The internet: a place where some of the most amazing things on earth are shared every day (we’re talking about you, cat memes), but also a place where some of the worst taunting, shaming, insulting trolls on the planet abide. You know the people we are talking about, don’t you? The ones who hide behind their computers, spewing their hate on the daily, with no repercussions because, well, we have no idea who they are in real life.
Over the years, it seems as if this kind of behavior has grown immensely. The longer the internet has been around, and as more humans are born into a world run by the internet, the more we are seeing the effects of a generation who live the majority of their lives on the world wide web, hidden behind a cloak of online anonymity.
One particular example that is being brought to the forefront as of late, is Slut Shaming. Social media is the main culprit with its number of young users growing daily. These outlets are being used to make young women feel awful about their sexuality, their bodies, and the way in which they choose to express themselves. And it isn’t coming in the form of adults trying to control their young children, it’s peers harassing each other.
Writing insults on the bathroom walls, an act that in the past was only seen by the students in your school, has grown into a shame that is seen worldwide. A type of shame that parents, friends, and loved ones never had to deal with. This situation isn’t confined to young teenagers who don’t understand the effects of their behaviors, as a large percentage of women in their 20s are also dealing with this kind of backlash as well.
The good news, in what feels like a slew of bad, is that there are also young activists speaking out against it. While an insult can now be heard thousands of miles away, so can a word of encouragement and input on how to handle life in the internet age.
Young women like Laci Green, have been fearless and have vocalized their sex positive attitudes (with her aptly named Tumblr, Sex +), forging on amidst many loud and angry opponents to her message.
To each their own, right? It is a lesson my parents dug into my brain at a young age, but one that has proven very difficult for many to follow in a world filled with loud opinions about how everyone should live their lives. While the “Anti-Bullying” agenda could quickly become just another way to capitalize and monetize off a group in need, the conversation about how to deal with this new kind of harassment of your youth is necessary.
Where do you stand?