So I was reading through the Freshly Pressed page this morning and I read a post there called, “Letter to a girl I harassed.” I don’t want to link back to it, because what I am going to write about here doesn’t have a lot to do with what the author was talking about. (It was a good read though.)  My post has to do with the second comment on that post. A person pulled a certain line out of a young man’s admission of doing wrong and shined a non-contextual flashlight on it.

““I intentionally hurt people sometimes to make myself feel better.” That is terrifying. Would you rape someone to make yourself feel better?”

First of all: “I intentionally hurt people sometimes to make myself feel better,” why does that line terrify you? Are you going to say you’ve never done that? You’ve never had that biting comeback trip off your lips in perfect comedic timing? Really? I seriously doubt it. You’ve either forgotten or you are a liar. We’ve all done it. We’ve all said that really nasty thing, because we could, because it would make everyone, besides the recipient, laugh.

I remember a moment – I was in seventh grade – my ‘best friend’ had just gotten her first adult haircut. It looked weird. Not bad, just weird. Mostly because she looked so different from the way she did the day before. The other girls in the class started teasing her and I said something, I can’t remember what, that was so perfectly timed and worded that all the cool girls laughed with me, instead of at me, for the first time. It felt good. I intentionally hurt my best friend, and for a moment, it made me feel better about myself.

I would really like to know what the commenter thinks of herself? Does she believe she’s never intentionally hurt another person with words? Any of you who have never sinned – go ahead and throw that rock. I think it was incredibly brave for that young man to admit to having those thoughts, thoughts we all have. And you think he is terrifying. I feel very sorry for you as you must surround yourself with people who lie about their feelings all the time.

Second: Why, oh Why, do people go to the extreme potential of any statement? “Would you rape someone to make yourself feel better?” He was specifically talking about things he’s SAID. How in the world to you instantly jump from hurtful words to rape? Do you understand the horror the idea of rape truly conveys?  To infer that hurtful words ALWAYS lead to rape is wrong and just adds to the fear and distrust people feel towards strangers. I believe most people are mostly nice.   And that young man in particular sounds like someone who is insightful and cares, to some extent, about the feeling of others.  The same way most of us do.

But I know why you feel the need to go there: Dramatic Effect. It is the influence of reality TV. Obviously MOST of the world is too boring, living our calm, normal, occasionally nice and occasionally hurtful lives to be of any interest to you. You have to inflate an innocuous statement to grand proportions to make your point.

Well, I guess I can’t get mad at you for that. I just wrote 500 words about your 12.

*

P.S.  I feel a little cowardly, posting this here and not on the person’s comment.  But her comment doesn’t link back to a wordpress site – so it is basically anonymous, and anonymous commenters scare me. 🙂   See – there’s that fear and distrust of strangers I was talking about.

4 thoughts on “A Commentary on a Comment

  1. I do what you did here all the time. All. The. Time. I can’t help it. Something tips me off or influences me and I have more to say than just a comment and I want more people’s views an opinions than just the person who sparked it. I’ve even made posts off comments made on my blog. That can be seen more as instigating than coward-ing.

    On your topic. I agree with you. My first reaction to that remark before reading your response was, “What the eff is wrong with that person?” I was appalled that someone would take something so out of context that it lacks complete sense. Then I began to wonder why a person would go that extreme. Maybe they watch a lot of Investigation Discovery so any little remark about hurting someone is physical in their head. Maybe they know a serial rapists or killer. Maybe they were a victim of that crime. Maybe they have had those feelings of physically hurting someone for their own pleasure they feel guilty and when they see someone actually type it out, it freaks them — even out of context. Maybe they are absolutely fascinated with horror films and have picked up on people invoking pain for pleasure.

    Or maybe they lack complete maturity and threw out a shocker to get a reaction.

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    1. HA! yes! I’d love to believe that it was something deep and personal, but I have a feeling your last statement was the most accurate!

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  2. At least those who acknowledge the fact that they have hurt people on purpose in the past can judge that action and choose a different course next time. Someone who believes they’ve never, or could never, hurt someone is in denial and is far more dangerous!

    Thanks for the insightful and thought provoking post 🙂

    I’ve certainly been mean in the past and felt good about it, these days I try to be a little more conscious and empathetic when choosing my words. I know what I wouldn’t like, and I try to not to do that to others.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Rohan.

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