It’s an epidemic. Each morning I go on Facebook with the innocent intention of stalking my acquaintances and I’m inundated with it.
I’m talking about jerk-shaming.
You’ve heard of fat-shaming and slut-shaming. Jerk-shaming is gaining popularity through the rise of bored people sharing banal, humorless posts dramatizing their mundane interactions with rude people and turning it into ‘a thing’ that we should all be aware of and get really fired up about. They call it “venting.” What ever happened to the dignified practice of telling a rude person to shove it and then happily going about your day?
I read this article the other day shared by several of my friends called Are You Really Pro-Life? I actually thought the points raised in the second half of the article were very thought-provoking so it annoys me that the catalyst was this anecdote: the author was at the grocery store with her five children in the middle of a meltdown and the annoyed man behind her in line said to his wife, “Some people should stop having kids.” The author goes on to say:
“Yes, I know how it looked. I was standing there by myself holding government free food coupons with 5 young children of two different races, and I myself look even younger than I am, which is young. I looked irresponsible. Nobody could know I was married, and that all foster children under the age of 5 receive WIC. Regardless of stereotypes and my appearance in that moment, my mind was absolutely blown when I saw the couple get into their vehicle that had a single bumper sticker on the back…pro-life. Never in a million years would I have guessed that same couple was pro-life…Being pro-life shouldn’t be just about supporting a child’s rights during their nine months in-utero but should also be about supporting the children’s (and their mother’s) lives after they are born.”
I was like, where the heck did all that come from? Just because someone makes a rude comment about you, you accuse them of thinking that you should have aborted several of your children? I mean, what does that even say about how you feel about pro-choice people? That they are intolerant of poor, bi-racial families and are total jerks to moms in supermarkets??
Personally, I hear snarky comments like “Some people should stop having kids” all the time! Granted, it’s from my husband and he’s referring to us.
(Fun tip: if your children start melting down in public, just look around accusingly at the other adults and yell, “Is somebody gonna get this kid under control? Anyone?!”)
My point is, when sharing AND shaming, use a little discretion. Not everything needs to be whipped up into a self-indulgent hot-button political frenzy. Sometimes people are jerks. Sometimes kids are annoying. Everybody be cool.
You can file this under shamer-shaming.