting them be free to punish you.” I’d definitely say that some of my anger around issues in recent months has been more hurtful to me than anyone else…so forgiveness really is just about letting that go or at least trying to transform it to something that will actually help.

      Glad to see you back Israel!!

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