Thank you for your response Galen! I really enjoy your writing, and always walk away from your work with a lot to think about, and I appreciate having your perspective on this to reflect on now, too.
Do you think you’re more harsh about your own motivations than you are about other peoples’? I’m assuming that you don’t think it’s crass when other people write about personal trauma when it is topical in the pop discourse, and you probably don’t bristle every time a writer drops in a paypal or ko-fi or patreon link at the end of an essay or twitter thread. I, at least, know that I am harsher about my own desire for compensation & attention than I am about others’ desires (and very genuine needs) for those things, anyway.
At the same time, I do think this is a really complex issue….there is such an incentive to writing about pain, and sharing personal trauma, and I worry that people are sometimes pushed to air more than they feel comfortable airing because of that. It’s been a problem for a long time on a lot of platforms — XoJane had so many irresponsible “It Happened to Me” articles that were not published with the writer’s best interests in mind; lots of young people on Youtube brightly deliver “Story Times” that might come to haunt them later, etc. Trauma and pain and raw emotion gets a ton of clicks, and generates profits from the platforms that host them….and the more I think about it, the more I believe it’s that pressure that is morally problematic, more than an individual’s decision to share vs. not share.