I like most of the world sat in awe, watching #MoreThanMean and listening to uncomfortable men read Mean Tweets sent to two sports reporters Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain. I saw the men hesitating and visibly shaken, and immediately I became emotional.
Have I ever been harassed?
Well not anything I would like to share publicly, but the sad answer is yes. And I’m so thankful these two brave women enlightened the rest of the world on what happens to not just sports reporters, but most women in the media.
(Here’s the Just Not Sports Video)
What’s interesting to me has been the response of those when they actually hear the Mean Tweets. Did people not know this world of vitriol existed? The scrutiny over our appearance, outfits, weight, hair, clothing, and every other thing imaginable? In sports especially, any opinion a woman shares is always trolled and nitpicked. It’s funny, these unconscionable people sitting behind and protected by their screens, hurling insults – but would they ever have the courage to say it to a woman’s face?
I read a quote once, (and I wish I could find it and give credit to) that said something like:
“If you wouldn’t say it to your mother or your wife, then don’t say it.”
That applies to everyone and everything in life doesn’t it?
When my kids say rude things to each other when they think I’m not listening, I make them repeat it to me while looking me in the eye. And then through their embarrassed tears I ask, “Why are you ashamed?”
They usually say, “Because I didn’t want you to hear the mean things I said.”
To which I reply, “If it’s something you wouldn’t want mommy to hear, then don’t say it. Ever.”
As a culture, our world has shifted online. We spend more time with our heads down looking into the world of social media than we do interacting with actual human beings. But this doesn’t mean that it’s ever OK to disparage, objectify, or dishonor women? And yes men, I’ve seen your arguments and understand you receive hate and trolling too, but with women, especially in sports the harassment is far more vile.
The solution is pretty simple. Just as the Curt Schilling case when his daughter was attacked on Twitter, if you wouldn’t want say it to your mom, then don’t type it. Period. The social media trail will follow you, and karma will always be waiting.
This isn’t the first time Julie DiCaro has spoken out about this issue. Read her full story published back in September.
Wow unthinkable and how unsettling to know how cruel people can be when they have the courage to hide behind their computers. At least these guys have the conscious to feel the emotional hurt these tweets cause. It’s like my girls watching YouTube videos of other teens doing DIYs and beauty tutorials and the comments section is a free for all. So sad. Yes teach your kids well….kudos to you Kristen. You’re doing a great job.
Jack Steiner says
I wasn’t surprised by the tweets because I knew about this part of the world and the nasty side of social media, but it was painful to watch.
I kept thinking about the women in my life and how angry I would be if that was directed at them. Not saying it doesn’t make me angry to see it focused elsewhere because it does.
Janine Huldie says
What a great quote and I agree if you wouldn’t think to say it to your own mom, then you probably shouldn’t be saying it at all. Oh and sadly I haven’t made it to this age without having been without being harassed in my younger days, as well. So, thank you for sharing and the reminder here today.
Oh that video is hard to watch! Yuck! I don’t say things like that to anyone and never, ever type that kind of crap. Social media makes people feel like they can. It’s horrible! Great post! I hope you share this over at my link-up. Speaking out about this is something we all need to hear.
What you say to your kids.. nails it.
I saw a few people sharing this video on FB and I was wondering if you had seen it. Then I realize not only that, you wrote about it. Kudos.
Aubrey @ 53 Weeks says
Ugh! Yes, people can be very “not nice.” My Mom also said, “If you have nothing good to say, don’t say it at all.” Unfortunately because people see you on TV, or in the “spotlight” that automatically opens you up to be a target of unwanted insults and commentary…SMH! Glad you wrote this post…
That video even made me uncomfortable just watching it. Too many people seem to think they can hide behind the anonymity of the internet. It’s not okay. Thank you for bringing attention to the subject. I’m definitely going to remember that line as I raise my children.
Angela Cruz says
So important to pass this message along to the next generation. Internet trolls abound, but in-person communication skills are critical for them to learn.
Jonathan Roy says
Very useful info its made me awkward merely watching it. An excessive number of individuals assume they can hole up behind the namelessness of the web. It’s not alright. Much thanks to you for focusing on the matter. I’m unquestionably going to recall that line as I bring up my kids.