The Blame and Shame Game

Yesterday, I wrote a post in which I called a 25-year-old woman a girl. It was a clumsy word choice. I apologise.

I also have a question.

A few people felt it was worthy of public rebuke. They attacked me for being from the 1950s.

It made me feel vulnerable. It made me feel shame. It also angered me and alienated me from their cause, which is one I openly support.

Why?

Because it detracted from the point I was making - the wide social impact of driverless cars - by distracting attention to something they felt more important - my flagrant sexism.

Because they have done it out of context, without care for my posting history in deep support of equality.

Because they could have sent me a private message pointing out my clumsiness so I could correct it.

But no! Public blame and public shame! I was wrong but you've made me feel like shit for being wrong. There’s the destructive power of social media in a nutshell.

We can use it for connection if we take care. But if we don’t, and make people feel deep shame for their mistakes, we use it for division. So, my apologies, irritation and a plea, all messily wrapped together. For, like you, I am an imperfect human, and I hold these contradictions within.

Please love your flaws and contradictory nature. Then we can connect.

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