Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Fact vs. Opinion

As a high school English teacher, I used to do a lesson every year on fact versus opinion. It seems it's time for a refresher course.

Let's all try this together. Choose whether each statement is fact or opinion:

1. Cheeseburgers are better than hamburgers.

2. Boys are dirty and messy.

Ok, those were test questions. Now onto something a little harder:

3. Breastfeeding in public is OK as long as mom is covered.

4. A circumcised penis is cleaner and safer.

5. Homeschool kids lack social skills.

6. Spanking is not the same as hitting.

7. Cosleeping is dangerous.

8. Stay-at-home moms prioritize their children higher than work-away-from-home moms.

9. Cloth diapering is too hard.

10. Crying it out prepares kids for the real world.

Here's a hint: 1-10 are all opinion. If you got any wrong, please reevaluate. If you got them all right, please move on to the next section.

11. Breastmilk offers nutrients not available or able to be replicated in formula.

12. Circumcision has lifelong negative effects.

13. Vaccines contain neurotoxins.

14. The chance of having a c-section is increased with use of an epidural.

Answers:

11. Fact

12. Fact

13. Fact

14. Fact

When I post about those things, I'm not posting my opinion, I am posting fact. I understand that calling them "opinion" allows some to dismiss the facts and continue to bury their heads, but really that's not helping anyone - especially their babes. I'm pretty good about distinguishing between my opinion posts and my factual posts. I'm not going to mince words or dance around the truth in order to ensure someone doesn't feel uncomfortable or judged. (Note: I'm not judging when I post. I'm just informing. Please see my previous post on the topic.) Posts that present facts contradictory to what you believe are not opinion simply because you don't want to be proven wrong.

Gentle is my chosen path to activism. Gentle presentation of the facts, that is. This does not mean I will gently allow those with misinformed opinions to continue to hold them without attempting to inform them as best I can. Doing so might be gentle to the misinformed, but harmful and potentially fatal to their babes. I won't do it. Protecting your ego is far less important to me than protecting your and every other babe. For those babes, I continue to post facts, frightening and sad though they may be.

2 comments:

  1. Great post! I do post my opinion on my blog, but I make it very clear that that is precisely what it is...and I also explain *why* I have those opinions. I'm very aware that there are many areas in life where we really don't have the facts, even if we think we do. Learning to listen to our hearts is so important in navigating that confusion, in my opinion ;) and that's the emphasis of my blog.

    I think it's just amazing, though, to be reading parenting blogs that make that distinction clear, like you do. Not many did when my first children were babies, but the blogosphere is changing, and it's delightful to see!

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  2. One of the facts in your blog post is 'vaccines contain neurotoxins'. From other posts you've made, I infer that this is an argument against vaccination.
    It's also a fact that breastmilk contains neurotoxin, yet you don't oppose breastfeeding.

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