21 March 2008

Stereotyping and Personal Attacks in the Blogosphere

It seems that a couple of comments I posted to other blogs and the subsequent comments of others to those comments has opened the proverbial Pandora's Box across the emotional spectrum.

Unspun and Finally Woken have taken particular offence to those posts. The original post came from Baliblog and alluded to a particular stereotype of Indonesian women and their eating habits. All fairly innocuous really. But after some selective and cutting and pasting a much more divisive and perhaps offensive version appeared on Unspun's blog. This obviously attracted a good number of passionate responses, mine included.

I noted that my wife and I had endured abuse and that my wife had been labeled a pelacur (whore) and some ignorant bastard even suggested that she was a traitor to her community...It was one of those WTF moments for me. Now, all of my comment posts have indicated this is a minority of people and not representative of the whole. But for some that means I am personally attacking and labeling all Indonesians with the same brush. Not likely!

It seems that because my posts referred to Indonesians that by some default this means that I don't believe that some white folk would not do equally offensive similar things and make equally similar offensive comments. But to the contrary I often refer to one bad apple spoiling the bunch. And as Anita points out in her blog, Finally Woken, and comments she has posted to other blogs that she has endured equally offensive treatment and comments from white men. She then goes on to say that a jerk is a jerk, I agree whole heartedly with this position and view!

I did not and have never suggested that all Indonesian men are jerks nor have I suggested that all white men are saints but the power of selective cutting and pasting might suggest otherwise. What I have said is that ignoring stereotypes and sticking our heads in the sand and ignoring them will not see them disappear. Sometimes confronting the ugly stereotypes head on leads to personal attacks and distortions of the truth to save face.

I would hope that personal attacks against me for the opinions that I hold or the blogs that I write are directed to and at me and not to my wife or family. This is a fair request!

As Martin Luther King said "He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."

I responded to the post of others with the above quote in mind and also the quotes that follow:

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Also by MLK


"There are those who look at things the way they are, and ask why... I dream of things that never were, and ask why not?" A quote attributed to George Bernard Shaw and Robert F. Kennedy.

Perhaps I am a tragic optimist but I believe that the world can be a better place and I strive to make it so...


oigal said...

Aaaw Bugger..I went for a Clyde Cameron quote..I have been outclassed..again

Anonymous said...

Nice work.


Finally Woken said...

As I have promised, I have removed all the family reference as per your request. Here's the modified post.

Rob Baiton said...

Already read it before you posted here.

Thanks for reading my blog!

I know that you still think that I was infering that Indonesia women choose foreigners after a bad experience with Indonesian men, but in my defence that is not what I meant nor is it what I intended people to infer from my comments.

There actually was not any inference that Indonesian women had to have a go around with an Indonesian man first. Rather it is a minority of people and perhaps I could have expressed that in clearer terms.

I also pointed out in the comments in response to the post that has now been modified that I agree with you that it is about attraction, it is about love, and we cannot rally force the jodoh thing.

Hopefully, people will find their partners based on the purity of the attraction rather than some misguided notion of certain races will treat you better or whatever...that truly was not the point I was trying to make!

I have linked you into my Blog in a section called "Things I Read"...If that's OK, then cool cool, if not lemme know!

Enjoy your day!


Finally Woken said...

Rob I believe it's ok to disagree with your first statement (at Unspun's). I know now where you stand after you explained this, but I cannot change what I wrote before - I still had to write it as it was. I only removed the family reference that you and Oigal found offensive.

As I am about to remove the comment from no.1 to 14 as they are the responses for first posting, you are more than welcome to comment (again, if you're not bored!) to clarify your point of view.

Thanks for linking me. Cheers

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