Cyber Bullying in the Post-Trump World

by Tyler Hicks

@QuickThicks

In a speech so ironic it would have inspired Alanis Morissette update her classic track, potential First Lady Melania Trump (now that’s a weird thought) called for an end to cyber bulling.

“Our culture has gotten too mean,” she said. She focused on young children who were being singled out for torment in the classroom: “They are hurt when they are made fun of, or made to feel less in looks and intelligence.”

Of course, her husband’s candidacy has been based on bullying and ostracizing others, be they Muslim, Mexican or a fellow Republican nominee. Not to mention, of course, his primary opponent: Mrs. Clinton.

As pointed out by Michelle Cottle in an exemplary article in The Atlantic, a victory by the former Secretary of State would usher in an era of bold misogyny unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.

For some, hating Mrs. Clinton is some sort of odd national pastime, and this election cycle has been rife with the sort of unabashed sexism that Cottle refers to throughout the piece.

One need only to attend a Trump rally (a big ask, I know) to see this sexism firsthand. There’s the oh-so-clever campaign button that reads “Life’s a B—– — don’t vote for one,” the signs that declare the race as a contest of “Trump vs. Tramp” and the dishearteningly vigorous chants of “Trump that B—-!”

If this is all done in public in front of cameras and that villainous media Trump loves to single out, it’s difficult to even begin to think about what is happening in the dark corners of the internet.

Melania Trump was right (another weird thing to say) even without plagiarizing Michelle Obama: We need to end cyber bullying, because it’s only going to get worse.

In public, we’re bound to hear lots of questions about President Clinton’s leadership acumen, or her doubts about whether she is really up to the task whenever a crisis occurs. But in private, on Twitter and less regulated internet forums, the abuse will be much worse for Mrs. Clinton and all other women thanks to those emboldened by Trump’s incendiary campaign.

If you see sexism happening anywhere in private or in public, call it out. Furthermore, do whatever you can to make sure the abuser faces the necessary consequences, even if a revocation of a Twitter profile is unlikely. It has happened before, and if the firestorm of hatred during a Clinton presidency is like anything we’ve seen during the Obama administration, it probably will need to happen again.

Three three days before the election, Melania Trump has reminded us of a large problem we need to deal with. Let’s start by making sure her husband loses, then get to work dealing with his minions.

Published by

UNT Eagle Strategies

Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism