Saturday, February 27, 2010

Freedom and poo flinging

This post is a bit of a wrap up of the week and more social commentary on values, bullying and the right to freedom of expression.

I'll rewind back to Monday - after teaching RPM (which I knew was going to be hairy after my weekend workload), I had my second cortisone AC injection and then went to have lunch with some ladies from the gym who are Step and RPM regulars. Our morning group ranges from the very young to participants who have retired and I was delighted to receive the invitation. These ladies (who are all somewhere between late 50s and 60s) are a true inspiration to me. We shared stories around the table about our upbringing and education. One of my RPMers who is in her 60s and a retired Social Worker broke through the barrier that existed at the time that dictated men were those who received an education at university. She had to fight tooth and nail and ended up doing two degrees and her Masters and worked for most of her life, even with children - no childcare back then! Others were fluent in more than one language and well travelled. They all spoke about how their upbringing had shaped them - I could relate to Mrs S (Social Worker) - my mother fought tooth and nail to be able to study her Senior Certificate. Then she did her degree and part of her Masters by correspondence as she raised us all. In my family, the concept of a good education has been extremely important. From a young age, critical thinking and healthy debate has been encouraged and still goes on to this day. Both of my parents relish debates, Scrabble and anything study related. Back in the day, my mother and I would wait outside Newspaper House at an obscene hour waiting for our exam results to be published in the newspaper and wanting to get first dibs on our scores.

It's little wonder then that I love nothing better than a good debate - not a personal slanging match but a few good old fashioned rounds of "pro" and "con", "for" and "against". My mother used to rue the fact that she loved a debate because she didn't feel like it made her very popular - that she'd try and hold it in when she saw things that she considered to be "bull" and then she'd have to let it all out - her values eventually overrode the need to be liked.

I must admit to feeling the same way - if things rub up against my values, I have this inexplicable want to share my perspective! Of course, I'm not always right - being proven incorrect is a learning opportunity but I wish that more people focused on the subject of debate rather than getting personal.

Which leads me to my not-so-anonymous bully poster who, despite repeated attempts, isn't going to get too far with this little black duck - think the time has come to give it up and get on with your own stuff.

James Cook University has an excellent definition of bullying:


Definition of Bullying

Bullying constitutes unsolicited, offensive treatment through:

  • vindictive;

  • cruel;

  • malicious, or

  • humiliating

attempts to undermine an individual or group. These persistently negative attacks on personal and professional performance are typically unpredictable, irrational and often unseen. Bullying normally consists of repeated behaviour.

Bullying is NOT - constructive analysis or critical evaluation of a product, person or group.

Bullying is NOT to be confused with freedom of expression - that is the right of the individual to be able to express an opinion or view about anything.

We all have the right to freedom of expression - this is the cornerstone on which democracy is built. We have the right to read what we want to read and say what we need to say as long as we are not impinging on anyone's basic human rights.

I think it is extremely important to delineate between constructive criticism, critical evaluation and bullying behaviour. I think it's also very important to understand that we make the choice to read a blog. It's also important to realize that not everyone is the same as you or me and that not everyone will agree with what you or I write - which is more than fair.

My true passions lie in making reliable fitness and health information accessible for anyone that wants to make positive changes in their life, whether that is doing a Figure Comp, going for a swim, doing RPM or taking a walk with your baby in the pram. I am lucky that I have the background to do just that. I have also shared some of my personal journey in the hope that what I write just might help someone else. I will "fling poo" at concepts I believe are scams in the hope of helping someone make an informed decision. I now need to find a special "poo flinger" bumper sticker.

AT the end of the day, getting healthier and fitter should be fun (and not too expensive). Don't get me wrong, I'd love a 10K bike, but me and mine are doin' fine, just like peas and carrots. Have fun, life is short!


Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I don't understand about all of this. If people don't like what you have written they could:
a) Respond to what you have written and state why they have had a certain reaction/aversion to it.
b) Stop reading YOUR blog.

It's not rocket science!

When I read your previous post all I "heard" was someone questioning the health claims made about Juice Plus. Note: I know NOTHING about this product!

In order to dispute your blog post all anyone has to do is respond and provide evidence that it's claims are true, preferably without dropping the "C-bomb" all over the place.

For the record Liz I think you are a stunningly natural looking woman with a great smile, fantastic teeth and glowing skin :)
Even more importantly you are real and interesting and endearingly human xxx

Kerry said...

Hey Liz,

I'm with you sister. Such spite and so unnecessary from this woman! I have never seen anything like it.

Liz, we love you and the haters can take a hike and read something else if it offends them so!

Frankie said...

I was just thinking that same thing..when I was writing my comment on your previous post....about good old fashioned debate and whatever the fuck happened to it.

Lisa said...

...not to mention a total lack of class.

Gosh, I am away being busy for another 2 weeks and you are causing more grief on the interweb :-)

I have really no opionion to share on the topic being debated, but I am so sorry to see such forceful energy wasted on the negative. Life is short, there are so few inspirational people that contribute positively to our world.


LizN said...

Hey girls,

Exactly - what did happen to good old fashioned debate.

I agree life is too short to be negative and that we can choose to filter what we want to hear - positive, negative or otherwise.

Hugs to all,
Liz N

Michelle said...

I totally agree with all the above comments. As a consumer on a tight budget I want to hear the pros and cons before I part with my hard-earned money. It's such a shame that something that could have been a healthy, adult debate turned into name-calling. You have handled the situation incredibly well, but I expect no less from the intelligent and gorgeous woman you are.

LizN said...

Yes, it's hard enough trying to pay a mortgage and feed a family - isn't it :)
Good luck for the beginning of the challenge.

Anonymous said...

Well said.
I read the prev. comments, thanks for sticking up for me Liz and Frankie!!
Flea X

Anonymous said...

Well said.
I read the prev. comments, thanks for sticking up for me Liz and Frankie!!
Flea X

BothEyesShut said...

Dear Liz,

I've only just discovered your writing here and I'm glad to have stopped by.

I, myself, am also very interested in the personal investment many modern people place in their opinions, arguments, and points of view, and I do wonder where one can find an objective forum for debate or conversation where participants do not want to kill or die for their own idea.

As a matter of fact, I wrote an entire piece on it called, "True, False, Fuschia!" in which I mirror your feelings on the topic in an eerily similar vein.

Now, here's the really scary bit, though. I write social commentary about Southern Californians and the Los Angeles way of life. Unless I'm mistaken, you're in Australia, yes? If that's so, then we have a somewhat global endemic in the English-speaking world, and I hate that prospect.

As a pseudo-intellectual North American, I do what most of my ilk do, which is wistfully daydream of pubs and taverns in places like Ireland, England, Australia, and other English-speaking countries culturally different from the U.S.A., fantasize that people recite Tennyson and the pub listens attentively before breaking into applause, that people sing shanties in chorus, or more realistically, that people have educated, engaging conversation about issues without mentioning the names of celebrities.

I know I've been romanticizing places across the Pacific and Atlantic, but your piece here is so close to my own that I'm almost aghast with the similarities in our arguments. I mean, if I can't get a decent philosophical beer talk in Brisbane, where am I to go?

Anyhow, a fine place you've got here, Ms. Liz. I intend to return regularly. Hope things there are sunny and amusing!

Love and Rockets,


LizN said...

Hi BothEyes,
Thanks for dropping by - I'm glad to see that my perspective and concern about this sort of stuff is Universal.

Looking forward to checking out your blog!
Liz N