I am very often accused of being cold and harsh, because I am direct, decisive, and no-nonsense. Let's be clear: these are not the same things. I have my sensitivities. I have my vulnerabilities. And I bet they're similar to some of yours.
Kids. Kids are my soft spot. My kid is my gooiest spot.
Why I'm leaving:
In case you somehow missed it, a flight attendant for American Airlines recently harassed a breastfeeding mother and babe on their flight, because she hadn't covered. Instead of apologizing and correcting the issue, AA sent a letter of non-apology to the mother, stating they support breastfeeding BUT (oh, that infamous "but" negating the professed support) doing so uncovered makes others uncomfortable and they're more important here.
Obviously, this left a great many of us perturbed. A nurse-in was scheduled. Letters, FB comments, and email abounded. Several of us left pictures of ourselves breastfeeding on the AA Facebook page. I had pictures of myself breastfeeding my son on the planes to and from Chicago when we filmed our TV segment last year. I posted them. I never could've foreseen what happened from there.
Almost immediately, I started receiving an onslaught of "you're disgusting," "you're a child molester," "you're a pedophile," "you're lazy for breastfeeding," "you're an attention whore," etc. along with a slew of comments about my body, because, if we've learned nothing else from our time together on Zen Parenting, we've learned that body shaming is rampant and a favorite go-to of those attempting to hurt. I ignored the better part of them and found the rest amusing, because, being in the public eye, even in small part, I've heard them all (as have far too many other women and breastfeeding mothers). They didn't get to me.
Then my attackers turned their attention to my son. That's when the whole game changed. It started with calling my son ugly (over and over), progressed to saying that "ginger babies" (P.S. I know exactly TWO redheads who do not absolutely ABHOR being called "ginger," but we don't often say that to people, because we're told to "lighten up"...sound familiar?) are soul-suckers (over and over), and then came the worst - the "If I knew I were going to have a heinous kid like him, I'd be all for late-term abortion," "He makes me want to invent a sonogram that will detect ginger traits just so I could abort one" and more and more and more of the same (over and over and over). Then, when that wasn't enough, they went further and created a page for the sole purpose of continuing the hate only in an even more public forum. They stole one of the two photos I posted on AA's page and created a nasty meme out of it. They did the same to so many others.
Facebook was getting hundreds of reports on all of this. They did nothing. They've since deleted SOME of it, but not all and, you know, it's too little, too late. American Airlines was on their FB page as this was all going on. They were happily ignoring the bullying going on right in front of them as they went on to post about banal things and answer questions about lost baggage. How many times do these two companies have to show their true colors when it comes to women and breastfeeding?
THAT, my friends, is why I'm leaving FB. THAT, my friends, is why I will forever boycott AA. Everyone has their limits. Looking cross-eyed at my son is mine. Allowing those things to go on while standing by idly is another.
Who is complicit in prompting this drastic move:
the attackers, first and foremost
the victim-blamers, lighten-uppers, you owe it to us to stay here-ers, if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitcheners, you're an asshole but nobody deserves what you gotters, all who dismissed my feelings and advised me to do the same, and those with the compassion and empathy of turds
They all came together to create a perfect storm in the eye of which I will not sit back to allow the second wave to come crashing over me. No. Never again. Not if I can help it (and I can).
Where I can be found (click each to be directed):
my blog (Good news, you're already here and I've decided this isn't going anywhere. It's too much time, energy, blood, sweat, tears, and love here to shut it down. See the right hand column - you have to be on a computer, not mobile - to subscribe to posts, so you never miss anything.)
and, if you're so inclined, I do have one other FB page that is totally unrelated to anything Zen Parenting, but is still me-ish - What Did I Just Walk In On?
Finally, I was waiting to announce this and I am still keeping the details to myself, but I am in the process of writing a book. Keep an eye out for it! Of course, I'll keep you updated via all avenues above.