‘You’re ugly’: Um girl, quit the primary school ad hominem
I got into a row with a woman on twitter over a Tory MP. Isn’t that how most columns start? Anyway, she decided that the correct response to me disagreeing with her was to go through all my photographs and call me ugly.
I know, I know. Brush it off. The silly, nasty woman was hurting and decided to lash out playground style. Standard bad twitter etiquette. But it got me thinking.
Q) Why do women get so nasty when confronted by other women?
No, okay, okay. Men can get horrible with us too. But there is a really brutal, nasty touch to female bullying that I’d like to explore today. Is that chill? Righty ho.
A lot of this seems to be an age thing. Typically, the women who attack me over my appearance (slut, ugly, hooknose, bony etc) are older than me. I’d say on average 40+. It just isn’t something I typically experience from my own generation.
Is that because my generation is nicer? Definitely not. But we’d rarely get so obviously ad hominem in a world where you can be known as a viral twat in under 40 seconds. Older women don’t seem to be so painfully aware of the international online gaze.
The insults they latch onto me are also interesting. They are usually hypersexualised (whore, attention whore, little slut) which fascinates me. You see, I’m not at all ashamed of my sexuality or sensuality.
I’m not remotely embarrassed if you think I’ve got a lot of cleavage going on or that my articles are suggestive. I like my sexuality. It’s part of me, my power, my image. I won’t be young and bouncy forever so I’ll be damned if I don’t enjoy it for now.
They seem horrified, even disgusted by that. How dare I do what they can not? How dare I openly display (with pride) my body and my appearance? I should at minimum not participate in selfie culture at all, and at maximum humbly belittle myself when I do bimonthly update a profile picture.
Yawn. What is an insult to them is simply old fashioned and backward to me. Slut shaming is just jealousy and insecurity in most cases. Not apologising for being damn proud of my achievements with a contour brush.
If it’s not my sexuality they try and attack, or my perceived blase arrogance over it, then we come to old fashioned hatred of my unusual features.
They hate my face shape. Too angular. Hate to disappoint any Saxons in the room, but I’m chill with my striking hard lines. I don’t have cute round Celtic cheeks and a soft English chin but screw it, I’m ok with that. I’ll live. I’m so sorry my hair is ‘black like a witch’ but again, can’t do much with my genetics. As for my nose, deal with it. I don’t have pointy northern European features and I can’t be bothered to pay for the nose job. I’m not ugly, I just don’t meet Barbie beauty standards. I look different. You aren’t going to offend me with that. I love my diversity and my heritage. Your brain has just worked out that I don’t look like any other girl in the village. Now get over it.
So in conclusion, it’s a mix of confusion over my face (is she just not from here or ugly) and sexual hatred. Old as time itself. I think the reason it surfaces in women more than men is that unlike most hetero-male aggression, it isn’t based on rejection/attraction complexes. It is based on a much more cut throat me or you psychology.
When a man feels threatened by a woman online, there isn’t an inter-gender competitive vibe. With women, they want to kick much harder and much deeper. The hatred and venom against a woman who has damaged your social reputation and sense of self worth cannot be reeled in by potentially hitting on her and producing gene vehicles. Men will very rarely call me ugly until after I’ve rejected them sexually, even mid Brexit debate. In a world where so much of women is their appearance, women smack where it hurts and try to damage our self worth with ad-hominem visual insults. Tragic. Childish. And efficient.
We need to stop it, girls. We know it hurts. We might put up a ‘pft really, the worst you can come up with is my ears’ front, but it is upsetting and cruel. If you don’t like what a woman is saying, attack the argument, not her face. You really don’t need to.
This isn’t year 4. And she isn’t going to steal your mammoth hunter or cave.