Yesterday's post earned me the loss of several followers and one long ranty e-mail. I was rather surprised by that. The writer told me in no uncertain terms that children were entitled to freedom of speech and self expression and that I should just shut up and stick to blogging about bears. (I am paraphrasing.)
I am not sure why the person was so upset, I don't know them from Adam, and I wasn't pointing fingers at any one's kids in particular. Nor did I suggest that children aren't entitled to freedom of speech. Although...so am I, a point that the author seemed to have overlooked.
In fact I assumed that all of my readers are very invested in raising good kids. But that they can be influenced online or off by outside sources that parents aren't always aware of that pose a threat. Avatar sites for instance look pretty innocuous from the outside, but when you delve into the forums, most parents would be shocked by what they see. I was a moderator on one of these sites because I knew the administrators and they wanted trustworthy adults to help keep these kids safe. After about a year I just couldn't do it anymore because so many of these kids are so jaded and know such horrifying things, so I have seen enough to know there is concern. In fact I have even seen kids admit that if their parents knew what went on they wouldn't let them go to those sites.
As for blogging about bears...well yes that is one facet of my life. But I never claimed this was just an art blog. The name is "A Stuffed Life" and like anyone else, my life is stuffed with all sorts of things besides bears. I am a three dimensional, real person who has other things to say once in a while.
I always feel that adults can address touchy subjects and respect each other's rights to our opinions even if they differ because we are adults. I feel we should be able to do that without feeling uncomfortable. I have also never had a problem discussing the taboo subjects of politics and religion, and never felt the need to get into an argument over it.
My intent for yesterday's post wasn't to outrage or offend anyone, it was meant as a cautionary tale. I wasn't suggesting anyone was a bad parent, I am suggesting that sometimes people just simply aren't aware of threats because they haven't had any reason to be made aware of them. While my intention is never to purposely make anyone mad, sometimes in addressing touchy subjects that are upsetting to people, we also open their eyes and make them think. That is never a bad thing.