Do you follow Paw My Gosh on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or Tumblr or whatever the hell other place there is for following things? Paw My Gosh is one of those websites with cute dog pictures and stories and videos about darling animals and the wonderful things they do. Up until last week, I followed Paw My Gosh on Facebook so I could enjoy pictures of puppies and bunnies. Unfortunately, Paw My Gosh posted something which I found absolutely despicable and I had to unfollow them.
The title of the offending post, which you can see here, read: “A Hero and a Coward”. The story took place in rural Argentina. A 14-year-old girl (that is all the detail given regarding the girl, she is 14) abandoned her newborn baby. A dog, who had a litter of her own, dragged the baby back into her little hideout, where the baby was eventually found by someone who heard his crying. The dog is the hero. The 14-year-old girl is the coward.
No back story. The 14-year-old child in the Argentinian countryside is a coward.
Was she raped?
Is she developmentally disabled?
Where are her parents? Where are any adults?
No story, she’s just a coward.
I was disgusted that Paw My Gosh called a child in this situation a “coward” and I posted as much in the comments. I also said I was unfollowing them because of it. I know, like they care but still, it’s a matter of principle.
I unfollowed Paw My Gosh, however I continued to receive notifications of responses to my comment. It soon became clear that people thought I was calling the girl a coward, which I would NEVER do. You may ask, “Maggie, why would they think you were calling the girl a coward?” I’ll tell you why, because Paw My Gosh changed the title to the post after I, and many others, wrote that we were appalled at the use of the word “coward” to describe a 14-year-old giving birth out in the countryside in Argentina and abandoning the baby. (I’m not saying that is a good thing to do, but clearly there is more to the story.) Anyway, people were confused because they couldn’t see the original title “A Hero and a Coward” so they attributed the name calling to me.
I was sickened by the number of comments cheering the dog for being so “humane” and condemning the 14-year-old girl. The dog acted on instinct, that’s what dogs do. I’m a big fan of dogs. I have rescue dogs (and cats). You know what I love more than dogs? Children. Human children. Commenters were flipping out about who was caring for the dog, what about the dog, help the dog!!! What about the child who had a baby? Is anyone concerned about what the hell is going on there? Is anyone trying to help that kid who is clearly in desperate need of assistance and as I mentioned, is a human being? I don’t know the answer to that because Paw My Gosh did not see fit to provide any information other than a 14-year-old Coward abandoned her baby.
I also noticed that a post which had had more than 100 comments, suddenly had about half that many. Comments are missing, including my initial comment which ended with Unfollow.
Paw My Gosh labeled a child in distress a “coward”. Then, when there was justifiable push back from their audience, they removed the word and deleted all the critical comments.
Paw My Gosh, please explain this. Please clarify who is the COWARD? The frightened 14-year-old child, living in a Catholic, 2nd world country (at best), who abandoned her baby? Or your staff who didn’t even have the balls to apologize but instead quietly took down the offensive word and deleted the comments calling them out for an egregious lack of human compassion? We have no idea why the girl did what she did or that she even realized the consequences of her actions. For God’s sake, she gave birth to a baby alone outside!
As has been seen on this blog, I have had to take the backlash for what I have written. I didn’t go back and edit the contents of the original post. I didn’t delete comments critical of me and my writing. I owned it and that isn’t always easy. It’s not as hard as being a child, alone in a field giving birth and abandoning the baby but it’s mildly unpleasant.
I wouldn’t be as furious as I am, if Paw My Gosh had just taken the heat and left the post and the comments alone. But they didn’t.
So Paw My Gosh, why don’t you grow a pair and own what you wrote?