Dear Trolls

Every comment on my blog must first be approved by me before being visible in the comments section of my posts. I mean, duh.

Unfortunately, I still have to read every comment written, visible to the public or not.

And while I do have some control over which comments are visible on my Facebook page, the articles shared on other social media platforms and by other TTM followers and readers are out of my bounds, but not necessarily beyond my vision.

It will come as no surprise to most people, I’ve had a handful of encounters with internet trolls—people who make irrelevant comments in an attempt to spark offense, create discord, and in general, get me fired up.

I’ve decided to share with you all some of trolling comments I had most recently and the responses I’ve kept to myself…up to this point.

Why now? Why share my responses at all?

I think it’s important to confront and dispute the idea that internet commentary doesn’t/shouldn’t follow the same rules of engagement as communication in the real world—face-to-face.

It is because we allow ourselves and others to believe the buffer of computer screens and mobile devices somehow negate the necessity of manners that we’ve put ourselves in the center of a digital world full of rudeness, hostility, and blatant disregard for others.

You still need to think before you speak…even, and perhaps especially, on the internet.

If you read my last post, you know I’ve learned this lesson the hard way.

Further more, I want to speak out against these particular trolls because I see a trend in what’s being said. I’ve had similar comments on several of my other blog posts, and see these kinds of comments often from people on other pages etc.

I want to reiterate that offense—being offended, hurt, or injured by careless words from careless people—is something that must be allowed by the recipient of the intended offenseIt is a choice we all have—to be offended by idiots and morons, or not.

I realize the trolls who’ve lurked in my article comment sections will likely never read this response. It isn’t necessarily for them. It’s for me. And it’s for all the brave people out there with courage enough to share some of themselves with the world, who must suffer the annoyance of arrogant, tactless, mean-spirited trolls as consequence of their honesty and fortitude.

So…to the trolls, I have this to say…

To the person(s) who commented on my blog titled: DO THE F*^#*@% THINGS: LEARNING TO RELISH WHAT REALLY MATTERS , your comment(s), along the lines of;

  • You’re fat.
  • Your husband would like you better if you were fit.
  • You are doing your kids a disservice by not being an example of true health.

I’m paraphrasing their comments, of course. The sentiment remains.

To you, trolls, I say this…

Perhaps you would, in fact, say these things to my face. However, I’d wager should you meet all 6’0″ and roughly 200 lbs of me on the volleyball court or at the gym—both physical spaces I believe I set a healthy example of active adulthood for my children, it might be a little more difficult for you to squeeze your spiteful words out as I intently listen, shooting my laser beam intelligent eyes in your direction.

Just a guess.

I know my husband takes exception to the presumption that anyone whom he’s never met knows what he does and doesn’t like. As he’s mentioned in the past, he knows not what a random person on the internet likes for breakfast, nor does this random internet person know what he likes in a companion, co-parent, and partner between the sheets.

The point is simply this: “Knowing” someone requires time, energy, and effort. Even with these things it’s difficult to understand another person. People are complicated and complex. Do not make a fool of yourself by presuming to know someone through only the weak and incomplete connection of the inter webs. It is both a naive and ignorant presumption.

For the record, I take exception to the idea that I would marry a person so vapid and shallow as to base likability on fitness level, let alone perceived level of fitness based on appearance. Again, refer to the paragraph above. You don’t know me.

If you did—know me, I mean—you would have attacked my intelligence, feminist will, character, or integrity to inspire insult, but certainly not my appearance.

What a great segue for the “fat” comment. Which, by the way, is not only basic, boring, and lacking creativity, it’s antiquated. That lame attempt at insult has been blathered by cretins since I was in elementary school and long before.

Let me help you out with why it’s missing the mark.

Yes, I have fat, which is normal at varying levels in healthy women. Thank you, Captain Obvious. I am also quite tall, white, green-eyed, and rock a pixie hair cut. I mean, while we’re pointing out the evident, might as well add those to the list.

I’d like to take a moment to point out something else, quite obvious, to you, dear troll.

Fat women (and men) are no different than any other women (and men). They are friends, parents, caregivers, siblings, athletes, geeks, lawyers, secretaries, business owners, entrepreneurs, volunteers, doctors, nurses, cancer survivors, nail techs, hair dressers, writers, cops, military heroes, politicians, clerks, janitors, engineers, farmers, cowboys, movie stars, fashion models, and every other conceivable category of productive human. The idea being called “fat” is somehow an insult is akin to calling someone brunette or employable, and expecting it to cause offense.

Oh yes, culturally, we still have a bias against fat people. No doubt. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t ridiculous when you stop and think about it. Kind of like how sometimes women aren’t paid the same as men for the same job. It’s all pretty ludicrous when the practice is deconstructed by intelligence.

Not that a troll would understand.

Which brings me to one more thought.

And trolls, I really do hope you’re listening. You can not cause offense—not alone, anyway. The person on the opposite side of the mud slinging must agree to feel offended. He or she must permit the insult to be insulting.

Guess what?

You don’t have my permission.