My older brother is a doctor. I am not. The extent of medical advice that I give out generally sounds like, "Nyquil is the bomb. Heating pads are miraculous inventions. Migraines were created by the devil. Drink more water." See what I did there? I shared my experience and told you what worked for me, you are free to draw your own conclusions.
Similarly, do I not always (always, always) tell people that I'm not a relationship expert? I can only give my opinion based on the
crazy-azz life I've lived and the out-of-pocket things I've seen and wish you the best of luck. You'll rarely see me give marital advice. Know why? Multiple engagements do not a marriage make. I don't know from married life, I've played at it, been near it, come close and backed away. All I can do is offer a witty uneducated opinion and call in Dr. Jayme.
I mean, I have seen the reactions when non-African Americans attempt to speak to "the Black experience" - it's not pretty. Does this mean that white folks should never write about black folks? Of course not. But it means that the writer should pen either a) opinion & commentary b) researched facts from reputable sources c) fiction or d) factual news reports. Any attempt to delve into an experience that is not only foreign but complex should be considered long and hard.
Similarly, there are some "female" topics that men should approach with all due caution and reverence. Yes, reverence. Pregnancy and all menstrual issues to name one or two. Basically all issues surrounding the vijayjay except sex. Men can blog about sex all day and all night as long as they are willing to accept constructive feedback and performance appraisals.
I was sent the link to an article written by a man about his opinions on rape and responsibility. Not men being raped, women being raped. I had to pump the brakes. Rape is one of those topics that is already ubersensitive and personal. Because of that and a myriad of other reasons, it's not a "winnable" topic. The best you can say is - rape is bad, don't do it. And back gingerly out of the conversation. But when you start tiptoeing around blame and responsibility - the waters get mighty murky especially coming from a male.
I also read an article penned by a European woman about why Native Americans hadn't "pulled themselves up by their bootstraps" by now and reclaimed land that was rightly theirs. I read in stunned disbelief as she delved into revolutionary strategies she believed would make hundreds of years of shiggity magically right itself. I had to stop reading in fear that her next line was telling African Americans to get back on the boat.
These types of articles leave me wondering why a writer chose a particular topic? Was the writer just really passionate about it? Was it the use of a knowingly inflammatory topic for pageviews? Did anyone consider the long-term value add? I'm not taking shots, I'm just curious as the bigger picture.
So I ask, good people, are there just some topics certain folks should leave well enough alone or is it all just open season? Should there be more "this is just my opinion" disclaimers tacked on? Do share your thoughts...