Ladies, it’s time to talk. Recently the reaction to something that happened in Australian media during an interview and its effect on the many online voices was brought to my attention. It’s actually disturbed me. I looked at this link and was utterly horrified by some of the words I read. Women online verbally bashing other women. Nothing new, I know, sadly, but something I believe is now getting out of hand. The Sisterhood movement? Nope, I don’t think it’s actually happening. That saddens me greatly.
It seems that there is no limit to how women choose to treat other women online anymore. People with opinions are being branded “bullies” “trolls” “haters” and even “c**ts”. Yep, just vile. Language you would only hope to never hear your child repeat… Opinions are simply that, opinions. They’ve been around forever and are not a bad thing, if constructive, and not destructive. Often they can bring up good, solid conversations but these days, labeled as bullying and so forth, all too quickly. Many times I see a comment on an Instagram or Facebook post that it is purely an opinion and the reaction it receives from others who come in to fight is utterly disappointing. It seems that no-one has the right to share their opinion online anymore. I’m beginning to wonder, would we speak to each other with such malice and hate in real life? I don’t think so, or at least, I bloody hope not!! Why have manners faded from our society? Why are we no longer courteous? When did it become ok to call another female a c**t? Is hiding behind our screens the reason why we get away with it? What on earth are we gaining by ganging up on other women who WE ACTUALLY DON’T KNOW??!! You may think that you are going in to bat for your best friend when attacking another woman online but don’t be fooled by the fact that you actually, in most cases, know nothing really about the person that you are fighting for…
It seems that no-one has the right to share their opinion online anymore.
Why can’t we have restraint when we don’t agree and just move on? Why are women showing so much aggression when responding to others? Is too much time being spent online? Are we losing touch with reality? Are ‘real’ friendships no longer important? Do some women actually get enjoyment from being so mean and spiteful? Are women purposely seeking out an opportunity to confront another purely to hurt them emotionally?
If you truly loved your life and yourself, you just may not feel the need to tear another woman down. Your online actions are open to the world, never forget that. Your name is attached to anything you do. Are you proud to see it alongside something destructive? Perhaps even your daughters are reading the words that you are putting out there? Would you feel proud to see them treat others in the same context? Will this nastiness ever end? Are we just in some strange stage of an overuse of social media and it’s ill effects on us all? There has to come a point where our words become less harmful. You just never know what personal effect it may have on someone. Just because it is written, does not mean that it is not devastating to the person it is directed to, and others who disagree. It’s a big wide world out there, a beautiful one. Why not get out there and live your life harder and more passionately.. I can guarantee if you do, you won’t need to be so outwardly & negatively vocal online. Why? Because you will be far too busy LIVING life that you won’t need to view it on your screen.
If you truly loved your life and yourself,
you just may not feel the need to tear another woman down.
Men are often portrayed in society as behaving terribly towards women and we are using a lot of recourses trying to educate them about equality and respect. Lately, it seems that it is the womenfolk who are more damaging. The abuse has never been so bad. The ganging up is relentless. The language is disrespectful and hurtful. The obsession with image and looks is far beyond our control. Glorification of popularity, no matter the harm it is doing to women, young and old, has reached a level I have never known in my lifetime. Genuine and honest interaction is sadly slipping away…
It is time to say ENOUGH. It is time to be classy. It is time to make a promise to ourselves and our sisters that we will not stoop to the level so often seen online. Make this promise to yourself. Do not be one of those women who enjoy tearing another woman down. Fill your life with moments that bring joy and love, therefore not leaving a gaping hole of sadness and jealousy. Forge a POSITIVE path for our younger women and our girls. If this is the sort of pattern they see from actual adults, imagine just how they will behave amongst their own peers. A dangerous thought when you remember they are young and easily influenced.
It is time to say ENOUGH.
It is time to be classy.
It is time to make a promise to ourselves and our sisters that we will not stoop to the level so often seen online.
If I am judged harshly for writing this and for taking a stand, then so be it. But, I do strongly believe that we have reached a crisis point and that the tides must turn. It MUST start now. I fear for the women of the world if it doesn’t… Do you?
Leigh Van Der Horst is an Australian writer, author of the beautiful book Without My Mum,which she hopes will help heal and inspire many Motherless women worldwide.