Getting involved in any kind of internet feud reminds me of that saying, ”Don’t get in the mud with a pig because you get filthy and the pig loves it.” Some people are trolls who take pleasure in being contrary. Often, this is not “playing the devil’s advocate.” This is “being an asshole” and it is not something I enjoy.
However, I have gotten into a couple of Twitter feuds. I know what you are thinking, “you have written about this already and THEN you said you only got into a couple,” but really, I have only gotten into a couple. Maybe three. Every time I think “well, that was a waste of time,” because on the whole, I KNOW that no random person on Twitter will be able to change my mind if I believe strongly about something, and I assume other people feel the same way. I imagine the number of people who have read opposing views on an internet story and thought “well I’ll be. This has really opened my eyes, ” is probably pretty low. So why have I gotten involved in Twitter feuds or refuted comments? I have never said I didn’t understand where my children get their need to be heard.
This said, I have responded more than once to a Tweet only to almost immediately regret it. One of those times involved a hash tag that was trending called #liberaltips2avoidrape. Without delving too much into why the hash tag existed, I tweeted that we should work on raising children to NOT rape, and put the focus on that. I was skewered and lambasted and slow-roasted over an open fire for saying such a thing. I should have let it go because trying to explain myself and what I meant was not working. In a stroke of luck, one of the guys who responded to my original tweet used the word “retarded”, which honestly, gave me an out to write him off and ignore him. There is no quicker way to get me to discount everything you have said than by using the words “retarded” or “gay” in an inappropriate way.
In the wake of the Steubenville rape trial, I stand by my original thoughts on this subject. Why did these young men think that it was okay to do what they did? Just because I have two boys does NOT mean I get a free pass regarding teaching my children about rape. Children are told about staying safe in all sorts of different environments, and that of course should continue. Little girls are told about scary things that can happen to them from an early age, but we cannot forget about teaching our boys (and girls too of course) about what is, in the very simplest of terms, okay and not okay to do to another person, and what these boys did is NEVER okay, under any circumstances.
I consider myself easy-going, but when I see something on the Disney Channel, THE DISNEY CHANNEL, that makes me question what gender stereotypes are being reinforced, I get worried. The scene in question concerned a girl telling a boy she didn’t want to kiss him, but then she kissed him anyway. She asked him why he didn’t stop her and he pointed to himself and said “BOY.” I get it. I really do. It’s a cutesy thing to do and in this scene, she HAD kissed him, she didn’t say no, and I’m not saying he SHOULD have stopped her, but having the character point to himself and explain it away because he is a “BOY” really annoyed me. I think perpetuating the idea that boys are sex-starved out of control maniacs is a dangerous thing to do. If he had simply said”I wanted you to kiss me” this post would be about something totally different, like how I don’t understand the fascination with watching stars dive and/or dance.
I know boys and girls are different and I am hoping I didn’t open some Pandora’s box about that. One trait that everyone should share and that should be taught and nurtured is respect and kindness for other living beings. That should cross every single line. Gender lines, political party lines, and everything in between.