Friday, 9 May 2014

Is It Just Me: Questioning When an Opinion Piece goes from Thought Provoking to Cyber Bullying?

Now, if you're a blogger you will probably know what I'm talking about, if not, briefly, a major parenting website that isn't Mumsnet or Netmums and has "dish" in the title, decided to write an article about a blogger's way of making artistic lunches for her young son.

Its called Bento, a SE Asian word for lunch box. But their lunchbox, and this bloggers lunchbox, has little containers of artfully crafted food (I mean seriously arty, amazingly so), to tempt whoever it is made for. Not like I usually do, whereby I sleepily chuck a bag of crisps, a cake bar, and a roll in Littlest's Spiderman lunch box.

The thing is, I'm all for opinions and debate. I like a good rant where its due too. But the lady in question had not deserved the rant. The post didn't read like it was sparking debate. It didn't read like an opinion piece.

It read, to not just me, but to a lot of other people, and more importantly to the Blogger being written about, like a bullying diatribe of abuse.

The issue was, that it wasn't bemoaning Bento as a concept, or photographing of kids lunch boxes. If it had of been, I don't think it would have caused utter disbelief. It singled out the blogger herself, by name. It questioned her ability as a parent. It suggested she was not nurturing her son but making him, amongst other things, a Bullying target, a Mummies Boy, and wished the boys future spouse "luck".

The misogynistic tone and subtext made me think it was written by a sneering bloke they'd borrowed from Loaded. It told the blogger to go "get a job".

Problem is, it was written by a woman, a Mother herself. 

She didn't research properly, as then she'd have known that the Blogger has, indeed, got a job, actually.

What right does someone, another Mum, have to slander someone in the name of witty journalism? It wasn't a thought provoking article, it was a sensationalist attack. The site which hosted it has removed it after a barrage of comments, and has now complained to her supporters on Twitter that their poor site and journalist has been "bullied." 

So, readers, when does an Opinion piece go from thought provoking and become cyber bullying? 

Personally, I would sue the site and its second rate hack too. But that's me.

Comments welcome guys :) Have a good weekend.

3 comments:

  1. Victoria MyLittleLBlog9 May 2014 19:20

    that a shame i didnt read the article, but it is a fine line between an opinion and bullying, I came across it myself and I felt so horrible that someone can be so "judgmental" over me it actually ruined my day and upset me a lot

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  2. A Humdrum Mum21 May 2014 18:17

    I didn't read it either, but on a slightly related note, I'm fed up with the parenting website with a huff in its name posting "open letters" to people who have wronged them. Yes people have been rude and judgmental, but in almost all of the ones I've read (bloody loads each day to my FB newsfeed), the open letters were really judgmental too! I'm fed up with it. I usually go with "if you haven't got anything nice to say, don't say anything at all". At least don't name people.... GRRRR. -HMx

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  3. I remember reading that article. As you say, I think it's a fine line between opinion piece and bullying, and this stepped over a little when it was made personal.
    The blogger in question was in the Mail (if I remember correctly?) talking about the lunchboxes, so inevitable that it would cause discussion. There's a way to do it though, maybe the concept of bento boxes in general. To make it personal saying 'get a job' amongst other things went way too far. If pretty lunches are what you like doing, who's to judge?

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