I can still remember some of the criticism my mom faced about some of her parenting choices. In a time when it was not necessarily safe to do so, she was tight in her endeavor to make us see beyond skin color and religious choices. As a nurse, she made me understand the complexity of transgenderism and how lucky I am that my body did not betray my soul. She received a lot of flack for that one… But even more for her choice to keep working long hours…
I’m child-free and my life is riddled with stupidity explosions and faulty decision-making paradigms, so believe me, I’m not here to judge other people. But for all the things my mom faced showers of condemnation bombs, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude. I loved that my mom was a working mother. Daughters do not become what they are taught, they become what they see. And in my mom I saw a tough cookie who knew how to work and solve problems. I can only hope to become that which I saw every day…
Every now and again I forget what comments on social media do to my sense of equanimity and I read some. Dick move man. And almost every time I’m left speechless at people’s consistent ability to dish out judgment like they are not actually giant d-bags sitting around in a swamp of candy wrappers.
Recently I was exposed to a comment on a local ‘mommy’ page on Facebook. The posting mommy explained that her mother was babysitting her 10 month old when granny unceremoniously dunked the kid’s pacifier in some coffee and then popped it in li’l bébé’s mouth. Now please understand, I’m not saying caffeine should be the next baby formula flavour, but the comments that followed was not justified by the offence. It was a blood bath. According to almost all the mommies on that page, gran-mama is a piece of shit who should be kept away from her grandchild as a matter of urgency.
And the good Lord must protect any person who posts online a video of a kid doing something. You will be told in no uncertain terms how you are destroying your child.
It seems to me that no-one is quite as hard on mothers as other mothers.
In my country there is a massive church organisation that has grown tremendously over the last decade or two. I don’t agree with their doctrines, but hey, they’ve only tried to convert me 6 or 7 times, so I consider them relatively harmless.
Earlier today I read someone’s post on another social media site about how he doesn’t agree with one of this church’s policies, and how it actually “concerns” him. That’s it. He didn’t ask the nation to get out the ol’ torches and set alight their buildings.
Comments flooded in and I had to reread the post to confirm that I didn’t miss something. The comments started off around: “Fuck off, I hope you crash your car“, and occasionally made a turn to “Well, I hope you burn in hell and witness your children roast in the fires of the devil.“
Look, I’m not all kindness all the time. I have great potential for asshole-ness. But my mind reels at the level of insult you must feel from a one dimensional social media post to be able to type these comments for the world to read.
Even if social media posts are terrible and inciting, I have yet to see comments solve problems or change minds.
We have more freedom of speech than any previous point in history. And while I don’t necessarily subscribe to the Utopian idea of ‘let’s built each other up’, I subscribe very much to the idea of not hurting people.
Keeping our mouths shut is not a violation of our constitutional right to freedom of speech.
And having another chococino is not gonna hurt anyone…