THE DISPOSABLE WOMAN - SEX, LIES AND CYBER BULLYING
When I was a kid, I always assumed when I grew up bullies wouldn't exist. The Internet shattered that fantasy with an all-new low for bullying;hate, intimidation, threats lobbed at victims from the safety of a cartoon character avatar and fake name. For a long time I chose to look the other way. It was "their" war not mine.
Then I became a StepMom and like so many women before me became a Disposable Woman in the eyes of the Cyber Bullies. StepMom's are easy targets for the Cyber Bullies; they can label them as a Homewrecker/Evil StepMom with little push back. Defining an entire class of women based upon one decision; we married men who had been married before. An outdated stereotype used to discount our worth as Women, Wives and Mothers.
I've been silent when it comes to Cyber Bullying thugs, not wanting to give them what they so desperately crave - attention! Then I read about Monica Lewinsky's life 16 years after her affair with President Clinton. In that moment I knew it was time to stand up to not just her Bullies, but all Cyber Bullies.
A young woman's reputation and character were slandered for an affair she had with a married man. Monica's YES as a single, unattached woman to an affair with a married man has far overshadowed Bill's YES as a Husband, Father and Commander and Chief.
Monica's ONE decision has been used to solely define all aspects of her life based upon The Other Woman Stereotype. Not only was there little resistance to stop it from happening, the mainstream media gleefully joined in. Journalists under the guise of reporting the news fed the destruction of THE DISPOSABLE WOMAN - Monica Lewinsky.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the rest of us unwittingly chimed in. The business world who refused to hire Monica based upon her education and intelligence, instead denying employment based upon her personal sex life. Regular folks refused friendship or simple kindness. After all, get too close and she'll steal your Hubby if you're not careful. And the rest of us remained silent. We chose to look the other way it was her war.
A 22 year old single woman shouldered not only the entire blame for the affair, but a 16 year and counting punishment for a decision a 49-year-old man, Husband, Father and Politician made when he had sex outside of his marriage. I'm not advocating that the blame, anger and rage should be transferred to Bill Clinton. I'm advocating that Ms. Lewinsky deserves to have it simply be a salacious footnote in her life story as well.
Whether we passively let Bullying flourish or actively participate in promoting stereotypes to solely define a woman we contribute to a culture of all women being viewed as one-dimensional beings. The Disposable Woman could be you, your Mom, your Daughter if at any time society deems to box her entire life into a stereotype. Will we simply say to them - it's your war not mine?
We may not agree with another woman's choices, but every woman should be given the same treatment we afford men: Forgiveness, Perspective and Individuality.As women we should demand that choices of ALL women especially those involving our sex lives should be nothing more than a footnote in our life story. ONE choice out of the millions we make during our lifetime should never overshadow all the others which make us the interesting and unique woman we are on any given day.
Sex, Lies and Cyber Bullying of Women lead to only one thing; A Society of Disposable Women.
Why does our society hold women more accountable for the same actions of men? Why do we feel it necessary to collectively inflict punishment on situations that have nothing to do with us personally? How can we as individuals start to make a change?