Indulge me for a few minutes if you will, I have my ranty, tanty pants on and whilst I have been doing lots of writing about my journey nothing is really making any sense there. But this is something that has really pushed my buttons today and the words have just flowed! My newsfeed today has been filled with lots of judgey mcjudgey posts about many things from bad behaviour in sport, too much screentime, naming and shaming without the facts, other people’s body’s, other people’s bad parenting, feeding your children the wrong things (in their opinion!) You name it there is any number of this type of articles and comments all over the internet especially facebook and twitter. These posts then generate an incredible amount of of manufactured outrage, which then because of the interest in the topics is picked up by mainstream media outlets, then the outrage continues you get the picture.
Today’s particular topic of interest was a picture of a model jogging in a bikini pushing an expensive pram. Let’s get serious about this for a second, this woman is a model, she has to keep fit and her body in great shape for her job, her child (from what you can see the feet!) appears content, and it turned out to be a posed picture for a Vogue magazine shoot. This was not an ad for the pram which was how it had been portrayed it was a staged picture! Again, let’s be rational about this for a second: the model makes her living from having a great body and using it in photos. This picture from what I can work out was not put up to say ALL women should look like this 2 years after their child was born or that ALL women should jog in their bikinis with their child in an expensive pram. Nor from what I can tell is the pram company refusing to sell their prams to the tracky dack, ugh boot wearing, hair not done, just rolled out of bed look women.
However, the manufactured outrage that this picture generated on social media today in my opinion bordered on ridiculous! These nameless, faceless keyboard warriors whipped up a frenzy of vitrioule aimed at the manufacturers of the pram, the model for putting herself out there, you name it there was this outrage everywhere you looked. Of course in amongst that there were a few trying to speak sense into this debate and simply say live and let live, “you wouldn’t catch me dead jogging in a bikini but hey I don’t have a body like that”. The reality is I think that this manufactured outrage has far more to do with jealousy than anything else at all.
This particular story was eventually around about 3pm picked up by mainstream media with an article online with more judging and some commonsense quotes from some women I admire incredibly. Seriously mainsteam media how do things like this even make news! There are far bigger issues in Australia and the world that require reporting on how about you do your jobs and inform us unbiasedly and fill us with things that matter. Leave the fluff to the entertainment shows. I am still struggling with how a model jogging in her bikini pushing a pram is even news!
I get that this piece of writing could be considered hypocritical because I am judging the mcjudgey, I really think I have an important point though and I am almost there please hang in there. I understand that there is an endemic of bullying in schools, social media, workplaces you name it. I am wondering if there is a correlation at all in the rise of the nameless, faceless, keyboard warrior wearing nasty judgey mcjudgey pants and the rise in bullying. Once upon a time we could escape the bully but now it pervades every aspect of our lives and even if we switch off the bully is still there spreading their message to anyone who will listen giving it a life of its own. Most of the manufactured outrage is generated from adults, the very adults that are parents to children. We as adults and especially parents need to consider that we are role models to our children and as such they watch everything we do. If they see us being judgey mcjudgey about trivial issues online then they will have a hard time differentiating between what is acceptable comment and bullying. There is always, always, always a way to get your point across without bullying! It is quite possible that this trend of manufactured outrage is in fact contributing to the bullying issues across the board, just something to think about.
My final point is to leave you with is imagine if all that manufactured outrage about trivial issues was harnessed to find solutions for issues that really matter to us now and will make a difference to the futures of our children. In case you can’t think of any issues here’s some that you could turn your outrage towards:
* Climate change – it is real folks and we need to make some changes now so that we have something to leave our kids.
* Renewable energy sources for electricity, heating, cooking, transport what we use now will not last!
* Child abuse, child labour, sex trafficking.
* How can we leave a better world for our kids.
* Domestic violence and violence/aggression in general.
* Alcohol, drugs, exploitation, unemployment or underemployment.
* Mental Health, disability services, access to healthcare.
* Engaging more people in the political process, getting people to really care.
* Holding our governments to account and using the same benchmark all the time.
This is really just a few off the top of my head seriously I am sure that you can find something that is not trivial that the outrage could be harnessed and used for good.
Just think about is all I’m saying.