Monday, September 17, 2012

Judgey McJudgerson

I've talked about the Judgey McJudgerson's before. You know the type. They're the ones that look down on me for having four kids and looking like I'm twelve (one of the perks of being short). Those who whisper behind their hands because they've come to a conclusion about mewithin a milisecond. We all judge people, let's be honest, whether we mean to or not. Human beings make judgements based on religious or non-religious beliefs, gender, skin color (I've been called an Arab before and NOT in a nice 'oh, are you an Arab?' way). There are LOTS of ways to judge someone else. I'm guilty of doing it (and trying to get better about not doing it), and I'm sure all of you have done it at least once in your life. And if you haven't, you're a liar and your pants should be on fire.

But what about judging someone based on their writing? I find it somewhat hilarious that readers come to some pretty far-fetched and firm (to them) conclusions about an author based on their books. At times there is an underlying message that's pretty blatant, but that doesn't happen all that often. Let's talk Twilight for a minute (I know, I know, I can feel you guys rolling your eyes). Many people have made judgements about Stephenie Meyer because of this book. That she is severely lacking passion in her love life, why else would she write about Bella's and Edward's love like it's the end all be all? Or she thinks it's perfectly okay for a guy to be controlling, because Edward is that creepy stalker boyfriend who won't leave Bella alone.(These aren't necessarily my opinions) She's sending the wrong message to impressionable young girls about abusive relationships and abstinence (just like when an author writes about teens having sex doesn't make that author a sex addicted freak who wants young girls to get pregnant/ STD). But let's be real here for a minute, I'm pretty sure when Stephenie Meyer sat down to write her book, these thoughts were not floating around her head, she didn't have some secret agenda against women or one that was pro-abusive relationships. She wanted to entertain us. She loved her characters and wanted to tell their story. And honestly, if a mom, sister, cousin, aunt, grandmother, whoever takes issue with the content within a book then they need to sit down the girl wanting to read the material in question and tell them what's up. As a parent it is MY responsibility to explain certain things to my children, and not force those issues on other people.

What I'm getting at is we need to stop judging each other. We have every right to our opinions, freedom of speech, people. But being mean about our opinions makes the judger look like a jerk. There is a perfectly acceptable and courteous way to share our opinions without being judgmental about it. At the end of the day, as an author, all i want is to write a story I'm passionate about. I want to share my characters with other people. I want readers to love them just as much as I do. I don't have propaganda I want to shove down other people's throats (not saying there aren't people out there who do have an agenda of some kind, but for the most part authors don't). And if I don't like the content in a book, hating on the book and the author isn't going to get me anywhere. Really, it's a waste of time. Use that energy on doing something positive. Write a book that's the opposite of the one you hate. Be productive and let's stop judging on each other.

11 comments:

  1. I agree completely! "Kindness kills" is my motto.

    Great post!!!

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  2. Great post! People need to remember that an opinion is nothing more than an opinion. Just because one person thinks one way, it doesn't mean we all do. And I'm sorry that you've been judged by your ethnicity. That's another thing that drives me crazy!

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  3. Amen, sister. I'm all for freedom of speech but sometimes it's taken to the other extreme. Constructive criticism is one thing; hating and using that to assume is quite another. Great post!

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  4. Perfectly said! I try my best not to judge people, especially not to make snap judgements. It's so counterproductive.

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  5. I agree on the Twilight thing. I didn't love Bella, but I have always said I think I would have loved her more if I'd read it as a teen. Teen girls are often kind of over dramatic. Bella is realistic, whether we like her or not. And I did read all four books, so it is definitely an entertaining series!
    ps. My best friend and I each have four kids and we both get mistaken for being younger, too! I often find myself wanting to say, "I'm thirty! And married! Don't judge me!" Lol. :)

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  6. Just wanted to say your GUTGAA entry is AWESOME OMG so much luck with it!

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  7. Love your advice---about doing something positive-write what you like or would want to read! Best wishes with your writing!

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  8. I would happily suffer through many deragatory judgements if the level of Stephanie Meyer success came with it!

    The first time I read her books, I didn't notice any of the issues people complain about. I was too caught up in the story. The second time through, I did get a little fed up with Bella's whining. The third time through, I loved it again.

    I think people should be free to discuss how characters and books affect them and things they like and dislike. It's what English teachers require BTW! We just need to do it as opinion pieces, not judgments on the author. If the author invokes such reactions, they have done a good job.

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