Body shaming. Fat shaming. Thin shaming. Parent shaming. The list of every kind of shaming under the sun grows longer by the minute. Some days, I shake my head at all of the bullies coming out of the cyber woodwork. It’s sad that so many find pleasure in hurting others with their mean, ugly words. It’s sadder still that their victims take what they say to heart. While bullies shouldn’t have that much power over us, sometimes they do. Because that old sticks and stones thing? It’s wrong.
Words can hurt. But now, thanks to the internet drawing immediate attention to the problem, cyber bullies are called out. It doesn’t always stop them, but it helps the victims by showing them that decent people will never find that sort of behavior acceptable.
One thing about all of this bothers me though. No matter how long the list of unacceptable shaming grows, one thing is always missing.
I’ve touched on this subject a couple of times in the past. Why is it wrong to make a plus size swimsuit model feel bad about her size, or to tell a blonde joke, but it’s okay to humiliate someone who can’t spell, or who uses ‘then’ instead of ‘than?’
Shaming involves making one person feel bad so another can feel better about himself/herself. And grammar and spelling Nazis are experts at trying to make their victims feel stupid. On any given day, it’s clear a lot of thought and effort goes into making memes designed to humiliate them.
And the thing is, if the people they’re making fun of were actually speaking aloud instead of posting online, no one would ever know that they spell ‘hair’ as ‘hare’ – or always use ‘their’ when they mean ‘they’re.’
How many of us would appreciate doctors who made us feel stupid because they went to medical school and we did not? Or a mechanic who always greeted us with, “Here’s the idiot again. Are you ever going to learn to change your own oil or spark plugs?”
We’d probably be finding new doctors and mechanics in a big hurry. Why? Because no one likes being made to feel inferior. Not even bullies.
People just really need to start thinking before they post things designed to hurt others. Think about everything they can’t do or aren’t good at. About how they’d feel if those that could made concerted efforts to wound and shame them.
Then, maybe they’d think twice before posting insulting memes and comments. Maybe not, but you never know…
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