This morning we ran a personal essay from a woman describing what was, for her, a difficult parenting moment. It also brushed up against current politics. The resulting commenting was therefore read not as a personal essay but rather a political argument by most of our commenters; they therefore treated it as such.
At the author’s request, we have removed the essay.
The vitriol that comes with publishing anything with politics on the internet wound up being aimed in part at her daughter and in part in comments which she no doubt took as personal insults against her parenting. These may or may not have been accurate interpretations of the commenters’ intentions. But it’s impossible in this day in age to guarantee that such vitriol not radiate further out into the internet with unknown repercussions, and our author decided to minimize the possibility that the Hounds of the Internet be unleashed upon her kids.
We, of course, respect that decision.
Speaking for myself, I am deeply saddened by the way that events unfolded here. A writer chose our site to offer an essay where she opened herself up honestly, not in an effort to make a political argument but to discuss publicly her own difficulties in always doing what is right. All of the editors who read the essay before we published it thought it was a beautiful and vulnerable piece, and we were all proud to have been the site that published it. I regret that the response was as it was and on behalf of the Ordinary Times community, I apologize to the author for the response she received.
Comments for this post will remain closed, and out of respect for our author, I request that if the matter is discussed, even indirectly, in other fora, the author’s name and specifics of her story not be referenced in any readily-identifiable manner.