Ever catch the "Mean Tweets" segment on Jimmy Kimmel? It basically consists of celebrities reading out all the nasty shit that has been said about them on Twitter. Some people can get awfully creative in under 140 characters. Even President Obama recently did a stint on Kimmel.
It's meant to be amusing, and we are encouraged to laugh at the tweets because these are highly successful, often stunningly beautiful people, so it's understood that the comments are rooted in absurdity. And it's expected that these uber famous people will simply take the mean tweets in their stride since hey, they are uber famous, and not real people with real feelings.
But what happens when those tweets are not directed at accomplished, thick-skinned adults? The non-profit Canadian Safe School Network parodied Kimmel's formula, and the results were far from funny.
Regular teens read out things that have been tweeted to and about them. At first the 'laugh track' remains in situ, then the raw power of the words—increasingly hurtful—speaks for themselves.
The point of the video? Cyberbullying is no a laughing matter.
In fact, I'd go so far as to suggest that isn't funny to target celebrities, either. It's as if, simply by virtue of being in the public eye, they're somehow fair game for mass criticism and ridicule.
"Mean Tweets" sends the message that cleverly and publicly putting someone else down can be hilarious.
Sorry, Jimmy, but it's not cool, and it's not the first time his material misses the mark.
Suffice to say, this mama will take celebrity lip-synching battles over "Mean Tweets" any day of the week. Go Team Fallon!
Image Source: YouTube
For some time parents have been cautioned against telling our kids they are special or doling out too much praise. This advice has now been corroborated by an actual study from the University of Amsterdam and Ohio State University.
The mere fact that we needed a study to tell us this is a bit depressing because it suggests narcissism is already a minor epidemic among our selfie-obsessed society and there is a serious fallout, e.g. increased rates of aggression and violence.E
By studying some 500 kids between the ages of 7-12, researchers concluded that narcissism largely came about by "parental overvaluation, not by lack of parental warmth." In other words, children internalize the messages their parents feed to them. In other words, love your kiddos deeply, but do your best not to flatter them.
As this writer brilliantly states, our role as parents is "partly to keep their kids clothed and fed and safe and loved, and partly to prevent them from becoming Caligula."
Never Say Never: Common Sense Parenting
So, by way of a refresher... Rather than tell your kid he's God's gift to the world, praise actions that reflect effort and tenacity in the face of adversity, what's referred to as "true grit." Praise kindly and selfless gestures, while taking care to model plenty of the same in your own life. Because the apple never falls far now, does it?
This article gives lots of great tips, from the art of saying "no" to teaching basic manners (and who knew Louie CK was the latest parenting expert?) Though it smacks of common sense, sadly, in the Me Age, it's all too easy to lose touch of a community beyond Twitter.
I'm happy to say our own bloggers have been touting this advice well before this study came to the fore. Celebrate boredom, read, and travel widely with your kids so they learn the value of real empathy and injustice.
In summary: if you don't want to raise a little narcissist, then don't treat your child as if she is more entitled or somehow better than others.
Since when are sanitary pads synonymous with social awareness? Since a German feminist named Elonë married the two to get across an important message about "rape culture and victim blaming."
After seeing the influential tweet by @CuteQueer69 ("Imagine if men were as disgusted with rape as they are with periods"), Elonë was inspired to plaster her hometown of Karlsruhe with this and other feminist rhetoric typed on panty liners. She posted photos of her pad trail on Instagram and Tumblr to mark International Women's Day.
"Rapists rape people not outfits," read another statement.
The reaction to Elonë's project has mostly been positive, yet some saw her gesture as wasteful of a resource that could benefit homeless women at a certain time of the month!
Though there is no denying this is a conversation we need to have—and at a global level—some of the statements Elonë has posted are clearly polarizing.
For instance, inferring that men aren't disgusted by rape does little to advance that discussion, and does little else except pit men against women.
Such statements are what sometimes gives the word "Feminism" a bad connotation. Such statements may be behind reasons some women are reluctant to label themselves feminists in the first place.
While I'm sure Elonë's heart is in the right place, the shock tactic element leaves me a bit cold. The vast majority of men out there aren't opposed to equality and mutual respect, and we need to be mindful of that fact.
If you want to call yourself a feminist, if you want to see real change, then maybe the best place to start is to stop treating men like enemies and treat them as allies working toward the same end goal. Just saying.
Image Source: Instagram