If you are harassing Chad Johnson on Instagram or Twitter, I do not stand with you. I do not “fux” with you as the kids call it. But no really, this is going to be a serious post. A heavy one mostly absent of my favorite brand of quirky and comedic. This post is going to talk about cyber bullying, and suicide, and hypocrisy. So if this one’s not for you – no worries! But if you’re someone who responded to this tweet (below) from Chad Johnson in the past week, I think you should continue reading. I think you need a refresher course in humanity. I think you need to understand the risk of harassing someone behind a keyboard.
Let’s get one thing straight: dude made an ignorant, sweeping, offensive statement. Yes, he offended a lot of women and the men who respect them. He offended me. So when I saw women responding on Instagram by photo collaging their sexiest and strongest shots to his tweet as a sort of “Oh yeah?” I actually said “Oh yeahhh!” out loud. Because when you challenge a body shamer by showing him or her you are comfortable in your own skin, you win. You inspire others. It’s fantastic. But unfortunately, most of the responses to Chad Johnson’s tweet have not been so positive. I wonder if they are actually designed to empower women or if they’re just a byproduct of someone’s rage and rebel-without-a-cause attitude. I can’t imagine why we aren’t calling this what it is- cyber bullying.
An example of a mature and effective way of responding to bullies. The topic is women and their choices, not Chad. Way to go @iras_l!
A “twat waffle”, A “leather face”, And “gay”
Those are just three of the millions of comments that I found left on Chad’s Instagram profile. It’s hateful, it’s inappropriate, and make no mistake: it is cyber-bullying. But what makes me sadder than the act itself, is that this particular instance of cyber-bullying is being carried out by men and women claiming to be for body positivity and gender equality and empowerment. They think they are in the right to attack this man. They think the ends justify the means. They do not. If your true goal is female empowerment and challenging offensive statements like Chad makes, then by all means – set a goal to combat it. Write a letter in response to him explaining why women are the sole owners of their bodies and furthermore why their bodies do not exist to aesthetically please him. Get that letter published online or in a newspaper. Create a conversation about body shaming and women in the world of fitness. That does something.
But calling someone a “twat waffle”…it’s the easy way out. It’s shameful and cowardly and in no way makes the world a better place. Maybe it makes you feel better or stronger or empowered for a moment, but then with any intelligence that high fades away and you realize that all you’ve done is harass another human being. All you’ve done is become more like Chad.
It’s Not Actually About Chad Johnson Or Crossfit
There will always be people who make hurtful and offensive comments. Sometimes people in the public eye, like Chad. But in my opinion, this little brigade is no longer about him. It’s about herds of people rising up and fighting for the wrong reasons and in the wrong way. It’s about grown adults engaging in cyber-bullying which has driven countless individuals to suicide. And this isn’t just cyber-bullying, it’s mass cyber-bullying. So much hate that I feel sick looking through it. I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in the recent social media craze and cause, but please take caution. Use your words to effect positive change. Use your response to encourage women to enjoy fitness and love their bodies. Use your head to choose not to harass this man because regardless of whether you agree with him or not, he is still somebody’s son. Someone loves him. Someone is crying and possibly worried for his safety. Rise above, and choose kindness.
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