Thursday, February 7, 2013

Snark is bullying.

As with many feminist-tinged communities, polers are apt to speak out against bullying. The power to love and accept your body as it is is a defining tenant of pole for some people, and as cattiness and intimidation is as rampant as it is in any female-dominated industry, taking a stand against such behavior is smiled upon.

What startles me is that the same people who say they are pro-supportiveness and anti-bullying will use social media to say, or, more passive-aggressively, retweet and share mean-spirited comments and captions under the guise of humor.

What's the god-damn difference?

Is it "ok" because it's funny? You think bullies don't think they're being funny? They think they're fucking hilarious. They're not name-calling and teasing to be jerks, they're doing it to get laughs. Any stand-up comic can tell you that nothing feels as powerful as making people laugh.

Is it "ok" because you're shaming a faceless group of people instead of shaming a specific person? I guess that makes racism, misogyny, and prejudice against all kinds of people "ok."

Is it "ok" because you're doing it out in the open and not behind someone's back? Well, when your victim reads your snark and has their feelings hurt, they can take solace in the fact that you're humiliating them in public.

I think I have a sense of humor. I use sarcasm, irony, wordplay, self-deprecation, and I think I'm clumsy enough to add slapstick to the list. And as you can plainly read in the pages of this blog, I have opinions and am not shy about expressing them. But I really do try to stop and think about how my words will be taken. Maybe that's more practical than big-hearted of me. I'm not famous or popular and I can't afford to make enemies. But I'm not going to try and get popular by putting people down for a few yuks, either.

I've come out against this kind of bullying before (see Four Things Women need to Stop Doing to Each Other and Stop Skinny-Bashing), but I was probably too specific. Let me open it up.

I don't always wear nice shoes. I accidentally write your instead of you're. Oh, and I sometimes use emoticons. ;) If making fun of me for these things and getting likes and lols makes you happy, well, I guess it's wrong of someone's happiness to make me sad, but... that's kind of sad.

And if you wear leggings for pants, you can still be my friend.

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