I knew that I had to write this post when I had my theologian proof-reader, who checks over my comments and posts for "content" said that, for the first time, in the history of my blog he had noticed that I was "losing my cool."
I'm not sure that's true. I'm sure I've lost my cool before (I remember one particular, cantankerous atheist that pushed me pretty far a while back)... But I guess he finds it unusual because it really isn't a frequent event.
Sigh. So I'm sorry to those of you who are included in the comment-responses that can be categorized under that description or if you feel that I was in any way "mean" in response. I wasn't trying to be mean.
Here's the thing: I wrote a post on Saturday that I really didn't feel was all that dramatic or ground breaking. It was about women who's husbands forbad them covering their heads during Mass despite the fact that they felt called to it. I ended by offering up a prayer for women who were in such a difficult position.
I didn't think that was a particularly explosive post. I mean, let's turn the situation around: a woman doesn't want to cover her head but her husband says she has to. Are we all outraged on her behalf? I can practically hear a chorus of: "She shouldn't be forced to do that's!" from liberated women everywhere. But the opposite situation in which a woman, again, is being forced to do something she doesn't want to do, meets with a very different response.
So I was rather surprised when the post touched off a debate that quickly took on a life of its own. Now, in the meantime, since I'd written the first post, the girls and I had all come down with a nasty case of the flu... which was doing nothing for my patience. And while the vast majority of the comments were very sweet, a number of less fortunate comments stood out. Here are a few of the "highlights" that come to mind" (I'll paraphrase the ideas expressed):
- There were the multiple suggestions that I must suffer from scrupulosity.
- There was the question of mental illness that was brought up regarding to those who feel called to cover their heads in the presence of Christ (that would include me, as a headcovering woman who feels called to it).
- There was the kind-of-but-not-quite-"compliment" that I manage to dress nicely "most of the time" (gee... thanks... "most of the time...").
- There was the accusation that I was starting a "crusade" against "Catholic men."
- There was the comment about me being too "emotionally invested" in the topic to think clearly.
- And there were all the not-unfriendly comments that said that I was making a big deal about nothing (to which I reply... a woman is being forced to do something she feels is immodest or lacking in respect and you thing that's not a "big deal" to her? While it might not be a big deal to you, do you understand how, to someone who feels she's called to it and is forced to go against that calling, it might be a very big deal?).
- Oh and there was the suggestion that wearing one of my snoods would make others think a person was in some sort of a cult! (That's one of my favorites and by the way, no, it didn't improve my, I have a horrible-cough,-stuffy nose,-headache,-stomach-flu-and-I'm-up-with-a-sick-baby-flu-feeling-either. I work hard on my snoods. They aren't for everyone. You may not believe it, but some people really like them. Some people don't. But then again, no one is forcing you to wear them... uh oh... I think my "content" proof reader may say that I have lost my cool again... ... ... sorry...)
Now I'm all for debate. But when you start making suggestions about a persons spiritual life who you've never actually met, and commenting on their dress in a way that, I imagine, you'd be embarrassed to comment in real life, then you might want to rethink your comment and hit delete. Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I think that the manners we have in the real world, should apply to the online world too. I really try to follow those rules, although I admit, I was feeling rather short tempered by the end of the last couple days after responding to the same queries about my spiritual life and sanity, over and over again.
So... now I'll sit back and wait to be inundated with comments about how I'm wrong about this too. Maybe with a few shots thrown in about how this post shows signs of my mental-illness-scrupulosity-holier-than-thou-attitude-mental-state.
And hopefully, tomorrow, God will help me find the grace to respond without, losing my cool... then again... if I still have the flu... well... I'll do my best...