This is not going to be a sugar-coated post. Diplomatic Kaelah is on holiday today and her brutally honest but protective Klingon half has taken over. I have to say a few words, even if I know that some people won't like them. But I think there is a time when one should stand up for oneself as well. And this is the time. If you are a thin-skinned person or easily offended, consider to stop reading at this point. You have been warned!
In light of recent events, I have to stand up for Ludwig's and my right to disagree with people about certain ideas and not to do everything we are asked to do, without people immediately turning away with a melodramatic "Oh, I see my ideas are not appreciated here! You won't ever hear from me again!" message.
I have had to experience this situation far too often recently. Not just on the blog, but also in private communication. People send us emails with all kinds of ideas and requests, which in itself is absolutely fine. But in some cases when we have to turn them down for not only valid but also well-explained reasons, always accompanied by a polite "Thank you for the idea, but unfortunately, we can't do it. We hope you understand!", Ludwig and I suddenly end up with people telling us how unwelcoming we are and that not giving them what they want is offensive. And sometimes, especially in emails, the reactions are so extreme and so latently threatening that I become really scared and ask myself whether it is a good thing to put myself out there like that.
I am not talking about isolated events here, but about a pattern that seems to have developed in recent weeks. It is quite frustrating for me to try to be as open and as welcoming as possible when it suddenly seems to strike back in such a negative way. Being open and welcoming apparently gives some people the idea that they have the right to demand anything they want from Ludwig and me, but that we don't have the right to disagree or to object (at least not without being called spoilsports or offensive).
Funnily, the people who are claiming that they should be treated more respectfully often don't live up to their own standards. I try not to be thin-skinned myself. Even when I am confronted with sulking (over-) reactions, I try to stay very friendly and welcoming. But there is a limit of how much I can take as well. And that limit has been reached. So, I think it is time for a clear statement:
Disagreeing in a discussion or not satisfying every wish is not offensive. It is what responsible adults do!
I can reassure you that both Ludwig and I try to be as kind as we can to everyone who either comments here or contacts us in private. And we are very happy about comments and private messages! Ludwig and I have a different style of writing, but I think every avid reader should recognize Ludwig's sometimes tongue-in-cheek style by now, so I don't see any reason for being thin-skinned with him, either. If you aren't sure about how a certain comment is meant, just tell us and we are very happy to discuss and solve the issue. Several positive examples show that this is indeed possible as well.
But I can't put up with some people being so demanding and at the same time so thin-skinned any more. The fact that I'm trying to be nice doesn't mean that I don't have any feelings or that I can't stand up for myself. This is a blog for grownups, not for sulking five-year-olds! If people want to be treated like responsible adults, I expect them to behave like responsible adults and do others the same favour.
There, I said it! I had to let that out, no matter what some people might be thinking of me now. I'm sorry for the 99.9 per cent of you who aren't in any way concerned by this topic. I thought about not publishing this post in order not to scare you away. But, seriously, I am not willing to take it any more and I had to release my anger.
It takes a very long time to get me there. But I have no desire to be the target of passive-aggressive or even actively aggressive behaviour any more. And if I have to bite to defend myself, so be it! I know that women (unlike men) are often perceived as being hysterical when they raise their voice. But I can guarantee you, I am not. I am very calm right now. I am just pissed off. That's all.
I assure you that my next post will be about something completely different. Most probably about spanking! Thanks to everyone who raised their heads and told a few things about themselves in reply to my last post. I hope that we will soon be having many more insightful discussions about spanking and philosophy on this blog.