Perceived Attacks

Below are five comments in a row from Radical Unschooling Info, on facebook, February 2012
Sandra (quoting someone and responding):
-=-and who have been attacked--=-

How and why would anyone "attack" someone?

The use of that word is more violent than anyone saying "Really? You're being mean to your child?"

Questions and pointing at illogical thought are not "attacks."

Deb Lewis:
***...and who have been attacked...***

I wish people could rethink this idea of being attacked. I wish they could think of it as ideas being unpacked. 🙂

If you put a box down in front of us and say, in this box are a few of my fears and I don't know what to do with this box.... The discussion that follows is like unpacking that box.

You can unpack your box by yourself if you want to. Or put it in the basement and step around it for a few more years. But since you put those things in the box instead of throwing them out, and since you brought it here and plopped it down, it looks very much like you want some help unpacking.

Laureen Hudson:
The thing about feeling attacked is universal through "challenging" parenting forums, I think. I was a moderator on the big Elimination Communicaton list for years, and people got so so so hostile when suggestions were made for what was going wrong for them.

When what you're discussing on a forum is a complete paradigm shift away from everything that mainstream culture espouses, *of course* people are going to get angry and hostile and feel attacked. In a very fundamental way, you're asking them to reach down into their deepest levels of thoughts and assumptions and tweak them. That's tough going sometimes.

Sandra Dodd:
-=- In a very fundamental way, you're asking them to reach down into their deepest levels of thoughts and assumptions and tweak them. That's tough going sometimes.-=-

We are not asking them to express their deepest thoughts and assumptions. There are lurkers who learn. It's those who jump up and think they already know who end up feeling attacked.

There have been a handful of people posting here recently who would not have been given the microphone if we were in person at a symposium or conference. They would not have been asked to speak, because they haven't shown knowledge or experience. They weren't writing much that was helpful, and if, in person, they had been brave enough to stand up with people looking at them and make one little speech or ask a question, they might be able to gauge by the audience reaction whether they ought to speak again or not. But in writing, sometimes people go on and on who wouldn't have been given the stage and the podium in person. Some of them know it and some don't.

When writing is the medium, some people think that 100 words is worth 100 words--that their paragraph is as valuable as anyone else's paragraph. Some will say so. And some will say "All opinions are equally valid." That's not sensible or logical, though. I wouldn't go to a Mercedes repair board and write anything. Even if I owned a Mercedes, or had watched someone repair one, I would maybe just read and use google to learn more. I surely wouldn't go to a Mercedes repair seminar and ask if I could have the mic.

Deb Lewis:
***I wouldn't go to a Mercedes repair board and write anything.***

Or accuse Mercedes mechanics of meanness when they told you you can't use an apple as a crankshaft. 🙂

"Direct attack" is direct. Personal. One-on-one. An attack. One's politics can't be a direct attack on a person or group. One's view of sciences, or hope for change, is directed at bad science.

Too easily offended?

Feeling attacked, or claiming to have been attacked, is related to the negativity inherent in using terms like "I'm struggling with..." or "I'm battling [whatever]."

Desiring a feeling of being beset or besieged, or feeling that it's an advantage to be a martyr, is not healthy for the parent, nor any partners, housemates, or children.

Choosing other words is choosing other thoughts.

Choosing other thoughts will be choosing more peaceful thoughts.

I was attacked (me/Sandra, sort of, if an e-mail counts). I think it was a male person, and I think he meant "vicious" and not "viscous." This is the middle of something longer and funnier.:
I have to say I am shocked by how angry you sound at people who think that the majority of programming on television is rude, crude, sexist and anti-family. I know plenty of people who have a blasé attitude about television, but I've never seen anyone so viscously pro-tv before. Do you watch television? Have you channel surfed at all hours of the day? I have spent a lot of time watching television the last two years, while on bed rest, and I've watched all hours of the day and night. I know what is on tv. Let me ask you, would you find it offensive if I came into your house and had sex in front of your children?
Always Learning
(He didn't mean for it to be funny.)

A first impression of the discussions at Always Learning (by someone who changed her mind, and describes how and why she did so):

I remember being SHOCKED by the responses. I was breathless, felt personally attacked (although I was an invisible, first time reader), and confused - I had never heard anyone say out loud, or read that restricting t.v./sugar/video games for children was harmful for unschooling children. I think I only read for about 5 minutes before feeling ill, closing the laptop and leaving the room, feeling totally overwhelmed. It was such a different paradigm that it profoundly unsettled me. I avoided the group because I thought people were unsupportive and undermining the mother's confidence to unschool. To me, it sounded like people were being purposely mean to her.

She felt attacked even though she hadn't posted.
You can read more; it's nice.

Photos are links.


Those and other calming links at Just Add Light and Stir

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