“Don’t tell me how to talk! The way I talk is who I am.”
A 12-year-old boy told me this once when I’d gently corrected his grammar. Twelve-year-old boys can be like that. But I was perfectly in line with that correction: I was his teacher.
As we get further into a time of “No one is wrong; all opinions are right,” our collective voice sounds more than a bit like that boy. “Ignore the haterz” is an all-too familiar mantra when we don’t wish to entertain that there might be something to learn.
I chose this blog’s title four years ago because of the obvious play on the two nearly-homophonic terms, combined with my love for Tudor history and my background as an educator. My favorite saying is “You learn something new every day” and I believe that. I thought it would be fun and fulfilling to pass on any knowledge I had to others, while also giving them the additional material to form further opinions on their own. After all, teaching is not pouring information into the ear of another, but facilitating that exchange of information and the development of new ideas. This is something I have tried to do in the Tudor Tutor’s various outlets as well.
Truth be told, I only began a blog because I planned on publishing a small primer on the dynasty and an online presence was highly suggested as part of a “platform.” In time, I decided it was more fun to keep up the platform for its own sake than for the sake of marketing, which can feel a bit forced. I enjoyed (and still do!) the interaction on my Facebook page, and Twitter/Pinterest accounts. I’m publishing that small primer on my own this summer, but honestly? My favorite part of this whole endeavor has been interacting with the online Tudor community.
That being said, while my shtick is the whole “cheeky” thing, I still take seriously the responsibility to include the debatable with the memes. I will absolutely put lots of different information out there to help people develop or strengthen a viewpoint, and sometimes that means sharing related news articles and other information. Lately, that’s been “The White Queen”: Links to episodes, news stories regarding [in]accuracy, and so on. Because it was written by an author whom some consider to be a history goddess and others consider a literary Lucifer, the drama level on this topic has ratcheted up to eleven.
To quote directly from my Facebook page as well as other history Facebook pages, challenging the historical accuracy of “The White Queen,” “The Tudors,” and any other dramatic representation of the real people and events depicted in historical fiction is:
- “pedantic nonsense”
- “too picky”
- “get over it!”
- “get a life”
- “who cares??”
- “not a bloody documentary FFS“
and a rather long-winded one but too venomous to leave out, misused apostrophe and all…
- “The only people who are annoyed are those so called history buff’s who no longer can impress us with their knowledge of long ago and resort to slagging off ‘inaccuracies’ in order to try to keep their snobbish intellectual noses in the air.”
I’ve mentioned more than a few times on my blog and social media outlets that it’s the responsibility of the reader/viewer to distinguish between fact and fiction. Some will say that historical fiction made them want to find out the real story, so they sought out the facts. That’s awesome. Others will insist until their faces turn blue that Anne Boleyn really did sleep with her brother because they read it in a book and that writer “is an actual historian, committed to accuracy.” Not so awesome.
What’s my point with this post? First, to clarify that I am A-OK with disagreement on my social media outlets as long as it’s done intelligently and respectfully. Otherwise I’ll be forced to whip out my “delete post” wand. (In recent weeks, I’ve had to whip out my “ban user” wand a few times as well, but that was for profane and abusive language.) Secondly, to encourage you to consider the source when forming opinions about historical people and happenings. And thirdly, to explain that I’m going to put different information out there in different ways, and our respectful discussion of that is what helps us all learn (me included, of course).
Because “ignoring the haterz” doesn’t foster anything besides ignorance. But otherwise, we can learn something new every day.