We have hit the press for the second – or is it the third time? Single W has recognised us with a mention in her column in yesterday’s edition of the Advertiser. We quote the bit which refers to us:
I don’t think anonymous bloggers empower people to make positive change. While they may have some pertinent points, why do Wolfvillewatch and some of the Wolfville Ratepayers hide behind their anonymity? As Michael Adams, who has written extensively on civic behaviour, says, “being a citizen means constructive engagement. It’s confronting the other, but not trying to establish a moral superiority that allows you later to blow them away.” [link to source Advertiser, May 6]
She deserves an answer and it isn’t as if we haven’t thought about it … a lot actually, so it isn’t hard to give a response. We have several reasons for our anonymity – such as it is- right to hand and not just because it doesn’t hurt for people to have a little mystery in their lives. “Who is that masked man?” “They seek him here they seek him there…”.
So here they are –
First: The obvious reason that a blogger sometimes stays anonymous is to protect his job, because sometimes his opinion, or whistle blowing, might put it in jeopardy.
Secondly: It is important, don’t you think, that one’s opinions are judged on their own merits and not accepted willy nilly or dismissed willy nilly because of the source. Think about what we say and take it or leave it based on your thoughts about it (we do hope you do think). Would what we say have more weight or less weight because we are lawyers, or male, a former mayor, or wealthy? Would it have less or more weight because we live in an apartment, and we are female, because we are black, or because we have had run in’s with the Town over other issues? Who we “are” should have little to do with the value of our opinions.
Thirdly: Say we lived in Toronto, or Montreal or even, say, Cape Breton and our name was John MacDonald. Which J. MacDonald would that be, and would it matter? What’s in a name?
Lastly and perhaps most important: W is asking the wrong question. The question she should ask is- why is it that in Wolfville concerned citizens feel the need to be anonymous to express their opinions. She should ask the businesswoman who was dismissed by his honour – ” I won’t talk to that woman.“[ Have been corrected by the source. The quote was more like “I have no time for that woman”.] She should ask the man who was told “They don’t pay me enough to talk to you.” Ask the woman from Maple Avenue who got her nerve up to speak up at the recent MPS meeting and was told basically “You don’t know what you are talking about”. Ask the landlords who get harassed by Town officials about little things when they protest Town dictates. Ask the property owners who suspect that when they ask too many questions their assessments go up another notch. Ask the organization member who says ” We don’t want to rock the boat; we’re applying for a grant”. Yes, Wendy, please ask around why people don’t feel comfortable speaking up and going against Town Hall face to face.