Sticks and Stones

Sticks and stones will break your bones but names will never hurt you.

“Sticks and Stones” is a popular saying told to kids when they come home from school crying because they were teased. The truth, being called a name hurts the psyche. Just as the insightful words of a great thinker can be inspiring, the harsh words of a hater can be devastating. If the name you are called has hurtful words expertly strung together, the damage can be more bothersome than physical pain. It depends on one’s level of sensitivity. Even a thick skin can be penetrated with a powerful insult.

Playing “the dozens” back in high school, the object was to trade insults with someone until somebody gave up. Including a person’s mother in the fray could be grounds for a beat down. “Your mother” has probably started more fights than any other two words. When someone is insulted, he or she usually shows what we called the “do’ face.” It’s the look you have when you unexpectedly run into a door. Surprise combined with pain. The imagination put into an insult is key. If someone called you fat, you gave a clever response with a twist to get the crowd standing by to go “oooooh!”

“That’s because whenever I finish fucking your mom, she makes me a sandwich.”

It took quite a bit not to “do’ up” and act like the comment didn’t bother you in the least. With the immense popularity of the Internet, anybody can say anything about anybody with relative anonymity. I think the answer to cyber bullying is close to the same old school advice, simply walk away. In cyberspace, walking away amounts to blocking the abuser, or better yet, turning off the computer.

They say one should develop a thick skin to be an adult in this world. They also say people insulting others are on the offensive because of their own inferiority complex.

I believe them.

William Stephenson

On the new Net Neutrality bill and why it’s Important

In case you missed it, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to reclassify broadband Internet as a utility. This may not seem like a big deal to those who have not been keeping an eye on this issue. Nevertheless, I assure you this is a massive step in the correct direction…

What does it all mean??

Essentially, the bill will prevent providers from charging individual networks extra in order to operate at full speed. Unbeknownst to many, the bill passed in 2010 made it possible for Internet providers to essentially charge people whatever they choose for service; many have complained of price hikes since that bill was introduced. Perhaps more importantly, it prevents providers from blocking access to legal content, an issue that many free speech activists have been concerned about. In a nutshell, the bill states “that no one — whether government or corporate — should control free open access to the Internet.” –npr.org. This does not necessarily end all of the budding issues concerning free speech and Internet censorship. However, it seems the government has once again started to realize the importance of maintaining free speech and personal freedoms.

Overall…

As with most bills, there is room for interpretation and typically some wiggle room for companies to find a way to continue unfair and shady practices. It is our right to keep a close eye on this issue and make them all answerable for the promises they’ve made to the American people.

Venus L

Is Rape a Hate Crime Committed Against Women

Is Rape a Hate Crime Committed Against Women?

According to the 2011 documentary When Strangers Click directed by Robert Kenner, when online dating, women most fear meeting a serial killer and men fear meeting someone overweight.

It seems that every morning when I am working my way through the daily news, there is some story to the right of all the “important” ones, tucked between tips about improving your resume and heartwarming local pieces. Woman gets raped after online date gone awry.

What’s sad is how desensitized we’ve become about this news that is hardly news, anymore. More horrifying, however, are the comments such a story elicits. While some Internet trolls sling hateful, misogynistic speech for their own amusement, I have to think that there is a deeper issue. More than just offensive jokes. If your first instinct is to comment about what a whore the girl is, or how stupid she was to expect not to be sexually assaulted, you should really reevaluate your views on women.

The irony of the whole situation is that those who say women shouldn’t put themselves in these sorts of situations, asking what did they expect, etc., are by extension saying that women don’t belong in this particular social sphere. If women didn’t participate in dating, online or otherwise, the heterosexual dating dynamic simply wouldn’t exist. Women are an integral part of the equation.

I don’t know what the solution is to this problem, but I do know that problems ensue from such a twisted point of view. If words beget actions, then the hatred that began as thoughts will only percolate and become more dangerous with time.

Micaela Gardner