It came to my attention that someone had plagiarized at Babble a few days ago.
I noted in my head that their response was respectful of all parties involved by not naming and went clicking on over to Strollerderby as I often do.
As it should have been.
Then I saw a post on Twitter that drew my attention.
I read it. And clicked on a link. And clicked, and clicked.
I’m in an awesome community of bloggers, where every blogger I’ve personally met has been gracious, supportive, caring, and friendly.
I was heartsick to see this kind of negativity strewn across the web, some by people I have admired.
Facebook comments, tweets, a meme created liking her to Casey Anthony, someone emailing all of her sponsors to tattle, a husband compelled to defend and being attacked in turn.
Bullying is bullying.
Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior manifested by the use of force or coercion to affect others, particularly when the behavior is habitual and involves an imbalance of power. It can include verbal harassment, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexuality, or ability. – Wikipedia
I don’t care if there was something illegal that happened.
I don’t care how many times or when she did it.
Just because you were wronged doesn’t mean you can sick the hounds on someone.
Just because you think they made a bad excuse does not make your abuse acceptable.
Just because you don’t think they apologized right does not make it acceptable to point out how much you were wronged by posting private conversation.
I really started getting serious with blogging over a year ago, and luckily have found only support and acceptance. Even when I figured I made mistakes, I got help correcting it and then everyone moved on.
If I had seen anyone treated like this when I first started, I wonder, would have I tried to fit into the clique by also poking fun? Could I have then ended up with my turn in the harsh spotlight? Or would they have rejected me anyway after the naive support, turning their backs to sit at the same lunch table every day together.
Am I supposed to keep respecting some of these ladies who are showing the wrong example and then spout about their own children and friends being bullied?
We are all bloggers.
We are all writers.
We are not supposed to be high school girls, forming cliques and poking fun at anyone.
We may not be all professional, but we are examples of real life in the public eye. We are constantly being watched by companies, brands, other bloggers, society, and our families.
Every word you write is a reflection of yourself. So choose your words carefully, even if yours have been taken away. Take the higher road and earn respect, instead of degrading someone else.
Don’t attack just because everyone else is.
You don’t know who is reading and judging you.
P.S. Razing Mayhem wrote a wonderful piece I shared with my followers showing exactly how a few people’s actions can cause judgement against a whole group of people. I would be afraid to meet some of these people now too, although I don’t have a BlogHer ticket to consider selling. And don’t forget to read her addendum afterward.
P.P.S. I chose the Wikipedia definition because I like how it was written, not that I think Wikipedia is the ultimate source of knowledge.