About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Monday, January 19, 2015

Revolt Against the Bully Culture #inspiration #BlogChat

Photo courtesy of Campaign to Unload


Lately I feel as if I've entered a time warp. In a country where the word "freedom" is tossed around to excuse everything from gun violence to hate speech, one odd trend persists---bullying others into silence. 

Last week in my son's sociology class, the teacher actually told the class that no one should question the government. Thankfully, I've raised a rebel who openly challenged her statement. This example is simply one of many in what's become a bullying culture. 

Passionate about a cause? Shh...you'll probably be called hateful names or lose a few "friends" if you speak up. Oh, and if you happen to have a public career, you'd better check yourself before you wreck all you've established--at least that's what your peers will tell you. 

Upset about being mistreated and feel it necessary to set some boundaries? Well, you'd better suck it up because if you stand up for yourself you'll be called a bitch or attacked for holding your ground. 

The sentiment of "who do you think you are" has become too embedded in our daily lives. Who do you think you are to tell me no? Who do you think you are to have an opinion contrary to mine? Who do you think you are to state exactly what you will or will not tolerate? Who do you think you are to expect respect? Who do you think you are to question what's happening in the world? Who do you think you are to question at all? 

I know who I am. I know what resonates with my soul. I am a liberal and proud of it. I love other people as fellow human beings striving to enjoy this planet. I believe in a higher power and that we are all connected. I believe we all have a voice that needs to be heard and respected. I trust myself enough to let people go who don't respect my feelings. I respect myself enough to say "this is unacceptable and I deserve better." 

Bullying is usually only spoken about in schools, but I've discovered that bullies never grow up. They are becoming more and more powerful in today's world thanks to social media and what appears to be a lack of common decency shown to fellow human beings. 

As an author, we discuss trolls all the time. Trolls are people on the internet who attack authors with one star ratings and false reviews for the sake of "taking someone down" or "proving a point." Dare to speak up directly and you'll be attacked even more. This is common place. Just last week a fellow author dared speak up about this phenomena only to be criticized by her peers and attacked by more trolls. As the "attacks" intensified, I heard peers of mine actually say she deserved it for speaking out. Do you see what's wrong with this picture? This is so common that no one in the industry blinks--but don't dare speak up. Shh...the bullies have the power. 

What would you do if you saw someone being attacked in the street? Would you think they deserved it? Would you intervene? Would you avert your eyes and pretend you didn't see it? Would you record it with your phone and post it on Twitter later? 

Compassion, common decency, and humanity are not words of weakness but of strength. It takes more courage to do the right thing than the wrong one. 

As for my son's sociology teacher, she must not be familiar with the saying 'dissent is the highest form of patriotism.' Is she not familiar with how this country came into existence?

Revolt! Be true to yourself and your integrity. Don't allow someone to make you feel as if your voice isn't valued. It is. We've become silent unless hiding behind an anonymous screen name. We mutter behind closed doors or with like-minded people who we deem 'safe' rather than saying exactly what we feel for fear of retribution--either public or personal. 

The bullies are winning. They want us to remain silent, to forget our personal power, to cower away from conflict, to embrace fear, to ignore the causes that resonate deep with our hearts. Why are we allowing this? Have we forgotten what the word 'freedom' truly means? It doesn't belong to a select few who are louder and meaner than you--freedom belongs to us all and we have a duty to ourselves to speak up and stand strong. 

Who do you think you are to dare speak your truth? No. The real question is: who are you to dare remain silent? 

4 comments:

  1. Brava!!!

    Bullying has become the "norm" in our professional community and I'm sick of it. What happened to authors helping authors? Now it's gang up on anyone who has a different opinion or way of doing things. The biggest bullies we're encountering now are not the "trolls" on Goodreads but in the pool of authors who claim to support their fellow Indies.

    We have readers bullying authors. Authors have been ganging up on readers/reviewers. Authors have attacked other authors behind the scenes or right out in the open, to the point some have left the business. The kicker over the last year was a once well known and now infamous publisher bullying it's editors, authors and anyone who dared to tell the truth.

    It's enough to make me want to ditch it all. I won't do it because there are people like you in this industry who stand up for what you believe in and for your peers. I'm blessed for having you in my corner when I went through some of the darkest days of my life.

    I'll not keep quiet any longer. Enough is enough.

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    1. Definitely don't quite, Tammy. That's when the bullies win.

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  2. Stand your ground. Nothing wrong with being a liberal and accepting that we're all one. Nothing wrong with striving towards an equality for all and reminding those in Government they work for the betterment of the people and not for the betterment of themselves.The more a bully gets away with things, the more they bully.
    Good for you.
    Can you add a box to your blog that allows us to post to Twitter and/or facebook?
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

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    Replies
    1. Sure, if you know how to do it, please feel free. I haven't been able to figure that one out myself. Ha.

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