Trolls People have tried to warn me about my strong personality somehow getting in the way of my goals as an author. Like, what, I’m supposed to deliver some watered down version of myself because I’m trying to be “marketable”? Think again. No, that’s just what they’d like because it would make their jobs of trolling easier if they can stifle any of the strong voices. Sure I want to sell books, but I’m still in favor of being upfront about who the fuck I am. I’m not hiding behind personas like WeepyDog/MJones25/RedShoes/dadawalk/teenage cancer patient/”Lauren”/”Elizabeth Ann”. [names edited to protect the guilty.]
They call it being “professional”.
Ron Burgundy: Big deal. I am very professional.
I’ve had jobs before that required me to be as such, and I have also had to represent myself in such a manner out in the real world. I’m told I’m pretty good at it. In person, I’ve been called regal or even snobby. I have an air I guess of being or feeling somehow above things, is how I take it. Sometimes it’s advantageous (“professional”), sometimes not (“personable”). There is a time and a place for being professional, and it doesn’t necessarily mean not ever standing up against attacks, falsehoods, or criticisms. I guess I have a certain amount of casual professionalism on Facebook. I want our fan page for the book to be comfortable and welcoming for people genuinely interested in the topics discussed in the book. (We even have a new discussions section– check it out.)
But, there is a place for total honesty, where I don’t have to hold my tongue quite as much– this blog. I’m not made of stone, and I’m not a robot. This is MY space.
Being yourself and saying what you have to say, and doing what you have to do, is what brought me here in the first place– to authorship, to natural childbirth advocacy, to unassisted childbirth. While I want my message to be accessible, I am not in the business of making friends. The truth is often alienating! I’ve never been even close to a good salesperson. It feels too dirty. I don’t like the idea of “selling myself”. I don’t do what I’m told, and I don’t smile on command. I’ve tried in the past but I’m just not extroverted enough to swing it. I’m better at just being me. That’s all I have to offer, and that’s all that I can do, and I’m sure that will be good enough for and championed by the people who need me most in the world. It is them who I hope to serve.
I am in the business of telling you what I see with my own eyes. I see a lot of people regurgitating nonsense and re-feeding it to one another (ew), and I am not interested in joining a club or a clique where I am expected to roll with a pack mentality. Either you like me or you don’t. If you don’t like me, I think you’re probably a prejudiced asshole. To truly know me IS to love me, unless you’re against all that is holy and good.
But in seriousness, UC is a controversial subject. I expect to offend people,
especially people who go around looking to be offended, of which there are plenty. Likewise there are also people who are looking to offend, although I am not trying to offend anyone intentionally.
Now you’d be right in saying that some of THE largest UC proponents are religious and that perhaps I am alienating my religious base whenever I say anything freethinking, liberal, or anti-religious. Well, I can’t really help that. The close-minded ones can move right along, and the open-minded ones can either take from me just the birthing aspects of our dialogue to get something out of our time together, OR they may even open their minds to hear my thoughts and learn something new or find a common ground with me.
This post seems a little defensive, maybe. Maybe it seems a little mad. Good. It’s a reflection of how I feel. It’s how I respond to a sometimes hostile environment. Other people are so busy trying to be “professional”. Trying to be “civil”. They ignore antagonism. I only will up to a certain point. I’m willing to get down. I can easily hold a grudge, I’ll ask you “what did you say?”, and I am not one to just “let go” or “turn the other cheek” over anything heated or confrontational. No, I’m down! You want to get down? UC needs an angry voice. I’m willing to fight dirty if it means natural childbirth has a strong impassioned angry motherfucker at bat. Yeah, I’ll be that guy. Bring it. God knows the other side has plenty of angry and nasty bitches fighting on their own behalf. They’re counting on us to be meek, silent, professional.
So yeah, readers… It won’t be the first time or the last time you see me pissed off. Peace is at the core of most of our principles and beliefs as UCers, regardless of faith. Peace is our friend. It centers us. But you know what? This is me, this is who I am. And now you know that I’m a real person.
No matter what, by being true to yourself, you ultimately win. And since I’m not a total pragmatist, here’s your magical thinking for the day– good always conquers evil. And yes, it is accompanied by plenty of rainbows and dolphins and sunshine, if you have to fucking know.