Tag Archives: cyber bullying

Why Don’t You Just Block Them?

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I blocked this person, claiming to be a writer but has a dating site as their website, pretty quickly. They continued on tweeting about me for another 15 screen caps. And what was it in response to? I called Donald Trump and Mark Latham a cunt. I didn’t @ this person, I don’t follow them and never have. I simply tweeted this- (Note: all screen caps are of PUBLIC posts)

It chose to interact to tell me that women shouldn’t swear and then to call me a bad mother because of it. It then chose to @ me pretending they were responding to things I had said long after I had blocked them. So this is possibly why people don’t just block, because some fake accounts will continue to harass you and slander you long after you block them. How about instead of telling people to just block, we tell harassers to stop being arseholes? They chose to attack me, my parenting, my relationship, and my writing skills all because they said they didn’t like swearing. 

Mum was a potty mouth? Mum is a potty mouth but she rarely swears in front of us.

Yeah, I want attention, that’s why I’m harassing random people on the internet and refusing to leave them alone. Oh wait, that’s not me.


Ohhhh but wait, they also swear. They’re attacking me for swearing yet it’s okay for them to swear. Clearly their issue with swearing is contrived nonsense and just an excuse to troll.

They are well and truly blocked at the point yet still keep going. 

Spoiler alert it says Jesus and Hell a lot. That’s considered blasphemy and cursing.

Don’t swear ladeez, it’s only for men. Men won’t think you’re attractive if you swear and we all know that’s the most important thing ever.

What is this “No girl” shit? I never told her to get over it. She wants to not swear she can not swear, don’t shove it down my throat. She’s the one forcing her way on others, I didn’t start @ing her demanding that she swears.

Bring hella fury??? I haven’t responded to her in ages. Show? I’m not on TV or YouTube. What the heck???

So now it is telling Adam Hill how many hashtags he can have? Why is it still @ing me? WTF is “you like?” In regards to? Is it imagining a conversation between us? Is it responding to imaginary tweets? What mistress, what old club? WTF?

It’s doing it again. Responding as if I said something. It’s responding as if I said, “Don’t tweet that shit at me, I’m a wife and mother.” Literally never happened. People deserve respect because they are people, until they lose it by having tirades about my fitness to parent, and tone policing me. Respect has nothing to do with how many babies came out of you, it’s about being a decent person. So it is way off base with their imaginary conversation.

And I’m spent. So this is why it’s not as simple as blocking. Because they can keep at you after you blocked them. They can keep pretending to be conversing with you after you blocked them. They can continue drawing attention to you long after you blocked them…. seriously, still block and run though. You don’t need that popping up in your notifications. Just saying it isn’t so simple.
Oh, and for the record, Mark Latham and Donald Trump have a history of abusing and marginalising women, so I absolutely stand by my first tweet. Fuck ’em.

#endviolenceagainstwomen

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Every day, around the world, women and girls are harassed, bullied and abused on social media. It’s time to say, ENOUGH! We stand with Clementine Ford, and every other woman who has been threatened with rape and murder for simply expressing an opinion. These men need to be held to account. Social media platforms should provide more protection. And legislators, in all jurisdictions, must work together to stop violence against women.

E L James and Patrick Suskind’s Perfume Fuelled Orgy of Violence

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Just because you think something is badly written is it really? Is the opinion of the literary elite more important than buyers? Can there not be an acceptance that neither gets the finite say and others opinions are okay? Just thinking about myself in there too. What gives me the right to say that a book is crap? Books loved by millions. Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to say, “I did not like that book because of X, Y and Z, but that is just my opinion and others are equally entitled to their opinion.” When did we all become so bossy and self entitled? So many feelings.

Recently best selling author celebrated the release of her latest book with a Q&A session on twitter, #AskELJames. This was met with a flurry of excitement from her fans, genuine questions of concern from people who question the message of the book, witty comments from wannabe comedians and disturbingly a barrage of abuse, threats and name calling. And I’m not talking about, “You are a meanie,” I’m talking about, “F you, you F-ing C, I hope you end up in hospital.” All I can say is WTF! How on Earth can people say that they abhor violence against women, and so are protesting the book, do so by threatening another human being? It makes no sense. I think that the discussions around psychological abuse and what constitutes a healthy relationship and the messages we give our daughters, and our sons, about women are vital. I am proud that we as a society have progressed enough to question the way women are treated in the real world and how they are portrayed in fiction. I am, however, disgusted with this social media trend that says it is okay to threaten people we perceive as successful, it is okay to abuse celebrities, and that we have the right to be threatening to another human being and encourage others to be likewise abusive simply  because we don’t like what they wrote. Picking on people you don’t like is bullying, pure and simple. Jumping in and picking on someone because others are doing it and you want in on the fun is even worse, it’s bullying, and being a mindless follower.

You see the interesting thing about Fifty Shades is that a year prior to the movie coming out my newsfeeds were regularly full of friends saying that they were reading Fifty Shades, how exciting it was, how everyone should read it, and that it was just soooooo sexy and romantic. When they directly addressed me to read it I generally politely declined as I had attempted to read it but found it not to my taste and the main character’s desperation for love, and what she was willing to put up with, far too depressing. Hey, I’ve been a single woman in my 20s, I know all too well the stupid things smart women do in the hope of getting love. It’s tragic and we need to teach girls and women to want and expect more out of life. Not once did I say the author was a c or that my friends who liked it were f-ed up. I politely told them my stance. Because disagreement is okay. Discussing important issues is what we need to do. Abusing others does not achieve either of those two things.

Fast forward to the release of the movie and in Australia Lisa Wilkinson saying the movie was abhorrent and glorified domestic violence. What happens next? Suddenly those same friends who had bought Fifty Shades, loved Fifty Shades, updated Fifty Shades, begged me to finish reading Fifty Shades, were all now anti Fifty Shades. The biggest supporter that I knew, with countless updates on how much she was loving it previously,  was actively even putting down people who read it or enjoyed it. She said how she didn’t get past chapter 8 because it was such a snoozer… Again I say WTF! These people had no view of their own. People said it was great so they said it was great. A year later a celebrity said it wasn’t great so they change their mind and say they hate it too. Even more interestingly, not one of them would admit to changing their mind. They all claimed to have always not liked the trilogy. I’d like to make it clear, I felt Lisa Wilkinson giving her contrary opinion was vital. It opened up discussion. It opened up important discussion. However, the flip flop of people and them blindly following popular opinion without any admission or reason for their change was, to say the very least, disappointing.

Then E L James does her #AskELJames and what happens? Some fan questions , some critical questions (again, I’ll say it, important questions), some clowns and then a whole heap of trolls. Why? Because it’s cool to not like Fifty Shades now. If those trolls were trully that passionate about either of the causes they claimed to support, quality literature or women’s rights, they would be petitioning publishing houses and government agencies, with detailed and reasoned responses. Because those are the people who can enact change. They’d be contacting the media for publicity. They’d be raising awareness. Tweeting “F@€£ you C@$¥” isn’t bringing about change… and it certainly isn’t a demonstration of the literary arts they claim to hold so dear. It seems closer to Tall Poppy Syndrome to be frank.

As this vitriol was directed at a writer it got me to thinking about up and coming writers and the workshops I have attended. Yes, the opening questions are inspired by some of the comments on #AskELJames  (not the amusing ones, not the genuine question ones, but the abusive/threatening /name calling ones) but this whole situation got me thinking about the times I have witnessed talented writers in workshops get shredded by fellow students. And that same pack mentality seems to hold true. Once one person says something bad a whole group jump in and start in too. A bit like the end scene of Perfume by Patrick Suskind where people cope a whiff and join in on a frenzy. Generally I will try to add many enthusiastic compliments to counter. But I wonder how many talented individuals have dropped the pen just because some people at a writing workshop didn’t get them. They’ve walked away because someone who doesn’t like the genre or sub genre passed negative judgement. Or someone who didn’t know what to say but wanted to sound smart trotted out every stereotypical thing they could think of regardless of if it applied. Those people don’t have a huge fan base and a giant pile of money to help keep their chin up. I hope they find their way back to writing… because I want to read their stories.

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Confessions of a Mad Mooer: the Charlotte Dawson effect

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As I sit sipping my morning cup of tea I appear every bit “normal” and relaxed. Nobody would know the turmoil I felt yesterday and to be honest I’m always so quick with a joke that most people wouldn’t have known how upset I was at the time. But unfortunately I had a Charlotte Dawson moment, nowhere near as thrilling as my Oprah moment I can tell you. So today I’m going to ramble about cyber trolls and why it is so hard for those of us with depression to move on. I don’t want people to get upset and complain about me “troll shaming” because I’m not. I love Good Luck Trolls, I understand the value of them guarding forbidden bridges and I agree that goat can be quite delicious. And I’m sure cyber trolls are actually really upset about humans being called trolls as they probably actually guard super secret electronic highways. So perhaps I shouldn’t further defame the noble troll and actually refer to these people as what they are… nasty pasties? Bitches? Shrivelled up bitter souls with nothing better to do than tear others down? Dickheads? Whatever the name, I’m blogging about them.

After Charlotte Dawson committed suicide there was a huge outcry from, “stupid bitch should have ignored them,” to, “those bullies have blood on their hands.” It of course can’t be that simple. At least in my expert (Note: I am an expert of nothing at all) opinion it can’t be that simple. My own experiences over the last few days have really helped open my eyes. Sure I’ve been cyber spanked previously but I wasn’t confident enough in myself to be able to step back and think about it. Thankfully after my time in the Mothers and Babies Unit I am now able to be much more reflective and deal with these circumstances.

I like many modern mothers am part of an online parenting group. Generally we share cute stories and pics and ask for advice. As is true of all social interactions you click with some and you clash with others. As always I naturally find myself migrating towards the misfits, the clowns, the geeks, the beautifully flawed. We recognise a kindred weirdo and we wave and play happily. There really are few greater joys than finding a fellow bizarro. Freaks and geeks unite. Us dorks tend to band together and don’t really like to be told what to do or stand for other people being put down. We’ve been shunned our whole life and know how it feels to be on the outside. But being that we are a bit different our defence of other vulnerable people is also different. When people start getting tense and telling people what products they MUST use or how they MUST use products or what they MUST feed their children or any other MUST I tend to crack a joke to lighten the mood. For most people it works. My fellow clowns are attracted to the humour like a moth to a flame and soon we’re all having a good giggle the crisis is averted. Unfortunately that doesn’t always work. Sure the merry band of misfits let out a collective sigh of relief and most other people think, thank goodness for the distraction, but unfortunately this levity only serves to highlight the darkness in some people’s soul. They want control, they crave control, I am chaos, I can’t be controlled. So what do they do, they lash out, they twist the joke, they pretend it is a personal attack, they raise an army of followers and have them make specific, directed, attacks. So random joke about random things gets met with specific, personal attack. Not exactly a fair reaction. Unfortunately when you’re depressed any attack, no matter how unfounded, turns your stomach. Anxiety starts to get out of control and your urge to smooth things over becomes overwhelming. So what do I do, try to make more jokes, try to make people smile. Further illuminating the gaping chasm these angry people have in their soul, which results in more nasty, personal attacks. I continue to make random jokes about things, not people (unless said people are my fellow misfits and they love it) yet they continue to escalate with vitriol. With Charlotte Dawson her tactic seemed to be to try to build awareness and educate. Her attempts similarly only reflected the darkness within the attackers. It didn’t change them, it made the people angrier because they had it in their mind that they must have power and they must have control. Charlotte and I have wasted our time. I can see that now. Some people are so hell bent on proving their self worth to themselves that they have no time for anything different. They will lash out and tear down those who are silly enough to attempt to use any coping methods like humour or education. They need to fuel their own needs by destroying all others. Yes, they’re tragic, yes they need help. But only they can do that, only they can change themselves. Trying to smooth things over, trying to enlighten them just gives them fodder. They need help but it is their responsibility to seek it, not ours.

So what have I learned from this? That I am no more capable of not trying to make people smile with humour then Charlotte Dawson was of trying not to educate others. That I am still vulnerable and the attacks make me feel sick. That it doesn’t matter that I know that I’m a good person and that my friends do, I’m still able to be shaken.

So what have I done? I’ve blocked that group of people. I got what I needed from them, this lesson about the Charlotte Dawson effect, and I have moved on. I know I can’t stop trying to make people happy by making jokes and I know that joy pains them because it means that they start losing that control that they are white knuckling, so the solution is simple, no contact.

Has it worked? Pretty much. Sure the people involved are still “naming and shaming” me publicly. I apparently have a whole post dedicated to my clownish ways, what an honour, but I don’t have to see it. I also don’t have to see them attack others but more importantly it gives me the freedom to be me. I can joke and have fun, I can comment freely and be myself and not have to censor myself because the people who will try to twist it can’t see it and I can’t see them hurting me by trying to turn me bringing laughter and joy to others into a hideous sin. It has quite simply given me the freedom to be me.

My hot tip: I say construct your reality  in a way that strengthens you. Keep those who feed you positive energy close. Remove those who try to make your soul as black as their’s. Don’t change who you are. You are the best you that you can be. Don’t give your energy away to bad situations. Be you! Be you in all your glory. Let people love you for who you are and don’t lessen yourself for fear of others. As the old saying goes, you could be the juiciest peach in the world but there will still be people out there who hate peaches. The peach is fine, the peach is perfect, there is nothing wrong with the peach, the peach doesn’t have to change and the peach doesn’t have to change people’s minds to think it is delicious.

Be the peach.

I’m still journeying through depression and I will keep you posted with more Confessions of a Mad Mooer.

Any women who suffer from any form of depression or anxiety are welcome to join my own FB group which is pro mystical troll but doesn’t allow any nasty trolling.

https://facebook.com/groups/563402577109194