Facebook Battles

As you may or may not be aware, I got into a little Facebook Battle the other day with a follower of my page. It was over an article I posted about a super-fan of Taylor Swift (maybe it was this follower) who posted a photo of the celebrity on Twitter (a rather bad one, I must say, which only negated his point) and asked the people to “Name a b*tch badder than Taylor Swift.” (Editors note: *I bleeped out the profanity because I cannot stand that word. It’s one of the most derogatory, demeaning, sexist things you can say, but that’s a Facebook Battle for another day.)

The people responded. Although not in the way the Tweeter expected I’m sure.

When I read the tweets I was instantly in love. They were the best tweets I and perhaps the world had ever read. And I said so on Facebook.

“Guys, these tweets are THE BEST. All of them. Every last one of them. You MUST read about the incredible women the peoples of Twitter wrote about. I’m glad these people injected a little reality into the overblown and trivial nature of such an inane question and provided a little perspective. And really just about any woman is more badass than TS. TS may be many things, but badass isn’t one of them no matter how hard she tries.”

The whole thing was captured on Bored Panda, which funnily enough happens to share my opinion.

Name a badder woman than Taylor Swift? I've got a few. As evidence nothing said on the internet goes without controversy, my opinion caused an epic Facebook Battle. By @OneFunnyMotha
What’s going on with that hair? That hair automatically nullifies any claim to badassery. TS is not an ugly woman. Why do they always make her look like a goon? All of her stylists need to be fired immediately.

As as proof that nothing said on the Internet can be without controversy (even when you’re saying something funny, accurate and in honor of truly remarkable women) someone took issue with my post. I usually don’t get involved in Facebook battles because ain’t nobody got time for that, but this one struck a nerve. The commenter called me mediocre, and I’ve always considered myself marginally better than mediocre. I’ve been called plenty of things online – a bad mother, an entitled elitist (in response to a food shopping meme I created), an idiot – but mediocre was the most damning. Well, that and implying I’m a bad feminist on my own page, which the commenter reads of her own free will and for which she pays approximately nothing. I had to respond.

“If I’m so mediocre, why the f#ck are you reading my posts?”

Man, that felt good.

But it was only the beginning. The whole ordeal when down a little something like this:

She said, “So Taylor Swift gets shit on because a fan made a silly comment about her? Pretty sure anyone who donates as much money to charity as she does, and stands up to some old, white perv who grabbed her ass at a meet and greet thus setting a standard for all women who don’t deserve that NO MATTER WHO THEY ARE or how rich and famous they are, deserves a little less grief from a mediocre at best blogger/”writer.”

So I said, “If I’m so mediocre, why the f#ck are you here? And I’m pretty sure TS didn’t ‘set the standard’ for not grabbing someone’s ass. That’s pretty much been the standard – whether people abide by human decency or not. But if you want to talk about going to bat for women’s rights and equal treatment perhaps you should look up Anita Hill, who single-handedly and without much support, brought the term “sexual harassment” into the national consciousness and paid a hefty price for it while paving the way for women like TS and all the rest of us to speak out against sexual harassment and assault.”

And she said, “Yeah, I’m familiar with Anita Hill. And just because she went through it or any other woman who is harassed or objectified doesn’t negate another one. It isn’t a pissing contest. That’s the point. That is the EXACT reason the hashtag metoo has been trending. If you are so supportive of all these women and their journeys, maybe you shouldn’t pile on another one. ? Kinda defeats the purpose and makes you look like part of the problem.” 

I always like when people use emojis in their debates. It really reinforces their argument.
And I said, “What I’m saying is TS trials don’t really compare to all the stories people tweeted of women who survived the gas chambers at Auschwitz and went on to lead an all-female revolt or the woman who set up rape crisis and domestic abuse centers across the country. And I don’t really know how this turned into a convo about TS taking a stand against sexual harassment because this article and what I was commenting on was in regard to her attempt to rebrand herself from a sweet and innocent girl who writes love songs into some sort of tough chick to be feared when that’s comical and obviously false.”
And she said, “Pretty sure she never said or implied she was to be ‘feared.’ It is called branding. (Editors note: I know it’s called “branding.” That’s why I said it in my comment above.) And God forbid any artist express themselves through their music or let’s say….hmm…writing?!? The reason I commented is you saying she in some way is responsible for proving her “badassness” because some fan said so and how dare TS put herself in a category of someone who survived the holocaust (Editor’s note: I never said how dare TS put herself in the category of someone who survived the Holocaust because TS never actually did that. The Tweeter posed the question, the peoples answered and I agreed.) When in fact, she is just doing her thing. She also happens to have been in the media for putting herself out there as being a victim of sexual assault. I don’t judge other women’s experiences on severity level. When teaching my daughters, I look for ALL kinds of women who have something to add to the female narrative. Super fascinating that she is now on the cover of Time magazine for you know….being a badass. #silencebreakers #badass
✌️”
So I said, “I don’t know if TIME is really the source you want to go with for smart, insightful, discerning news. They also named Trump person of the year in 2016. And in 2015 they called to ban the word “feminist” so there goes their credibility as champions of ‘badass’ women. TIME is a glorified version of People magazine, which is probably why Meredith Corporation recently bought the underperforming magazine. They need to sell copies so they slap celebrities on the cover because they know people like you will eat up very last bit of the celebrity-worshipping drivel they are serving up. I personally have nothing against TS. In fact, until recently I was a champion of hers. I never liked her music, but I admired her hard work, ambition and moxie. She wasn’t involved in sandals, she had clean music and she carried herself with dignity. I thought she was a good role model (one of few) for young girls. My issue is with this ridiculous and comical rebranding. The last thing TS has ever been is some hardened, leather-clad, rapping badass. And you don’t have to ‘say’ you are a badass in order to try to give that impression. And that’s what it is. An impression. Because we all know who TS is. She’s been in the public eye since she was like 14. I’m not saying people can’t change, but I am saying a complete 180 is not very believable. Good for you for not judging ‘other women’s experiences on severity level.’ You are clearly a better woman than I. I do judge because I am human, and I will always stand by someone who has survived the Holocaust or brutal war or human trafficking or rape or any other horrific thing over a powerful, influential, wealthy celebrity who has all the resources and means at their finger tips. Because in reality there are severity levels. I say good for Taylor Swift. She should stand up for herself. But suing someone over grabbing your ass and leading a revolt in the Holocaust isn’t the same thing.”
Final editor’s note: When I heard on the news that morning TIME had crown #MeToo their “Person of the Year,” I thought it was a little odd given that #MeToo is a hashtag and not an actual person. Then again they also named Trump “Person of the Year,” and I’m not sure he’s an actual human either. I think he may be a demogorgon. I predict Stranger Things will have an unnaturally orange demogorgon in season 3. Then just the other day I learned the woman, Tarana Burke, responsible for creating the hashtag years ago to support survivors sexual assault who had been discarded and forgotten in the underprivileged communities where they lived wasn’t pictured on the cover and wasn’t even prominently featured in the piece but rather was mentioned 2,000 words into an article about “silence breakers” of which she was the initial one. TIME did have a few prominent, wealthy and influential white women on the cover though.
And then I realized I had a blog post.

Hey, TIME How About Banning “Bitch?”

Think

I have long wanted to write this piece. I have rolled it around in my brain for years but never put my thoughts to paper. What would I say? How would I frame it? What was the context? But TIME Magazine’s list issued last month of suggested words to slash from the English language, gave me clarity. The magazine’s suggestion to ban the word, “feminist,” gave me all the fuel I needed to finally put my pent up thoughts to laptop, and today I’m honored that my essay, Here’s a Word TIME Magazine Could Ban, has been published on The Broad Side.

While I understand much has been said in the wake of the poll and the magazine has issued a quasi-apology, my criticism of their error goes beyond simply condemning the magazine and looks at what their statement really says, why feminism is still very much needed today and how TIME could have put their list to better use.

I’m aware the opinion expressed in my piece might not be a popular one given the common and casual use of the term “bitch” by just about everyone. But the word has always managed to shock and assault me every single time I hear it. I am jolted by its use time and again because the word is so hateful and yet so easily tossed around. I hope you will go take a look as I am quite proud that my words have found a home on such a thoughtful and respected site run by the accomplished and award-winning journalist, author, editor and political strategist formerly known as PunditMom. PunditMom or Joanne Bamberger as she is now known is not only the founder and publisher of this site but also the proud owner of many titles. She has been honored as an innovative “disruptor” in new media (yeah!), has won an Advocacy Innovator Award (she can advocate for me anytime) and has been named one of the Most Powerful Moms in Social Media (that’s right). The woman has more titles than will fit in this blog post. Let’s just say she’s impressive, and I am humbled and delighted to be in her company. Now go read it! And tell me what you think. Thanks.
photo credit: jDevaun.Photography via photopin cc