Saturday, September 10, 2011

Stop the Online Sexism

Smart Bitches put up a post of links and there was a link to a writer talking about the difference in how he's treated in the world and how his sister is. The differences in being allowed, as a man, to be overweight, to be a parent however he chooses, to be himself. And how everything his sister says or does is ridiculed, criticized and mocked.

Then I read other links leading to the above. This woman is a food blogger and story teller and from the sounds of it, she's just a lovely human being. Her post makes me so sad because no matter how much society changes, there will always be someone hating women because they're women.

And yes, oftentimes it's other women too.There's a belief that happy women must be torn down. Women who don't need to be accepted by others because they accept themselves are dangerous women.

I've lived most of my life being ashamed of myself for being fat, ashamed for not being pretty. I hated being who I was because I didn't think I was good enough.

And then I was.

I was and I am good enough. I'm still fat and I'm not pretty. I'm not brilliant and I might not be good at math and .... I like who I am. I know my faults and I'm okay with having them. And I've discovered that the more comfortable I am being me, the less some people liked me.

When I stopped apologizing and crying and hiding myself, some people got pretty pissed. I don't care. I'm still happy with my life.

Online I exist mostly in a female environment. The idea that there are others out there using internet anonymity to tear down strangers and do their online venom spewing, saddens me. However, remaining aware and being vocal about our experiences are the first line in changing those experiences.

This is a conversation that we women need to have. And keep having. We need to let people know when it happens and we have to work together to silence the asshats who would try to silence us. Those who believe its okay to attack women for the sake of attacking women need to be the ones silenced.

This is one old fart who believes in being loud. And proud. And working with other women to keep all areas of our lives free of all violence.

(I hope this rant makes sense since it was a rush of typing fingers. I just got so pissed off reading the above. And I completely believe that if we work together in outing these men and their behavior, we will make a difference.)


  1. Lori, I hear what you're saying and I agree that it's so. I suppose there's always been that cruelty to one extent or another, but I agree with those that believe the internet has let loose a bunch of assholes and given them the opportunity to show not only their asses but their sheer stupidity.

    Chose any topic on the Yahoo mainpage. Or MSN. Or whatever other homepage you use. Then, if you dare, scroll down and look at the remarks.

    Doesn't matter what the article is about. Last one I remember catching my attention was one about Ashton Kutcher's twin brother, Michael, who has cerebral palsy.

    Michael talked about the hazing he had to put up with in school, the bullying and meaness. There was a pic of the two brothers.

    The comments stunned me:

    "How can someone with such huge ears be deaf? Anyone here know the definition of the word "irony"?"

    "In other, just as important news ...... i just farted. I love to fart."

    "oh please, you mean there's more than one of those assholes?!"

    "Did Ashton and his mother mate?"

    "Wait, didn't Kutcher's brother play the monkey Caesar in the new Planet of the Apes? Sure looks like it."

    And so on and so forth.

    The internet seems to give some people permission to hate. Doesn't matter if it's male or female, they hate indiscriminately. Equal opportunity haters.

    They feel safe, because they can hide behind a fake name and spew out whatever venom suits their purpose.

    They are the impression the rest of the world has of Americans, God help us.

    I do know it goes on in face-to-face, real life too, but not near as much and not near as vicious (sp?). Because most of them are cowards.

    And if you want to hear some real hate and vindictiveness, read the remarks in a politcal story.

    I really have issues with the human race and when folks say we're made in God's image, I LMAO!

  2. OMG those comments are just feral!

    I'm sure the eejits who wrote it thought they were being funny but I don't think so. Of course they're all so perfectly sculpted, handsome, smart and gorgeous to look at they must feel they deserve to make such comments.


    I too have read many a page with comments and just shaken my head at how personal and vicious can be, all from the safety of a computer screen several countries away.

    The most vile I've come across so far was the article about Sebastien (Il Divo) and Renee being engaged - well, didn't that just open the flood gates to all the vile, disgusting and totally derogatory remarks! And all from women who claim to be fans.

    Oh yes, on the 'Official Forum' they are just sunshine and light, but on a site elsewhere and under the guise of fake names or 'anon', they let loose. I have never been so ashamed to be associated with such people. It's one of the reasons I stopped going to the OF.

    Standing up to them and telling them they're in the wrong only turns the hate to you and then it's on, escalating to the point of the utmost ridiculousness.

    It's easy enough to say scroll past, ignore, mute etc but that stuff is forever out there in teh www and no amount of apologies can take it back.

    Lori, I know what you mean about not feeling good enough etc. Unlike you however, I find it hard to be happy with me most days, although I am trying.

    Maybe that's it - if more of 'us' stood up to more of 'them', feeling better about ourselves and not letting them win, it would help put a stop to it. Or is that just a pipe dream?

    For my part, I've learnt to keep my mouth shut, or avoid places that make me feel bad. It's hard and I'm missing out on things I once loved but it's better than getting in to a free for all that does nothing but help spread the hate and bad karma.

    As they say, if you don't have anything nice to say, then say nothing. It's not easy for someone as loquacious as me but I'm learning, and trying to find a way to channel it. Maybe I should start writing again - fiction is good for the soul.


    ps - I love both of your '27 yr old, svelte and gorgeous' selves. In a non-L way of course.


  3. PPS - sorry, I think I got away from the topic. What can I say, it's early morning and I've yet to have coffee lol.


  4. Pettiness and cruelty are everywhere. I used to think men were more phlematic, that women had the wicked tongues, but the internet proved that with anomity, the floodgates open wide with both sexes.

    Lori, I've never seen you as you describe yourself. Perhaps that's because we met online and never knew what the other looked like until lately. We got to know each other without prejudice. With me, you've always been rock solid in your opinions and beliefs; you've never appeared weak.

    Life is a long journey. It's too bad the wisdom we accumulate with age is of no use to our younger selves.

    No amount of debate or disapproval will stop these assholes. They're trolls and live to create dissention and hurt. Makes me want to take down my email address at Lyrical and my website, but I think I'm safe. One advantage of being unknown. *grin*

  5. You're not unknown to those of us who know you and love you.

    I'll just be sure to only send nice people your way.


  6. This goes hand in hand with something else I encounted online. Clark sent me a link to a blog about parenting and they were talking about the awesomeness that is female. And why do we lose it?

    My 10 year old asks all the time if she's fat (she's skinny), if she's dumb (she's smart), if she's an okay person (she's amazing).

    Thats why the trolls are successful. Because they attack someone who isn't sure and they add to the insecurity. If you know you're awesome then some stranger can't tell you otherwise.

    Ladies: we is awesome. I know this to be true.