I’m not Mitt Romney, so I don’t have to focus solely on jobs, jobs, jobs. (But fear not; if you stay with me to the end, there’s a jobs angle to this story too.)
To mark this historic occasion–the 24 hour anniversary of Barack Obama’s evolution wherein he catches up to the position where Dick Cheney was two years ago–let’s talk about people who hate people who aren’t like them.
No, I’m not talking about these people. I’m talking about mommy bloggers who want to punch people in the throat. That’s actually the name of the blog “People I want to Punch in the throat.” And just in case that was too nuanced for you, she adds in a subtitle: “I think the title sums it up. If you can’t figure it out, then go away before I punch you in the throat.”
The homophobic rants at this site are the work of the pseudonymous mommy blogger Jen Fisher, who advises her readers that she is a “funny, negative, bitchy type of person,” and adds that “If you can’t handle that . . . don’t waste your time flaming me for being a grouch.” While she is unlike another mommy blogger I know and like, who is funny without being negative and bitchy, I can see how that persona could be humorous . . . if your idea of funny is a female Archie Bunker with a blog.
Actually her rants aren’t homophobic. At least none that I’ve read. But they might as well be, because they heap scorn, ridicule, and virtual violence on “people not like me.”
Let me give you an example from the post that I found via a link from an old friend. Jen wants to punch “Douchey Dads” in the throat. She never quite defines ”Douchey Dad,” but apparently it is a young, well-dressed member of a country club. They are guilty of taking Tuesdays off to golf, wearing expensive shirts, and “yukking”–whatever that is. In short they are “people not like me.”
Jen met the DDs when she was setting up at a country club for a charity auction and immediately took a dislike to them, those people not like her. Why? I don’t know. Apparently being affluent, well-dressed, and comfortable is somehow wrong. (Methinks I detect jealousy.) Why do people take an instant disliking to someone, lump them all into a category and pillory them on the web for others to mock?
Here’s a little exercise I like to engage in: turn the story around 180-degrees and see if it’s still the same. If instead of making fun of idle white wealthy fathers, this was a post advocating a punch in the throat for unemployed black impoverished mothers, would we act the same? No. At the very least it would be labeled “hate speech.” And it wouldn’t be funny to anyone . . . anyone except Archie Bunker, perhaps. (When did Meathead turn into Archie? That’s a subject for another day.) So why is this funny to Jen and her hundreds of commenters?
Why is it that society feels comfortable mocking one group, when we would never tolerate the same treatment of another? Why is it that those very people who dislike people they don’t even know (church-goers, rednecks, Kansans) often think of themselves as being so tolerant? Just how little introspection does it take to have such a bipolar view of the world?
I’m probably too hard on Jen. I’m sure that she’s a nice person in real life and is mean only as a means to amuse. But then again, maybe I’m not too hard on her. “Mean only as a means to amuse” is pretty much the definition of a bully. (Or at least that’s what we’d call it if Jen was ridiculing a protected class.) Maybe it just takes having the contrast exposed for her to see the point. Plus, it’s hard to heap too much blame on a mere blogger, when we have a President who likes to divide people, label them, and engage in ridicule. So much for unity.
Finally, since I promised a jobs angle to the story . . . it isn’t clear from Jen’s post whether she was at the country club as an employee, vendor, or to help the charity hosting the auction there. It doesn’t matter, because in some small way the presence of the “douchey dads” she found so objectionable, contributed to her cause. Even if they weren’t at the charity auction themselves, they help fund the country club so that it can offer reasonable prices to charities wishing to host an event. It amazes me how often I hear scorn from employees, clients, and benificiaries directed at those who provide them cash. People might want to keep that in mind lest they again make the mistake of engaging in covetous tax policies that put a bunch of shipyard workers out of work.
P.S. Don’t misconstrue this post as advocacy for a world free from mockery. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s more fun to live in a Blazing Saddles world: