Friday, January 29, 2010


This morning, a friend on Facebook linked to this story: Man slaps child in Walmart: Mom blogger can identify, sort of. You can read the comments for yourself, but I don't recommend it. Reading the comment section of any news story can quickly cause depression and misanthropy. Sadly, the first comments on my friend's link were "funny" recommendations for assaulting the mother. Hilarious suggestions like punching her in the face or cutting her. Apparently it can be assumed that she deserved to be shamed for the offense of inflicting a crying child on the poor victims of Wal Mart.

I get so angry about this. When I was a newer mother, I was terrified of this kind of disapproval and made too many parenting mistakes based on that fear of inconveniencing anyone who might have to tolerate my presence and the presence of my baby.

Here's the thing: People get bent out of shape about crying kids because of a sick sense of entitlement. They'll tolerate far worse from other adults, but mothers with small children are safe to bully. These people feel entitled, apparently, to have their comfort prioritized at the expense of a small child. They advocate the mom spanking the kid - whatever it takes to shut the thing up (these, incidentally, tend to be the same people who feel free to tell a parent who is trying to discipline their child that they are too mean and unskilled to have kids... cry that parents should have to pass some sort of test, etc.). They advocate physical assault of the mother - because obviously if her child is crying, she's worthless in all respects.

When I call people out on this kind of bullying, I'm told that it's a joke. It's supposed to be funny.

Seriously? It just sounds like bullying to me. Stop it. And those of you who see this bullying going on and don't call people on it are facilitating their intimidation of a group of people. Please don't let these "jokes" go unchallenged.

1 comment:

  1. This seven-year old mom still twists her own innards trying to balance social acceptance (in a world I generally don't accept) with my own parenting. I mean to go RAWR and all I go is sideways and, at best, feel terribly awkward. <3 I can't yet do it for myself, but I sure do relish stepping in and standing up whenever I can help someone else. It's a good start.