Friday, April 12, 2013

A Woman in her Thirties and Judgment

Awhile back, I read an article about women and judgment.  I think it was somewhere in the Huffington Post, but I was probably sleep-deprived and can't really remember.  The gist of the article was that women are horrible to each other, and if only we supported each other in our decisions then the world would be a better place.  The comments that followed were resounding yeses.  Stop judging!

I don't know why it got to me, but it did.  I felt like the writer had confused the words 'opinion' and 'judgment'.  In a world where everything is out there-- blogged, tweeted, Instagrammed-- we are bound to be met with people forming opinions about who we are.

Isn't that okay?

Case in point:  Childhood vaccines.  I have a very strong opinion about these.  Not in a but-you-do-what's-right-for-your-family kind of way.  In a for-the-love-of-God-do-your-research kind of way. If I come across a blog by a woman who disagrees with me on this subject, I don't read on.  I am judging her.  And guess what?  I'm not sorry about it.

A woman in her thirties should be able to take it.  Someone telling her how they feel, even if it differs from what she thinks.  You don't have to agree.  Duke it out, have a healthy fight about it.  But don't cry 'Judgment!  Judgment!' and use that as an excuse to avoid conflict.

So I wrote this, which was published today on Project Underblog.  I'm hoping that not everyone will agree with it.  I'm guessing that people out there reading it will pass judgment on me.  And I really, really am okay with that.

My only hope is that someday this girl, who will someday be a woman in her thirties herself, will thank me for it.


  1. I loved your piece at Project Underblog. Congrats on being published there!

    This topic fascinates me. I want to think more about it, but my gut reaction is that judgment encompasses more than just a difference of opinion. The childhood vaccine example is a great example of an issue where judgment and opinion frequently intersect, but what about the judgments we have about what people wear or how much they weigh? Or, to take an example where the other person has no choice - what about judgments people have about others' sexual orientation? Wouldn't the world be a better place if we redirected the energy we spent judging others in some of these areas to something more positive?

    1. I completely agree. The line between judgment and opinion is blurry. Judgment has an unkind connotation, and (as someone pointed out on Project Underblog) kindness should be the goal. But until that happens, we have to accept that opinion and judgment are everywhere. We can't control what people think of us, but we can control how we react to it. My fear is that we are so sensitive to the word 'judgment' that we don't allow ourselves to consider a different point of view. Better yet, allow people their opinions (indeed, judgments) without automatically closing ourselves off to healthy discussion.

    2. Well, THAT I can certain get behind. And your post was a great reminder for me - despite my profession, and despite having long ago stopped being a woman in her thirties, I think I still could be more comfortable with people judging me than I am.

  2. I love it. It made me question how much I actually do judge others-- or even when I'm not judging them, if they feel judged by my words or actions. Something I need to be more conscious of. Congratulations being published over there! Well deserved. :)