Sunday, April 27, 2008

It's time for a lecture

The comments in the last post degenerated into one of the ugliest mud-slinging, epithet-hurling, and name-calling episodes I have ever seen on this blog. Even after I requested--not once but twice--to refrain from personal attacks and to keep the comments civil, rude and insulting comments kept coming.

And the logical fallacies. Oh, the logical fallacies... I saw character attacks, slippery slope arguments, emotional appeals, false dilemmas, begging the question, hasty generalizations, non sequiturs, red herrings, and straw man arguments.

If you don't know what these logical fallacies are, you had better refresh the skills you (should have) learned in freshman rhetoric or composition.

If you do know what they are, and used them anyway, shame on you!

As punishment, you are going to have to read several guest posts addressing some of the issues raised in the comments section. And you will be hearing from me, of course. And boy do I have some good things to say!


  1. I look forward to all of your guests posts and more of your always educated thoughts. :)

  2. Please don't flatter yourself by assumming people would want to read your blog....They were just checking out the posts in regards to homebirthing because of the controversy....HA! You should probably make your blog private and save us all some time!!!

  3. Rixa,

    I almost wish you wanted a fight, because, though I am not ready for a homebirth, I am ready to choose sides.

    Keep up the good, thoughtful, compassionate work.

  4. Love your Blog. Articulate, educated, non-partisan, informed. Sigh. Look forward to the guest posts.

  5. Rixa I love your blog and subscribe to its feed so that I never miss a post. Thank-you for all the time and effort you poor into informing all of us in cyberspace. Women desperately need women like you, even if they don't realise it!

  6. Ah, Rixa. I don't have the heart for this. Which is perhaps why this is happening on your blog and not mine. ;) You are a lamp shining in a dark place. God give you strength.


  7. Rixa,
    I've been reading your blog for several weeks but I haven't posted until now. First off, I want you to know that this is one of my favorite blogs, and while I wouldn't choose UC for myself, I in know way look down on you for your choice.

    It really saddens me to read all of these comments. I feel like this could have all been discussed civilly but that things got out of hand. We could all stand to handle each other with a lot more respect; you've modeled that kind of respect which I think is pretty awesome, since a lot of these attacks were directed at you. You've handled this situation with a lot of grace and that's yet another reason why I like to read your blog.

    Have a really good day,

  8. For a shining example of a character attack (ad hominem argument), see comment #2 by anonymous. Instead of engaging the issues at hand, the commenter simply attacks and insults me personally. It's a classic rhetorical maneuver to distract the audience from the issues. Used a lot in political debates (like right now when the candidates seem more interested in personal attacks than in looking at the pressing issues at hand).

  9. Logical fallacies aside, the punctuation and grammar were killing me.

    Amy J.

  10. Good for you for doing something. I've kind of gone the "ignore what's going on and blog like nothing happened" route.

    And just so you know, I look forward to reading your blog- it makes me happy to browse my reader and see your blog has been updated.

  11. I find it interesting how many different people find their way here. You've definitely attracted a smattering from every type of opinion there is. There is a song (which I can't remember the name of) in which one of the lines is "What a country! A hundred-eighty million people, and not TWO of them agree!" This line kept running through my head as I read all of the comments on this and the other blog. Quite a slog actually, but interesting.

    I, for one, am delighted to read your blog. I have learned an incredible amount in the year and a half I've been reading, and I anxiously await each new post. Thank you for staying so calm and clear-headed even when the mud starts slinging. I admire you for it.

  12. You rock Rixa. ;) I like it when you get out the ol' soapbox. And this is such a good opportunity for us ALL to learn a thing or two!

  13. You know you can expect logical fallacies in an election year--we're saturated in them! If people had to stick to logically valid arguments, most wouldn't have anything to say. Of course, that would probably be an improvement...

  14. i am not going to home birth my children nor am i a friend of yours, however i do agree that some of the things said were ridiculous and hurtful on BOTH sides. I think what it comes down to is just a healthy, debate that got people riled up. I dont think any of these women involved would hate eachother or wish any harm on eachother or their children.

    I guess what im saying is i dont see the harm in people being passionate about something that truly is important to them.

    And that everyone can use a good thought provoking time to re-evaluate what is important to them whether it comes from something mean spirited or not.

  15. In regards to coment #2, I am wondering why she is wasting her time and reading the blog if she does not want to?

    Things that make you go, HUH?

  16. Shauna you're right. There is something about the near anonymity and detachment of the internet that somehow people end up making declarations that we would rarely say in real life 'mixed company', because we all know better to be more tactful and considerate. I have never ever gotten embroiled in any debate over birthing choices, I just politely back down if I don't see any takers for my ideas or preferences. No biggie. I wlike the outspoken spirit but I wish we knew how to combine it with some 'real life' manners!

  17. Rixa - You keep shining through as to why I love you and read you nearly religiously.

  18. Dear Rixa,
    I've been reading your blog for almost 7 months now, however, I have never commented. I just wanted to say that I love being empowered and enlightened by your never ending shining light in the darkness of the birthing process that has shadowed so many women. I was totally uneducated in my choices for birth and pregnancy and parenting. I do not yet have children, however, when I found your blog a light just clicked in my head and I said "Duh! I am a woman and I have options and my body is my own to make those choices when I do have children!" I love all of your information be it personal or educated. Keep it coming and help us women out there to step onto a well lit path of enlightenment. We need strong women like you out there as motivators and educators. Thank you so much!

  19. Doreen turned me on to your blog and I love it. Thank you so much for being a voice for women's birth choice!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...