*Photos in this post were taken by Boston-based photographer, Kaiser of www.vlkaiserphotography.com, be sure to book him for your next shoot!
The conversation began like so:
It is cowardly to erase posts and responses instead of owning up to your mistakes. Makes it very hard to respect you or take you seriously.
To provide some context, on Sunday Keke Palmer shared a post about having been included in a video without her permission. The video was released by Trey Songz after Palmer alleges she repeatedly told him she didn’t want to be in the video. In her initial post, I found her language to be triggering, as she likened her inclusion in this video to a sexual assault.
So I wrote a post about it, as I always do. Within my post I both questioned and chastised Keke for alleging that her experience was anything like a violent assault. I thought my post was fair and that based on the information I had at the time, reasonable. I was surprised, however, when the responses to my post were met with anger. Another reader, not the one quoted above, responded with so much aggression and anger that I blocked and deleted her comments from my post.
Here is one of the deleted comments:
I’m done with you Lisa after this. SIXTY percent of Black women have reported experience sexual violence before the age of 18. For every ONE victim/survivor who reports a rape or act of sexual violence there are FIFTEEN who don’t.
Wanna guess why they don’t report Lisa? People like you. You’ve gone entirely too far this time. If Ms. Palmer says something occurred without her consent that is more than sufficient for me. It is not my place to question her, and neither is yours.
After Keke included additional details about her experience, I issued a Mea Culpa for my misguided comments, updated the post, and hoped we’d all move on. When both my updated post and apology were met with criticism, I thought it best to simply delete the post entirely and put it all behind me.
One of my readers, Emma Petersen, wasn’t trying to let me off so easily. She messaged me privately, taking me to task about my comments. It was through this conversation that I began to understand how I had both erred and been irresponsible in my original post. I went against my original instinct to simply block Emma, and listened to what she had to say.
As bloggers and influencers were are defensive by nature. We are taught to, “not feed the trolls.” In other words, when your readers call you out, especially when they are calling you names, your job is to disengage. And had the subject of my original post been about something trivial, I probably would have disengaged. However, as this topic was so sensitive, and I consider myself a feminist, I needed to hear her out. And I’m glad I did.
I sometimes forget that people actually care about what I think. To me, this space is my own little corner of the world, and on occasion, you all bless me by stopping by. This may sound crazy, but I really and truly have no perception of my influence. I’m one person, running this blog on my own, trying to earn a few coins and keep my kid housed and fed. That being said, I owe to the few who do read my posts, to always, always be careful with my words. While I maintain that I won’t allow folks to police this space, I do want us always want us to feel as though we can have a conversation. We won’t always agree, but we can always have a respectful conversation.
To my readers who were hurt or disappointed by the tone of my post, please know that I am sorry. I am a work in progess, and I clearly don’t always have it all the way together. I can, however, promise you that going forward, I will to strive to be a better advocate for women, and all victims of sexual assault and patriarchy.