After sitting on this for most of the weekend, I have finally decided it was time to say something. I am not often a quiet person when it comes to an injustice, or even something I don’t agree with. I tend to be pretty opinionated but I didn’t want my outrage over the events of this weekend to fuel a post without thinking about it. So I sat on it. I had many many conversions with a friend over my outrage, and I finally decided this morning I couldn’t keep quite any longer and asked her what she thought. Her advice was, “…it’s a blog, and you have the right.” And really she is right. I do have the right to express my thoughts on the “incident.” So here goes.
Over the weekend I read the post by Kathleen Hale, a YA Author who also writes for The Guardian. In this post, she goes on to describe happened when she got a bad review from a blogger. First, let me say that the review was one person’s opinion and from what I know, it was never a personal attack on Kathleen. One thing eventually led to another and Kathleen was unable to let it go. She started to search for the blogger on all of her social media sites: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. She eventually found the reviewer’s address under false pretenses. She was going to send books for review and giveaways; it sounded like it was fairly easy for her to obtain this information (which is another issue all together). Once she had the address, she called a few people to discuss the possibility of confronting this blogger. This is where I wonder why on earth the people she contacted about this didn’t tell her how ridiculous and creepy the idea sounded.
Once she had the blogger’s address, she decided to rent a car and drive to said blogger’s home. When she was unable to get an answer at the house, she then called the blogger at WORK, more than once. The first time she pretended to be getting census information. Now she states that it was because she wanted to have a conversation with the blogger. She then became more interested in finding her because she thought she was being ‘catfished.’ This is where my opinion on the whole thing comes in.
I am a blogger; I review books. However, it is not my job. Do I blog under a pseudonym? I do. I think many people in the literary do. I do it because I need to protect my children, my family. Although I am a generally trusting person, the world has proven time and time again that there is so much not to trust. My 9-year-old daughter helps me with reviews on this site, because she is an avid reader. My number one interest is to protect them. There are a few people who know my real name and have seen my family in this community, but only after gaining my trust. Why? Just because you are a blogger or an author or a person who is in the public eye for whatever reason does NOT mean people are entitled to any more information than you want to share.
I think what really hit me the hardest, and what I discussed at length with my friend, was that the world seems to be okay with Kathleen doing this. It really upsets me, because I honestly do not care what a person has done to you. Taking to stalking someone is a line that never needs to be crossed. I then read some of the comments on the article, despite the voice in the back of my head screaming, “Don’t read the comments!!!! NEVER read the comments.” I still went ahead and read them and my disappointment in the world was reaffirmed.
Why are people supporting this author? In what world has stalking become an okay thing to do? Why are people praising her for “going after” another human being? Also … this isn’t the first time Kathleen has posted something that seemed not quite right. Amazingly she still has a publisher? I have not read her books so I won’t speak to their quality. However, I find it disheartening that others I know who can truly write and work their butts off go unnoticed by anyone in the publishing industry, while someone who stalks people and writes public posts about it gets a deal. Why? Maybe it is because she knows the right people or happens to be engaged to the son of someone in publishing?
I really think that we need to look at who and what we are supporting. I am personally tired of people supporting something such as this but yet others who speak up about things such as abuse, rape, even depression get knocked down. This is insane, and it needs to stop, and it needs to stop NOW.