Marta said I shouldn’t write this post.
But I’ve never been good at keeping my mouth shut.
This weekend, we welcomed a wave of new readers to the blog, most of whom found their way here via Freshly Pressed, wordpress.com’s virtual newsletter. The Freshly Pressed page features a running scroll of blogs on different topics (from gardening to fan fiction) and its editors were nice enough to include one of my blog posts in the lineup.
The attention was a wee bit overwhelming at first, but then I started receiving comments from readers–and fellow bloggers. Several mothers wrote to assure me that, indeed, I can survive without many of the “must have” items that other mothers will say we need. Others simply wrote to say good luck or congrats. A couple of readers thanked me for introducing them to the idea of the Target red scanning gun, which, as something of an anti-consumerist, I found really amusing.
And then there were the many “likes.” At a certain point on Saturday, I was receiving a message about once every five minutes alerting me that someone new had “liked” the blog post. It was strangely reassuring: this knowledge that strangers were voicing their support of our “babymaking story.”
But then last night, as we were getting ready for bed, I checked the blog again. There was one new comment–and it was far less supportive.
“I don’t think you guys should be parents,” the commenter began.
My heart sank. Though in retrospect, I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting a comment like that.
I titled the blog “This Queer Familia,” after all. We are two women in a bilingual, cross-cultural relationship who are trying to start a family. This is not exactly non-controversial. And yet sometimes you get so wrapped up in the excitement of what is happening to you, this thrill of watching your partner’s belly grow and thinking about the child you will raise together, that you forget how many people hate you.
“Children are not an extension of your sexual identity statement,” the reader continues in her comment. “Children are real people and, in my view, they need a gender balanced household with a mother and a father. Not two moms or two dads. That you choose to twist nature around to justify your freedoms I think is an ethical problem. You’ve got individual rights as anyone else does, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to belong to categories you really don’t belong to.”
I finished reading the rest of the comment aloud and turned to look at Marta, who had been listening in silence.
“We’ll I guess were even, cause I don’t think she should be a parent either,” she quipped. “She doesn’t like lesbians moms and I don’t like hateful ones.”
It’s moments like this that I remember why I love Marta so much.
Her point was purposefully exaggerated, of course. It’s not that hateful people shouldn’t parent. Because we’re all a little hateful sometimes. It’s that other people shouldn’t go around saying who should or shouldn’t raise a child. And other people don’t get to say which women “belong” to the catergory of mother and which women don’t.
The nice thing about having your own blog, though, is that you can censor hateful messages if you want. I didn’t have to publish that woman’s vitriolic comments and I’m not going to. But I also don’t want to ignore them. I think they deserve to be read, if only to remind others, as I was reminded, of the virulence of hatred that continues to exist in our society.
Also because I have to admit that the commenter’s words gave me pause. For a moment, I found myself worrying that maybe we shouldn’t be having a baby. Though not because we won’t be loving parents and good role models. But because I know our family, and therefore this little kumquat we’re hoping to bring into the world, will always be prey to this kind of hatred.
And I hate to think about that.