I know, I know, those are just words on a screen, but when you get flamed on an e-group, you feel burned.
Let me offer a little preamble before I go off on my rant. Being married to John, like anything in life, is both a blessing and a curse.
The problem is that if I go under the "Lillee" screen name, then inevitably, there I am on a "civilian" list and someone will write
"Are you related to that Lord Egan guy?" "Are you a Satanist too?" etc etc.. Sometimes I just want to be a "normal" (whatever that is)
person. Now I realize when I write this I will blow my cover, but alas, I want to share with others my latest experiences.
First off, John bought me a Brussels Griffon whom I adore and am training to be a task-related service dog. Now, yes, I do not know of another
person who has ever used this breed. but I find him very bright and attentive and as long as I dont need mobility help, as Bear retires, things may
work out great. This led me to do two things I had never done before:
1) Join Brussels Griffon breeders and owners e-groups
2) Join Service Dog owners and trainers e-groups.
The Brussels people are phenomenal - I can honestly say I have never been on more flame-free groups in my life. These people seem to read what
you write, care about you and your dog and it is clear of the "Soccer Mom Mentality" of my dog is smarter than your dog.
I absolutely love these people. While most are Southern and Christian, they are very cool about diversity and do not make comments that would make one
uncomfortable. I can tell you their posts get me smiling on the worst of days.
But, as one well-meaning friend said (I am not sure that this person is really a friend after my experience (*grin*)) I needed to get in touch with the SD
community. Bear will be turning 11 on September 1 (that is the approximate birthday we chose for her day) and it is time to let her retire from a lot of
her duties. She does not want to retire, but her frequent need to rest on walks is telling me that she needs to be a happy retiree that goes only on
Off I went to gladly join a variety of e-groups. Some of the people have been phenomenal, extremely helpful with answering my questions as I try to
understand this community. However, there are four groups of posters that scare me:
1) I wanna service dog cause it will make me happy posters who are fishing for information as to how to make their pet a service dog
2) I am more disabled than you are (a very scary thing to read)
3) I know everything and you dont
4) the cliques where we are victims and you are not!
Yes, can you imagine it! I thought I lleft high school a couple decades ago. (well okay three actually)
Now here was the horrific sin that I committed on one list.
I asked a poster to not use the word WITCH in a derogatory manner. How rude of me!
The poster had stated that she was a WITCH when she did not get her meds in time.
I simply made the unforgiveable error of asking her not to use that word.
Here were the responses I received:
1) I took her statement out of context. Okay so let me get this straight what part of "jew you down" is out of context? It is rude and a putdown
that should be unacceptable.
2) It was better than swearing and using the word "bitch" HUH???
3) A self-proclaimed Wiccan on the list was one of the most vocal to not defend me and told me I could not longer defend myself (and unsubbed me before I could do it)
First off - well she was not a male witch (as in Wicca), she claimed to be a Wiccan - and here is the problem in almost half a century- I rarely have people come up to me and say they are Wiccan
They willl say - I am Gardnerian, or Alexandrian, or eclectic or Correllian. She then said that being a Witch and Wiccan were similar (um okay)
I was then accused of upsetting people on the list. Why? Because I defended myself and stated clearly that I should not have to have a religious slur in my mailbox.
Now, I may have forgotten to mention that the person who made the mistake signs everything with God Bless and other Christian commentaries.I even said to the Wiccan
if this is a Christian list, just let me know, I dont have a problem with that. She slammed me in a private email saying that it was NOT a Christian list
(I have not had so many "God blessings" since I was in the North End - think Little Italy and the sweet grammas pinching your cheeks)
She is free to do that, yet when I wanted to simply state that I am not comfortable with people slamming Witches through language issues, I was unceremoniously
Yes, I am hurt. I am also hurt that a "Wiccan" would allow people to compare her religion to Bitches (female dogs - after all remember this was a service dog list!)
When I tried to explain it to her offlist, she told me that she did not know what I had going on in my life (as if I had an attitude) but it was best I go.
So gladly I go.
However, I ask the rest of you, please speak up when our faith is marginalized. Of course, watch out for your own who will criticize you for standing up for your faith.
Religious tolerance and diversity is the way to a balanced lifestyle, a balanced community, and maybe someday a peaceful world.
Note that not all service dog lists are like this - some are bit more belligerent than others - in fact, surprisingly far more snarky than pagan or Satanists groups that I am on.
I don't think it is wrong to ask to be able to feel comfortable on a list. Now keep in mind, I used another name to sign my posts - imagine if I had identified myself.
Even the law lists that I am on, that can get admittedly heated, rarely fall into the snarky mode, and I have let people know of my beliefs.
I admit I shed a few tears over this - I have never since I have been on the internet been dumped for a list. Geez, couldn't I have at least broken TOS or something - I am dumped
for defending my beliefs? Then I thought - why the heck do I bother trying to teach empowerment and self-pride when the groups that need it most allow
the victims to be canonized and if anyone has the self-esteem to speak up for himself, we are dumped.
Then I remembered one of my Christian friends, well he is not Christian, but his name is, once said to me that he had little respect for the disabled who did not actively work
on their health and their self-esteem. He pointed out that many people had disabilities or challenges, and are able to work through them and be successful.
And so it goes - there are people out there who are proud of the accomplishments tand contributions that disabled people can make. Funny, not one person congratulated me on that list for completing One L, But then I did not start law school because I wanted to be censored due to my beliefs.
In Upstate NY with the husband, the Brussels and the bear, oh my!