What I Learned When I Posted on My Senator’s Facebook Page

Today, I left a brief comment on a Facebook post by my Senator complimenting him on one topic and asking what he plans to do about another, both related to his initial post.

Within minutes, commenters attacked my appearance, saying I looked “disgusting” and like a bitch and that seeing my face “makes people sick.” Someone implored me to get a new profile photo.

Those were all separate from the comments about my lack of intelligence, brain cells, fortitude, etc.

What makes me saddest is that I knew I would be criticized about my appearance when I posted.

I posted anyway.

To the commenters—who felt compelled to share opinions on my appearance—Your misogyny and hate isn’t going to stop me from continuing to speak up and use my voice.

To the strangers—who called out some of the commenters as “nasty,” “rude,” and “uncalled for”—Thank you. I am grateful.

To the friends—who saw what was happening even before I did and reached out with support and kind words—You’re the best, and your opinion is what matters to me.

To my fellow parentscan we please redouble our efforts to teach our kids the value of civil discourse and polite disagreement? Those are key life skills that are essential not only in our democracy but also in school, in the workplace and in relationships that our kids will have throughout their lives.

Also, a quick refresher on the importance of stopping to T.H.I.N.K. before posting online certainly wouldn’t hurt us adults or our kids.

“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” – L.R. Knost

To my daughterI’m so sorry that the world is like this sometimes. I’ll do all that I can to make it better. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to silence all the haters. May you never let them stop you and may their words are never cause for self-doubt. My fervent hope is that you’ll always confidently stand up for what you believe, no matter what anyone says.

This post originally appeared on Between Us Parents. It has been reprinted with permission. You can follow Between Us Parents on Facebook.

Shannan Younger

Shannan lives in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband and teen daughter. She’s a recovery attorney who now blogs at BetweenUsParents.com, ChicagoNow, and as part of the Chicago Parent Blogger Network. Her writing has appeared on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop, Scary Mommy, BonBon Break, Brain Child and In the Powder Room, and her essays have been included in two anthologies by The HerStories Project. She is also freelance writer for regional magazines. Shannan was in the 2013 cast of Listen to Your Mother, despite the fact that her daughter often fails to do so.

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