Friday, 4 December 2015

Why We Should Be Happy When We've Been Trolled | A Response to "Overweight Haters Ltd"

Why We Should Be Happy When We've Been Trolled | A response to "Overweight Haters Ltd"
Trolling: Once again it has reared its ugly head and made the headlines this week. Sunday/Monday saw the latest case of trolling to go viral on social media. This time, however, the trolling happened in real life - not online.

You may have read about "Overweight Haters Ltd", an organisation (which may or may not have consisted of one man or several) who were giving out fat-shaming cards on the London underground.

If you didn't see it, be warned that your blood is guaranteed to boil.

The card below was given to a woman on the tube and she bravely posted it on Twitter:


Apparently, the women who have been handed these cards (because yes, it turns out it wasn't just one) are given them and then the brave chap immediately jumps off the carriage as the doors close. Of course this allows him to simply inflict maximum emotional pain without actually sticking around to find out what her reaction might be or to allow her a right to reply. (And, as un-PC as this sounds, we all secretly wish her knee had been given the chance to connect with a particular place on his person.)

AS UN-PC AS THIS SOUNDS, WE ALL SECRETLY WISH HER KNEE HAD BEEN GIVEN THE CHANCE TO CONNECT WITH A PARTICULAR PLACE ON HIS PERSON.

I could easily make this a 10,000 word post/essay on why trolling and any kind of shaming and hatred is just so utterly vile and cruel and TOTALLY unnecessary... What purpose does it serve? Why do they feel the need to inflict pain on others? Why can't they channel that energy into something that helps other people instead of making them feel lower than low?

There is so much to say about the subject of trolling, and so much more to be said about this latest case, but I will try to keep this short and sweet (though I may struggle).

There was a huge amount of (fully justified) outcry on the internet about this, with most expressing their horror and a few right-to-replies with an equally vitriolic flavour and some colourful language.

However, I spotted the potential for a little tweaking of the same card for a reply of my own which I promptly tweeted (scroll down for the larger version which is easier to read):


Response to Overweight Haters Ltd: Bigot Detesters Ltd
I felt there was no need to reply with more hatred towards them - as my mother always said, "Never lower yourself to someone else's level". And although I'll always stand by that advice, I'll admit it can be incredibly hard to follow - I'd be lying if I said I've followed it in real life every time.

I received a few revolting replies of my own to my tweet, such as "I'd rather be a bigot than a fatty" and "Let's be honest, everybody hates fat people", and "At least I'm not a self-righteous blogger trying to get attention". Seriously???

I'm stunned they can't see the irony in replying that way. My reaction, as I mentioned in my post about how to respond to negative comments and trolls, was simply to say how wonderful it is that they're sure to have such a happy and contented life ahead of them, and to have a lovely day. And then blocking them (with a great big dollop of pity).

If there are people in the world who set up "organisations" like Overweight Haters Ltd thinking it is actually a good idea (or that they somehow get off on being hateful), I honestly think there isn't much hope for them. The fact that they can't see that being kind and offering to help people rather than shame others into feeling bad about themselves means that they will probably never make that connection between right and wrong.

THE FACT THAT THEY CAN'T SEE THAT BEING KIND AND OFFERING TO HELP PEOPLE RATHER THAN SHAME OTHERS INTO FEELING BAD ABOUT THEMSELVES MEANS THAT THEY WILL PROBABLY NEVER MAKE THAT CONNECTION BETWEEN RIGHT AND WRONG.

As we all know there's enough hatred happening in the world right now, and we sure don't need more of it.

So why have I said that we should be happy when we've been trolled?

There's no denying the fact that trolling is absolutely despicable. Any decent person wouldn't wish it upon anyone. However, it does happen and will probably continue to happen, no matter how much we wish it wouldn't.

I know it's difficult, but the one thing that we should remember when we've been trolled is this:

Be happy you're not that person. Be happy and thankful that you're not a bigot, or full of hate, or insistent on spreading that hatred around - because you are a kind and decent human being. Be proud to be you.

BE HAPPY YOU'RE NOT THAT PERSON. BE HAPPY AND THANKFUL THAT YOU'RE NOT A BIGOT, OR FULL OF HATE, OR INSISTENT ON SPREADING THAT HATRED AROUND - BECAUSE YOU ARE A KIND AND DECENT HUMAN BEING.
BE PROUD TO BE YOU. 

The trolls are only highlighting what repugnant people they are (and what a kind-hearted person you are) because you know and understand how abhorrent and socially unacceptable their behaviour is. They don't.

When the people in my life have been wronged by someone in some way - whether they've been a victim of road rage, annoyed by miserable customer service or had a run-in with an unreasonable neighbour - the thing I always say to them is this:

You're a kind and decent human being - be smug in the knowledge you're not them. 

[Addition 04/12/15: I was reminded in the comments by Stace about the website that was cleverly set up: http://overweighthaters.com - it's not what you might think..! Seems the people behind the cards forgot to register that dot com, and it's been taken now and used for good. Massive kudos to them.]

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Have you (or someone you know) been the victim of any sort of severe trolling or hate crime? How did you deal with it? Tell me in the comments or tweet me @notlamb if it's easier.


Catherine

P.S. You might also want to read How to Respond to Negative Comments and Trolls

Linking up to: Let It Shine, Brilliant Blog PostsFriday's Fab Favourites
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22 comments

  1. Great advice Catherine. We have to rise above it. These people are also just cowardly in how they conduct themselves. I love your Bigot Detesters Ltd!

    http://petitesilvervixen.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jacqueline - you are spot-on when you say we have to rise above it. It must be have been devastating for the women who received one of these cards... I can't imagine how they must have felt. But I know the girl who posted the original tweet saw my response because she favourited it on Twitter - I just hope it made her smile :)

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  2. Wonderfully written post.

    The best thing I have seen to come from this despicable person(s) (for want of a better word) is that they never thought to register the domain name. So someone else has instead and turned it into something positive! http://overweighthaters.com/

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    Replies
    1. Oh gosh yes Stace - I meant to put a link to that website in there, I'll add it in... Thanks for reminding me! What a great way to respond to them, they clearly weren't thorough in their "endeavours". A lot of people noticed the spelling error in "beatiful" and the grammatical error in "overweight Haters Ltd". You can't hate "Overweight", so they've implied that they are haters who are overweight themselves.

      Double douchebags...!

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  3. I briefly saw this - but I didn't realise they were being handed out to people! I thought they were just being put in random places. It's disgusting.

    Corinne x
    www.skinnedcartree.com

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    Replies
    1. No I'm afraid it was really directed at specific women and the cards have been handed over in person, Corinne by a very sad individual, or group of people... no one's quite sure. And yes you're absolutely right - disgusting. :((

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  4. With all the hate and trouble in the world it is unbelievable that people go out of there way to add more.

    When I heard about this story it made me ill. What is the world coming to?

    bisous
    Suzanne

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    Replies
    1. I know, Suzanne - I felt the same when I read it. I started my reply as soon as I read it I was so incensed... Well worth 10 minutes of my time!!

      Delete
  5. Wow this is just awful that people would do such hurtful things to others. It saddens me to know there are still so much ignorance and lack of acceptance of people size, color, beliefs etc..

    Alice
    www.happinessatmidlife.com


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  6. nice post, and love your witty card!, glad that the girl who received this stupid card has also read yours!, wish she's feeling ok!, she looks like a nice girl, who worried first about people 'struggling with confidence', that's lovely. You know, haters gonna hate. And some other people stay being fabulous.
    besos

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  7. Horrible. I can be very cynical about the world we live in some times. I just dont know where the human decency is anymore. I know I was taught, treat someone has you yourself would want to be treated. Very good card , so true !
    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday!
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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  8. Also, I think saying nothing is a surprisingly powerful tool. Maybe more in person than on the internet. But if someone says something negative, I quite often pause, take a breath as though I am about to say something, then stop and either frown or shake my head. It really does work for me. I actually do feel genuinely sorry for a person/people who have so few positive things to do that they spend/waste time dissing other people...... Good post, very thought-provoking x

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  9. Oh Catherine, this is just appalling and hurtful and I don't understand this dreadful man's grammatically incorrect actions at all. I am further upset by the reaction to your very amusing and clever card, that you're just trying to get attention, because I think you've got integrity to your core. But fair play to those who registered the domain and have been handing out positivity cards! Brilliant!! I hadn't heard about this, I'm actually quite shocked with the timing of it all, I mean seriously doesn't the UK have enough to worry about this week?! Thank you for putting your spin on this xx

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  10. Catherine, this made me initially sad...then I started to smile.
    Your card is witty and funny and "on point".
    Recent events at my workplace have highlighted the importance of being a positive person.
    The people behind this fat -haters nonsense should be pitied.
    Have they really nothing better to do with their lives and time?
    I would much rather be a "self-righteous attention seeking blogger" (that made me laugh.)
    There will always be pathetic people, but for every one of them there are ten lovely human beings to make up for it.
    I always think of Mrs Twit....she had a beautiful face that was made ugly (over time) by ugly thoughts.
    Beauty is not skin deep.
    Beauty shines from within.....through positivity and happiness.
    The most beautiful people I know are neither skinny nor young but radiate inner beauty that makes them a pleasure to be around.
    I bet these haters are lonely human beings.
    A great post...thank you. XXX
    Samantha
    Fake Fabulous

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  11. I'm so utterly disgusted by this.......I have NO words for how hurtful and cruel and mean this is! They are an "organization" of bullies who deserve to be shunned and thrown into the public for the assholes they are! Lame.......glad you brought this up! signed a fat chick, named Erin www.erinhaight.blogspot.com

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  12. You're right, my blood did boil when I saw this on your FB! Small-minded, cruel people who have no respect for fellow humans. I love your reply, spot-on. xox

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  13. Oh my! I cannot believe this is even going on. I mean I know bullying happens but handing out cards like that! I am in shock. To call themselves an organization is a joke. I feel so sorry for that lady! #brilliantblogposts

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  14. I think the fact they only gave these cards to women rather than men says everything about their level of cowardice. I would bet it was women who were alone at the time as well.
    I was so happy to see the outpouring of support for the women who were victims. Navabi fashion took to the streets handing out cards to people saying you look great. They also (quite brilliantly) bought the domain overweighthaters.com and filled it with positivity.
    Trolls 0 rest of the world 1 :)
    #brilliantblogposts
    Debbie

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  15. You're very right. This particular thing is also such a bizarre thing to do - because it is so much more effort than people just firing off nastiness online - that there has got to be something seriously not right about the people behind it. So yeah, pity them and forget them! Very insecure too - to feel so threatened by fellow human beings that you want to devote your time to trying to make some of them feel bad. #brilliantblogposts

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  16. Wow such a thing exists? I feel sorry for them, more so than I do feel sorry for the women who they hand out these cards to. #sick

    xo,
    Abby of Life in the Fash Lane

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  17. I read your post and I would like to thank you for your comments. I have been thin and due to some health issues I am much bigger now. I have been amazed at how people treat you when you are "less attractive". I am not really sure how to phrase it. However, I feel disrespected and invisible many times. People do not know your situation. Kindness is always in style. Thank you for taking a stand

    ReplyDelete

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