Blogging story of the day: Big-time blogger goes to third-world country, writes post about what she saw, and others criticize her for being a wealthy white woman doing “poverty tourism.”
But this blogger is “doing good!” say her defenders.
I’ve now read ten posts on this topic, all focusing on how wrong it was for others to mock a person doing so much good. In two days, the personal blogging community went from caring only about “monetizing their blog” to the importance of “doing good.”
In my opinion, you are getting the argument wrong. The “doing good” is a red herring. It has nothing to do with anything. I’m not friends with any of the parties involved, so there is no one I want to defend.
I’m just interested in storytelling.
I believe writers should be able to tell their stories without others mocking them. A person has the freedom to go to a Third World country and write about his or her experience.
If I went on this trip, I might talk about my allergies, the smog, and how the cab driver ripped me off. I might even HATE visiting this chaotic country, and reveal I spent the entire week in my hotel room drinking mojitos And you know something? — you still don’t have any right to mock me. It’s my story, even it’s about a weekend in a upscale hotel in a Third World country. Not an editorial on how you should live your life.
Of course, a person also has the right to criticize. But only the issue, not the story. The story is above the issue. That’s what make stories last longer than the issues. Because stories not about “doing good” or being right or following any political or artistic agenda.
They are about life. Write your own stories.