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A rant about public shaming

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What is going on in the news/twitter/facebook/everywhere these days? Every person in every situation seems to be faced with the threat of the new ‘shaming’ trend that seems to be sweeping the planet.

Look, I agree that putting your feet on the head rest of the aeroplane seat in front of you is bad behaviour and picking nits out of your child’s hair and squishing them in public seems a little on the unhygienic, and frankly, icky side but these are kind of extreme examples.

Sugar shaming, fat shaming, mummy shaming the list grows by the day. Teachers rifling through kids lunch boxes and calling parents in for a talk if they don’t approve of their lunch box choices (and don’t think for a second that they don’t shame those kids in front of their classmates too). Nasty news articles on women’s bodies, too fat, too skinny, too busty, flat chested, lumpy, knobbly, did you lose that baby weight? Heaven help people if they have nude photographs of themselves because the mere existence of those apparently makes them public property. People judging others on their child raising choices, natural birth v’s caesarean, does your baby sleep with you or have a bedroom of its own, do you feed to a schedule or feed on demand, breast or bottle? If it isn’t exactly the way I choose to do it, well then, you are WRONG! And I will shout it from the rooftops.

I don’t get it, when did everything in life not only become someone else’s business but also become something that other people had an opinion on? Why is everything that is not done my way suddenly wrong? Why do I care what someone else’s life choices are? And why the hell do I think I have the right to go out there and scream my opinion of everything everyone else is doing from the roof tops?

I don’t understand the public shaming trend. It saddens and depresses me.  Once I have filtered all of this hate mail to random strangers out of my news feed of a morning there seems to be less and less to read that is truly news worthy. Of course what is left is also a litany of misery and hate. Too much hate.

Maybe it is because I am an adult now and I read the news. I don’t remember this level of unrest in the world, this amount of prying into people’s personal lives and the callous judgements that people seem to feel they are now entitled to spout. When I look back at the world news from my childhood I find that the unrest was there, the interracial hatreds, the wars, kidnappings and bombings were happening back then too. Extremists and terrorists were wrecking their own personal brands of horror on innocent people, just like today.

Today there are some advances in societal tolerance, if not total expectance, of others life choices but in many ways I think people are meaner and nastier and more petty than before. Salacious gossip and cutting remarks seem to be the standard form of entertainment and there is no privacy, no respect for anyone.

My grandmother often said ‘if you can’t help, at least don’t hurt’

My mother often said ‘if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all’

I often say ‘It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice’

I try to follow these sage pieces of advice each day and I keep my nose out of other people’s business. I am a fairly private person and have no interest in prying into others’ lives or passing judgement on their choices and will thank them kindly to have the same respect for me. Meanwhile I will continue my policy of avoiding any kind of glossy magazine and a good half of the internet ‘news’ feed on a daily basis.

Maybe if we could stop ourselves being so judgmental or at the very least button our lips and keep our opinions (ever noticed that they are almost universally negative?) to ourselves we could all co-exist in a happier and more tolerant world minding our own business. That is really all that should be important on a day to day basis. Try and be happy without having to bring anyone else down.

Do try to help but if you can’t, well, at least don’t hurt.


Author: kolandasimone

40, on my way to 40 something...Still not sure what I want to do when I grow up, retire probably... Food obsessed, love to cook it, read about it, eat it... Chock full of useless information that crowds out the useful stuff sometimes.

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