Public Shaming and Mass Hysteria – This from a recent conversation with Jason, where we talked about people who have posted something on social media or some other public forum and been swiftly, and might I say often abusively, dressed down for it.
Don’t you kind of love it? It feels good to get mad when someone finds something like a receipt with no tip, or a racist tweet, or an inappropriate shirt for sale, and they share it all over the place with their abject outrage. And everyone gets more outraged! And it’s very fun to be outraged at these horrible people that would do such a thing!
But what good is it doing, really? Is the world a better place because we’ve all made someone who made a mistake wish they were dead? Just today the internet is up in arms about the Britt McHenry, the ESPN reporter who belittled a tow company clerk (see the video, if you care to: http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=9d1_1429192014). Nobody should get a pass when they’re being mean, but aren’t we RIGHT NOW doing the same thing to her? All this online tit for tat spirals completely out of control when the tit is completely out of proportion to the tat.
I don’t like people manipulating my emotions, period. And I feel like the coverage this type of stuff gets, the obsessive retweeting and anger and hysteria that gets picked up by people on social media and then covered far out of proportion by regular media, is manipulative. Manipulating me into thinking you’re ‘smart’ because you’re outraged, too; manipulating me into thinking your news outlet is hip and relevant because you cover it; manipulating me into being outraged myself because let’s face it, none of us is immune to mass hysteria.
I’m tired of it. You know who else uses social media to create hysteria, demonize ‘wrongdoers,’ and get followers? ISIS. The Islamic State recruits almost exclusively through the use of social media using these exact techniques. So the next time you decide to take up some social media public stoning, think about why you feel that way. Think about what good it’s going to do. Ask yourself if there might be a better way for us as an enlightened people to handle antisocial behaviors.
Feminism and Dressing Racy – You say you believe in women’s rights (which I argue is itself antithetical to true equal rights, when you get down to a purely rational level, but I guess we humans are not at that place, so I’ll have to learn to deal with it), but when you harp that women who dress provocatively have low self esteem or are somehow “bad feminists,” you are VASTLY missing the point.
Because to say that they are dressing to be sexy or ‘dressing for men’ when they wear revealing clothing (by the way, who decided what “revealing” is? We have to cover certain parts of bodies because WHO decided?) takes away their right to dress whatever way they want to, for whatever reasons they want to, and isn’t that supposed to be true feminism? Or do you believe that if you dress this way, behave this way, only THEN you are a good woman? And dress THAT way, behave THAT way, then you are just doing what men want and are a bad feminist, and probably a sad, weak, superficial woman in general?
How about everyone gets to dress the way they want to? How about I don’t have to wear a pantsuit or a fucking burka for you to decide I’m following the rules of feminism? Maybe I don’t care about your stupid social rules to begin with. And you can like it or not like it without relating it back to my self esteem or worth as a woman or worthy follower of your feminist ideals.
Fatceptance – This is sort of along similar lines to the body weirdness I talked about above. Being overweight is unhealthy. Smoking is unhealthy. Yet every day I get it crammed down my throat that I’m supposed to find the naked obese body attractive, and the face of a lifelong smoker unattractive. Every day. Except, what is attractive to a person is actually a result of biology, evolution, and successful reproduction, and the human brain is designed to find proportionate bodies and symmetrical faces attractive.
So you can tell me from every mountain that obesity is beautiful, but neither smoking nor being excessively overweight are healthy and neither are attractive. I’m sorry if that hurts your feelings.
No I’m not.
I will say, though, that the obesity epidemic is not actually our fault, but the fault of the additives in our foods. Perhaps instead of trying to make us believe something that inherently isn’t and will never be true (unless some massive biological changes take place in every human body in the next couple of years), we should find out what we are really eating and get the poisons out. It worked for smoking, look how much we hate cigarettes now. We can make it work for food, too. Fatceptance should not be a thing.