It is morning, and I am sleepily making my fiance eggs before he goes to work. After he leaves, I am at a crossroads, like every morning: do I go back to bed, or do I face the world and see how far I get before crawling into bed and going to sleep? I choose to face the world, and I sleepily stumble onto social media, waiting for my tea to boil.
And then I see an article, that I honestly clicked on because I thought it wasn’t real. The news article was shared by the person (a friend on my social media whom I have only met a once or twice) who was in the news article, and had her photo. It honestly looked like one of those quizzes where you put in your profile information and out comes your jail sentence and a random friend is also the culprit. And then I read the comments on the post, people telling her to “not live in the past,” and that they “hope she betters herself.”
So I click, cautiously.
It’s an actual news article, shared by her because people kept talking about her arrest on social media, and she wanted to confront it. Kudos, I applaud your ability to do this, and I respect your ability to confront your past (it almost feels a bit like a scarlet letter, but I digress). I read the article, and I find myself on the comments, which I don’t normally read, but then I see:
MAGICMIKEXXSL (yeah, I’m calling you and your fragile masculinity out) say “To bad so sad, another good looking chick gone astray…” and then:
ITSTRUE comments in reply to this “sadly between drugs and probably being a liberal, shes more than likely brain dead.”
REAL AMERICAN (give me a fucking break): Don’t they know they want heroin now, not meth. They could make so much more money joining payed to protest crowd. fit right in.
And because I can’t make this up:
CARL VANKRAKENBERGER writes: “Hillary supporters.”
I am livid, and confused. I spend an hour fuming on this, and by the time my fiance comes home, and I tell him this story he simply says sadly “comments are the scum of the world.” And I know this, but look at what happened here. A young woman gets arrested and people start attacking her looks, and her character.
But her boyfriend was also arrested. There are no comments that solely attack him, his looks, or his character. We live in this “post-feminist world,” a world where men and women are “equal” and yet there are no comments that say “what a shame, he was such a hunk.” She takes all the blame and she carries it alone.
But what’s more interesting is the threat that this young, attractive woman causes. Suddenly, men that consider themselves “real Americans” come out of the woodwork, scorning her with “Crooked Hillary,” another woman that has been demonized out of winning an election because she refused to back down. She becomes a stand in for all of the protesters who do not like Trump, who get “paid” to protest. She is not seen in these comments as a felon, or a drug user (and I want to say that the article does not say explicitly or insinuate that she was using drugs), she is seen as a direct political threat.
And that’s interesting because nothing she did is explicitly political. She isn’t running for office, or running a campaign. These people are seeing her drugs as something political and they aren’t even realizing it. The “war on drugs” complex has so terrorized these people that when women make drugs, which is ‘rare’ (read: as seen on the news), they assume that her agency makes her a threat to the political establishment that fuels their comfort and moral grounds. They all work together to shame her, to make her fit back in the little box where one day, if she “changes,” men will no longer look at her and think “it’s a shame, she’s pretty.”
But her boyfriend, well, boys will be boys and make drugs in their apartment.