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The tip of the iceberg

Disclaimer: While this post might have been triggered by a specific1 campaign, I'm certainly not addressing any specific concern or siding with any party. I never bothered to learn enough about a specific campaign to form a judgement that I would stand by,2 since I simply don't care. I'm writing this post because I'm just too tired to see them popping up in my feeds every once in a while.

By the way, I'm not sure if I'm going to stand by this post when I wake up tomorrow morning. It will stay either way, though.

I have the impression that these days there's at least one public shaming campaign going on every week, justified by political correctness, and serving as a great outlet for school or workplace frustration accumulated during the week. And every now and then, a woman or man3 is destroyed by such a campaign, although all she or he did was to make a somewhat flippant yet universally true,4 almost universally true, or at the very least, not-meant-to-be-offensive, remark.

On the face of it (e.g., retweet counts), you might be convinced that the world is seriously supportive of such campaigns. However, you have to realize that the tens or even hundreds of thousands of campaigners are still just one tip of the iceberg called the society. Behind every campaigner there are probably ten people holding opposite views, and one thousand who simply don't care either way5. Since political correctness is involved, how many people would you expect to be outspoken about their true opinions? Most likely people are muted by the fear of being politically wrong and being pursued and destroyed, just like the poor guy at the center of the storm. Moreover, I'm afraid that some (if not most) campaigners are not really offended, but just joining what they see as a hilarious ride — they don't mind if a woman or man is destroyed along the way. You know, humans can be unintentionally cruel to people not worth being cruel to. This statement also applies to some of the shaming campaign targets, but being unintentionally cruel doesn't automatically make them worth being cruel to.

  1. In this case the campaign is too civilized to be called a shaming campaign.↩︎

  2. And I question if most shamers did.↩︎

  3. Note how I have to be distracted from writing to consider the wording that should have been subconscious, and eventually write in this style.↩︎

  4. Sometimes a certain group of people seek to redefine certain concepts or terms so that truths stated with older concepts or terms in mind are no longer true. That's fine. But before you label someone as an asshole, you have to realize that while you are free to embrace your modernity, some (if not most) people are just not as radical or as concerned about your topic, and they are just holding on to the truths and values they were taught.↩︎

  5. Yes, I'm among the one thousand.↩︎