"Journal for fifteen minutes or longer about why people leave mean, vulgar, or inappropriate comments online — the things they would never say to a person's face. Be sure to address gender differences while you are writing."I've mentioned before the group of moms I'm involved with. I've made some great friends in this group, but as with any group of a good size there are personality differences and conflicts. Usually conflicts just blow over, but in some cases the claws really come out and people get nasty. It happened again yesterday, and after the drama dies down for the most part, there are always comments about free speech, "big girl panties," interesting discussion, hypothetical situations being misread, and excuses like that.
Yes, I called it excuses. When grown, adult women, varying in age but all old enough to have children, agree to form a group and agree to respect each others feelings and beliefs, despite any differences, societal rules must apply or the group will implode. Yes, sometimes snark is fun. And yes, humor is often misread on the internet. But when something is deeply hurtful, and known to be deeply hurtful, we need to back off and respect the other side. In some cases, it's best to agree to disagree and let it go. Just drop it, and don't keep making snide comments in other discussions, or make random jokes about the subject. Both parties are offended in the discussion, both should apologize, and all should just let it go.
THAT is the true meaning, to me, of "big girl panties." Just let it go. Be the bigger person and stop the arguing.
As for the prompt of why people do this? I don't know. Boredom? Need for attention? Desire to impress others? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe the instigators just have fun stirring up trouble.
Whatever the reason, all that is accomplished is discord and division in the group. The once happy group of mom friends is now two groups, with a majority of the members in common. It's pretty sad.
Why can't we just all get along?
(Thanks to Kate for the title!)