Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Queen of the Hill

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Another guest post by Dana



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There's a new bully in town, and she looks a lot different than the bullies I grew up with.

Cyber bullying is nothing new. We've heard the stories of teen drama that goes too far. Although physical bullying is alive and well, it's the unrelenting online attacks that become emotionally overwhelming.

If you are thinking this is limited to teens, you haven't been blogging long enough you might be surprised to learn that it is a growing trend among adult women.

Blogging is a wonderful platform. It can be a creative outlet, a cathartic purge of unresolved conflict, or anything in between. Blogging invites conversation and differing opinions. It also allows a relatively anonymous platform for cyber-bullies to harass, humiliate and threaten others.

I've seen it happen far too many times on my own blog. Let me share a personal relationship story, or relay a challenge I am facing in parenting, and they'll come out of the woodwork - those anonymous (or those with a limited blogger profile) commenters making judgments and snide, hurtful personal attacks.

I believe that all bullying is based on insecurity. Bullies bully because making someone feel bad about themselves somehow makes them feel like a better person. There is power in control in words, and bullies don't care if they are getting negative attention - they thrive on the perceived control and power their words give.

And women? Moms? These are people who have traditionally not had a voice and have, unfortunately, chosen to use their new-found voice in a damaging, destructive way against those very people they should have empathy and understanding for.

It's easy to hide behind the keyboard and make judgments about others, but so much more rewarding to attempt to understand and identify with those real people who show courage in sharing their personal struggles and triumphs.

What do you think? Have women gotten nastier or has the cyber platform just brought the nastiness out from the closet?

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22 comments:

SkylersDad said...

This is a great topic. I think that the anonymity of the internet has allowed a lot of people who would normally check their comments as they came out of their mouths to just go ahead and spew venom.

Jay said...

Women are mean. Always have been. The internet has just given them a new forum to really let their venom loose and be as nasty as they want to be. ;-)

captain corky said...

"Worlds may change, galaxies disintegrate, but a woman... always remains a woman."

James T. Kirk

I hope that answers your question Dana. ;)

rubyphoenix said...

I've noticed that with some of my close online friends, who are gaining a bit of Twitter fame, have started saying mean and hurtful things about other women. Perhaps it's the anonymity of the internet that they feel gives them the right to do so, but it's still hurtful bullying for no reason. I feel like women have always been nasty to each other, but with the internet, it's been carried into adulthood and out in the open. Now it's not just the Heathers of high school, it's the catty moms who clique up on the soccer fields as well.

Grant said...

I think the anonymity of the Internet allows people to release their inner twatiness without fear of reprisal. We should definitely track the rude ones down and kick the holy crap out of them.

Dana said...

SkylersDad, you only say it's a great topic because I wasn't "bad mouthing" men *BIG GRIN*

Jay, I hate to agree with you Jay (being the woman that I am), but I think you are right.

captain corky, who let you in?? I see how it is ... you disappear off the face of the earth and then you land on someone elses blog??

As you know, Kirk was a wise man ...

Dana said...

rubyphoenix, it's almost as if many women's emotional growth just stops in high school, isn't it??

Grant, just for the record, I *am* a trained killer!

captain corky said...

Well, I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now I see. Couldn't hear a damn thing, but cleaned my ears out etc.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Any Bullying is so wrong...I do not see it as much as you do, because I do not go for the controversial subjects...

I always have believed the best way to deal with a bully is to ignore them. It is the reaction they seek, and ignoring them makes them feel impotent.

Dana said...

captain corky, let's just hope you stay in the light this time ...

Vinny "Bond" Marini, I expect it on controversial posts. I do not expect it on posts where I'm being open and honest about my family. It's one thing to disagree with an opinion - something else entirely when people resort to harassing, humiliation and threats.

we're doomed said...

Jay and Captain Corky are right Dana. Let's face it. Women are mean and don't give up once they find a victim. On the other hand. Most of the time the ladies smell good. QCTM

Lola said...

I haven't personally experienced this on any of my blogs (knock on wood), but I've seen it on others. I don't think it's necessarily the anonymity factor here, I think in general, some people (mostly women, some men) are outspoken (yes, you can read that as mean and spiteful too) and it probably tends to stand out on blogs because it's out there forever, unless the blog author deletes it.

Dana said...

we're doomed, well thank goodness we smell good *wink*

Lola, I don't know ...

I am outspoken but (usually) can say what I feel/believe in a way that isn't mean spirited, although I have succumb to the "Oops! Did I really hit enter" plague on occasion.

Real Live Lesbian said...

Some women are just mean. I stay away from them. Hard, long lesson.

Now, I just smile and think, "get away from me you fucking mean bitch." They taught us Southern girls to be nice like that in church.

You've really made me start loving Tuesdays!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Oh and HI Corky! You have been missed! Glad to see you back around.

captain corky said...

Thanks!

Lynette said...

mean bitches!

Lynette said...

wait wait that was to the bullies
don't take that the wrong way

Dana said...

Real Live Lesbian, it is a darn good thing you went/go to church *wink*

Real Live Lesbian & Corky I'm just wondering why he chose *your* blog as his coming out moment!

Lynette, Me? Take something the wrong way?? How could that be when it's ALWAYS about me, me, ME!! *sobs in the corner*

... kidding :)

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

good post. sadly i think women are getting meaner. sisterhood under the age of 45 is pretty much gone. Was it the fight that made us tighter as a group?

I also think that it is easier for a coward to be anonymous to spew their crap.

just MHO

Jaimey said...

I agree with Jay, woman are as cruel as the children they start out as. :( Though I try not to be one of those. Luckily, I have only lovely blog followers, or at least the ones who choose to share their opinions with me!

prissynotgirly said...

yes, the internet add that level of separation from the actual situation and allow people to be meaner and nastier

women especially ... i have a 12 yr old daughter and am having to deal with this very issue ... there are many many books out there that educate and address bullying and i am getting her into them now ... and as for my 14 yr old son ... my words of wisdom to him ... women (and girls) are catty bitches, all of us at one time or another!!