Okay, enough's enough. For real. I think the Internet it great. I really do. It has done so much to open up our world and allow us to see and experience things that we'd never have the opportunity to otherwise. We can connect with people across the country or across the planet. You can fall in love with someone you'd never even have the chance to meet. You can see what it really and truly means to live in another place. You can see how different people are from region to region and, more importantly, how similar we are. You can keep in touch with family far away wth the click of a mouse or the touch of a screen. And you can now even help people in your neighborhood or in a place you've never even heard of -- how cool is that?!
You know what else you can do, though?
You can make someone else feel like complete and utter shit just for the fucking fun of it.
Let's talk for real right now.
What the hell, people?
Why has shaming become the new Internet pastime? Now, I realize that the Internet is not a bar. Everyone is on it. And certainly, like every middle school and high school across the planet, where 12 - 17 year olds go, so does fucking little bitch attitudes and an atmosphere ripe with hormones and bullying. But that's not who I'm talking to here. Because, for the most part, we were all little shits when we were that age. We all thought that we knew everything, were smarter than everyone and any teeny tiny difference we saw in the people around use we considered suspect. I'm talking to the full fledged adults that are supposed to be showing these teenage hemorrhoids how to behave instead of joining in on their inexcusable and horrifying behavior.
Whether it's fat shaming or slut shaming or any other kind of shaming that doesn't yet have its own catchy moniker (like skinny shaming cause that's a for real problem, too)-- it's seriously unacceptable and anyone that partakes in this kind of adolescent and pathetic behavior needs to take a good, long, hard look in the mirror and figure out what in the fuck is wrong with them.
How is it that so many of us never really mature beyond the high school level? Why is it that a very good portion of the population realizes as they age that this type of behavior is both a neon sign that its owners feel gravely lacking in some way and truly is, at its core, just fundamentally wrong while the rest of the world has decided that they can basically treat anyone however the fuck they want to? How is it that this kind of dichotomy exists?
What is it about certain people that makes them think that they are allowed to act any way that they please? Why do they feel that it's their job to judge others and proclaim their assessment for all to hear? How is it that these people think that their words of derision and condescension are a fucking public service?
Facebook has become a hotbed for horrible shaming of all kinds. Last week, I actually read one woman write in a comment about the recent Lane Bryant commercial that both NBC and ABC refused to air due to decency laws that the female in the spot that was pictured breastfeeding was a whore. Seriously, she called a breastfeeding woman a whore.
What in the ever-loving fuck is wrong with someone like that?
Let's just throw away the fact that, basically, at the beginning of "civilized" society men decided that a woman's body was only for their pleasure and arousal so that while they could trounce around without a shirt on whenever they pleased (as long as they weren't entering a food-selling establishment in which case you better have shoes on too) while we women had to cover up our breasts, particularly the old nipplage. Like I said, let's just throw that shit away. That part of the double standard isn't even going to enter into my argument here. If you're going to take exception to a woman who is showing more of her body than you're used to why pick on the woman using her breasts for the actual reason that they were created? She's fucking feeding a goddamn child. There is absolutely nothing sexual going on with what she's doing in the slightest and yet this Confucius-like pronouncer calls her the dirtiest word you can call a person.
I'd like to turn this around on the woman who made the comment and say, if you see a woman breastfeeding her child and immediately find the best description to be one of a sexual and unseemly nature then, lady, you're the person that has something wrong with them. Honestly, that comment was deplorable.
When Kim Kardashian posted her nude selfie, the Internet blew up with people calling her a slut. Fuck, I blogged about it. And when a Melbourne street artist showed support and painted a mural of said selfie, it was defaced with the word "slut" eight fucking hours later.
Seriously, people. Do we not have more things that we can use to insult Kim Kardashian? She does nothing. She's the personification of mouth-breathing. Do we really need to call her a slut? We didn't call Ray J a slut and he was in that goddamn video wth her. Granted, we don't call Ray J much of anything anymore, but that's beside the point.
And it's not just the women of the world who face shaming (not that that would make it okay). Just ask Wentworth Miller who recently spoke out against the fat shaming he faced after putting on weight in the wake of his depression. And kudos to him for coming forward and bravely talking about his struggles. I happen to know, because of working at a place he frequented in Los Angeles (which I won't give any more clues to for privacy reasons -- it's not juicy or exciting just a place most of us all go as humans) that he's a very quiet and private person. Some might say shy. And this man, who never treated me or any of my coworkers with anything other than respect and kindness, now feels the need to come forward and share a piece of himself that he probably isn't totally comfortable sharing just so that other people going through the same thing will hopefully feel a little bit better about themselves. And all just because The LAD Bible forgot what actual reporting was and got it confusing with bullying. Now, I will say that they (The LAD Bible) have since apologized with an open letter to Mr. Miller on their Facebook page and addressed the topic of mental health. Hopefully, we'll see in their future actions that they really mean the apology they published. I certainly hope so. But, let's face it, the damage is already done. Shaming never just affects one person. It affects all those who witness the shaming, as well. And as great as an apology is (and truly, apologizing takes guts) I urge anyone reading this to consider your actions first, not second.
Now, I'm in no way saying that we shouldn't rally around wrongdoing or give our opinions about things in the public eye or things that affect us. It's the way we do it. It's the language we use and the vehemence behind our words. It's who we say it to. And it's WHY we say it.
Are you asking your relative or friend to take more care with their health because you love them and want them to be with you as long as possible or are you yelling at a stranger on the street or posting a "funny" comic on the Internet, as one of my former co-workers recently did? Because those are two very different situations. The first is a show of concern for someone we have information about and have a real relationship with and the second is a fucking little prick thinking his piece of shit 20-year old ass is a wizen old man who has the right to judge others and make a joke out of something that millions of people struggle with.
See the difference you Tokyo Drift-loving motherfucker?
Enough is enough. It's time for shaming to be something that more than just mothers and teachers make sure the people around them aren't doing. It's time for those of us who know better to become united and vocal about the "adult" bullies who seem to have Peter Panned in the worst possible way. And it's time to stop treating people's feelings like weaknesses instead of the significant influence they actually are.