A few words on bullying, misogyny, racism, harassment, and the future of our nation.
“Ignore it — they want you to react.”
“Don’t engage with them; it doesn’t help.”
When has ignoring a societal / cultural behavioral shift ever worked to our advantage? EVER?
Does ignoring racism work? How about rampant sexism? Bullying? Then why the hell should I be so inclined, as a woman, to ignore this intrusive and disgusting brand of depraved behavior exhibited by so-called internet trolls? Does the fact that it’s Facebook somehow excuse this harassment? Or make it any less hurtful and destructive?
It’s never okay for a grown man to harass a woman – I don’t care if he’s written it to me on a scroll in Olde English in expert calligraphy. A spade is a spade is a spade. Had Hillary won, do you think I’d feel the need to take to a stranger’s Facebook page – a Trump supporter – and start throwing stones? What I have said on Facebook about this election is minimal in comparison to how I really feel.
If you wonder why I wrote, “You have no idea what you’ve done,” then, you either don’t understand or are corroborating the problem. Casting a vote for Donald Trump, in his opponents’ hearts and minds, means that you’ve been complicit in setting the stage for violent domestic issues as well as violent foreign issues to arise and explode.
And as for the Europeans who are demanding answers from people like me? You don’t think that we’re scared shitless? Trump has no political experience. The things he says about women rival those said by serial killers, serial rapists, and convicted women-hating criminals. He’s a bully. He’s made nothing but enemies as far as his stances on race and sexual orientation and gender. His words alone threaten to tear apart the fabric of our existence as human beings, much less his election to office. The way of life that we’ve lived is in the hands of a volatile, power hungry child. His extremist supporters (let me be clear – I am not saying ALL of his supporters; I am saying that there ARE Trump supporters like this) are aggressive, limitless in their anger against minorities and women, and seemingly unaware of the damage of an impending nuclear war.
The more aggressive male Trump supporters are no different than the middle-eastern men that they claim to hate so much.
I hope that this letter jinxes us and that none of this happens – that’s what the other side does not seem to understand. We aren’t hoping for Trump to fail. We are scared. We’re scared that he’s said, “I don’t understand. If we have nuclear weapons, why can’t we use them? Why can’t we use them?” And now, in less than two months, he will be our commander in chief. He will have access to these weapons. We are fucking terrified that his anger and volatility, coupled with the trigger-happy side of him will start World War III. You think that WE hope for this? We’re angry at the people who voted for him because we see them as the ones who hope for this.
“So sorry for someone like you.”
“You’re a fucking hypocrite.”
“Another dumb cunt.”
Shall I go on? Make no mistake, ignoring this behavior from men on social media WILL NOT make it disappear. If they’re allowed to write things like this on my timeline, why am I being discouraged for calling it out? And for fighting back?
“You can’t reason with people like that.”
I couldn’t possibly give a shit.
If, by stalking my Facebook page, they’ve been able to surmise that I’m not a Trump supporter, and can string enough words together to make a sentence that says, “You don’t even have what it takes to have a man like me for one night, so sorry for someone like you!” WHY are my so-called friends and family yelling at ME for responding, “What in God’s name are you talking about, you ridiculous, moronic, ego-maniacal fool? I feel sorry for someone like you. And, by the way, I’m married.”
Here’s the thing: I DON’T WANT TO REASON WITH THEM. I WANT TO HUMILIATE THEM.
I need to address the amount of unwarranted, outlandish behavior that is becoming not only socially acceptable, but laughed off, even, by the mob mentality that is Facebook. I have not been on the receiving end of this much hate, bullying, and harassment since I was in middle school. It shouldn’t have happened then and it sure as hell shouldn’t be happening now; do you realize that you’re a grown MAN harassing and denigrating someone’s daughter, mother, wife, and sister? Does that thought even cross your mind? You’re so safe behind your computer that you spew malicious words as though it’s your job. The things that you say to me on here, in your comments, etc, would never be said to my face. At this moment in my life, I think I actually prefer getting pushed and laughed at by German adults – at least they were “man” enough to insult me to my face. Shame on you. Shame on all of you for your depraved behavior (this is going to those of you who have been especially malicious; not to my friends and fellow writers, human beings who display common decency no matter the color of their skin or the political party they choose to identify with).
The ever-growing monster that’s Facebook has given everyone a computer to hide behind as they say horrific things to one another, even without provocation to do so. Interestingly enough, when I had some time a few days ago, someone who called me a “fucking hypocrite” and kept doing so and wouldn’t let up, was quiet and calm when I sent them a private message asking them what was up.
I will be silenced no longer.
I don’t have to put up with endless sexual harassment, childish name-calling and blatant disrespect, even when it’s “JUST on Facebook.” Even my peers, mentors, supporters, and friends try to silence me when I call someone out for their idiocy and ignorance on social media.
STOP THIS. YOU ARE UNKNOWINGLY MAKING IT WORSE FOR US. BY DIMINISHING OUR WORTH. BY CORROBORATING THEIR MISOGYNY WITH WILLFUL BLINDNESS.
I will speak my truth and I am unapologetic. I am unafraid.
I remember a few months ago getting a grossly blown-out-of-proportion (and also a snippy, asshole comment, assassinating my character) comment on my profile picture. I looked at it. I was upset.
“You just want to argue with people,” said those around me. You know what that sentence did? It cemented in my mind that I was somehow to blame for the comment.
When, in fact, in reality, the funny thing is that the comment came from left field. It was unprovoked. So, yeah, sure, I play along that I’m always wanting a “good fight.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. Fights upset me; they’re hurtful.
“Don’t feed the trolls.”
“Get OFF of there!”
“Why are you getting so upset about FACEBOOK, Kelly? It’s fucking FACEBOOK!”
Before I’d fed the trolls. Or done anything except be who I am.
She’s a woman, so surely she did something to provoke that person. It’s her fault. Now she’s arguing all over the place; she is so embarrassing .
Remember that an argument against Trump does not equal an endorsement for Hillary.
Let’s say, for a moment, that America, as a nation, is an addict. And this election was our wake-up call; our rock bottom, if you will. We’re only seeing the beginnings of how truly divisive this election has been thus far – and what’s to come remains to be seen.
We’re exhausted. We’ve been fed poison for far too long.
Kelly Fitzharris Coody