NS August 13th, 2009

As much as I welcome debate  and am passionate about the issues that mean a lot to me, and as often as I am willing to call people out on their shitty behaviour or words, sometimes it all gets to be too much. When I read such misogynist, hateful, spiteful crap, day in and day out, occassionally it gets to me.  For a moment, even for a day, I feel defeated. I think why the hell do I bother? Why do I do this to myself, get so worked up and invest so much time in arguing with people who are likely to never change their attitude? Why are they so filled with hate and ignorance and superiority? How do people get to be this way? What do they get out of it? Do they outnumber the good amongst us?

Usually, my response is anger and indignation but sometimes the vitriol directed at people just trying to go about their lives stops me in my tracks and just makes me feel hopeless instead. I mean, how do you respond to something as hateful and juvenile as this? And I already know the answer to that — you can’t. But by god it’s hard not to seethe with helplessness when a total stranger says such horrible things about something you cherish and fight relentlessly to protect and promote. Sometimes, it’s just too much.

So for once, my mouth is getting a rest (and my fingers, from typing) and instead my eyes and heavy heart will bear the brunt of my discontent. I wish I could always be stronger and better and just shrug every last comment off, but there’s always one that is the proverbial straw on this camel’s back and the only way to get out of the desert is to empty the wells and start again.

Tomorrow,  I’ll be back to fight. But tonight, I can’t take reading anymore ignorant drivel. So I’m going to turn the computer off now, walk up to my bed, snuggle my beautiful baby, and forget that such ugliness exists.

Wake me when all the assholes have gone, please.

5 Responses to “Ugly”

  1. Good for you.
    I know I read a post yesterday too labelled something like 5 reaons why you shouldn’t have a baby. The usual tosh (you get to have more sex, you can travel blah blah) but by jove the comments were shocking. People (on both sides of the coin) were getting so angry and so personal and I read them with my jaw on the floor and then thought ‘you silly bloody sod for wasting half an hour of your life reading that tripe!’

  2. Lyn says:

    Sometimes it is good to just disconnect. Goodnight!

  3. Rachel says:

    My eldest son who is 16 and getting wise says that sometimes it is better not to know what the whole world thinks. He isn’t interested in the worlds 2c. and some days reads over my shoulder and asks me why *I* am interested.

    I’m starting to see that he may be right and am directing myself towards more inspiring or stimulating debate and shying away from stupid people who say/write stupid things or are just oppositional for the sake of it.

    My second son is 12 and can spend ages scrolling through funny photos of kittens doing sweet things captioned by their loving owners.

    Dd1 is 6 and loves listening to Abba on youtube.

    Maybe I have it all wrong!

  4. Trish says:

    Like Rachel above, I switch off when I find myself reading, hearing or watching something offensive, unpleasant or just plain ugly. I make a special effort to avoid reading comment streams after articles about anything that is likely to start a ‘mommy war’ because I find those kinds of hateful, nasty, vindictive, personal ‘debates’ not only a complete waste of my time but a real threat to my state of mind. I don’t watch violent films or listen to certain musicians or eat brussels sprouts for the same reasons – they simply don’t make me feel very good. Why waste precious minutes or hours filling your head with such ugliness? I know it exists, I know there are women out there who will fling the most horrible barbs at other women because the internet lets them do that… doesn’t mean I have to take part.

    For what it’s worth, I think the good people do outnumber the ignorant and hateful. I don’t need anyone to validate my opinion that, for example, it’s perfectly OK for a woman to accidentally flash her boobs when she’s breastfeeding in public.

  5. cartside says:

    There is something about comment boxes that can make people very nasty, that makes them say things they never would directly to another human being (mostly). I can’t count the number of times I got angry and upset at yet another racist rant after an online article about the inhumanity of detaining children for no crime other than that their parents took up their right to claim asylum. I have no answer. We need to fight back, some things can’t go unchallenged, but sometimes it’s too much to take and yes, a break is needed to recharge the batteries.