The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Community News Network

October 21, 2013

Let's stop 'shaming' each other

(Continued)

But a certain kind of parenting and a certain breed of Internet humor have collided and exploded in popularity, producing an endless array of shaming that, though it appears to fit under the same definitional umbrella, has actually begun to stretch that umbrella to its breaking point.

Take child-shaming, in which parents embarrass their offspring publicly. A fourth-grade boy is made to stand in public holding a sign that says "I am a bully," a teenage girl suffers with a sign that reads "I was disrespecting my parents by twerking at my school Dance." Those shamings are disciplinary and understandably denounced by many, but a similar phenomenon often happens online with kids too young to be shamed, including babies. These shamings are done purely (or mostly) for the sake of humor, like a baby girl posed next to the confession "I fart like an old man." They take the concept of contemporary shaming in a totally different direction: shaming as comedy.

In the same good-natured vein as baby-shaming, there's animal-shaming. Making a dog wear a sign that says "I break into the pantry and hide potatoes all around the house" is surely no less cruel than making a dog wear a Halloween costume. There is also, of course, cat-shaming. And ferret-shaming. And parrot-shaming. And bunny-shaming. (And horse-shaming? Yes, there is also horse-shaming.) The trend has recently jumped back to the human species with the humorous blog Librarian Shaming, in which librarians make confessions like "I think most classic novels are rubbish." Shaming has always been a form of emotional abuse, but now it's also a growing genre of humor.

And it can be quite funny! But these deliberately comical uses go hand-in-hand with the worst uses of shaming: the unintentionally comical kind. Guys who are tired of being called creeps have absurdly claimed creep-shaming, for instance. Breast-feeding advocates are sometimes accused of formula-shaming moms. I've also seen social-media-shaming, tattoo-shaming, luxury-shaming, attendance-shaming, snack-shaming, bigot-shaming, privilege-shaming, salary-shaming, single-shaming (i.e., shaming the nonmarried or nonattached), fedora-shaming, Drake-shaming, and filter-shaming. This last word was used, with all apparent sincerity, in an article by an acne sufferer who felt "shamed" for her use of Instagram filters by "selfie queens" (a term someone else will have to unpack).

Text Only
Community News Network
  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 25, 2014

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 25, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Has the ipad lost its swag?

    July 24, 2014

  • 072214 Diamond Llama 1.jpg Llama on the loose corralled in Missouri town

    A llama on the lam cruised Main Street Tuesday before it mistook a resident’s fenced backyard for a place to grab a meal and freshen up.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • President Barack Obama mug Best president? Worst president? Don't read too much into those polls

    The questions about who are the best and worst post-WWII presidents are useless. What they mainly show is that Republicans are far more unified around a single story than are Democrats.

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • lawgrad.jpg Things looking up for law school grads

    This might sound weird, but here goes: Now might be a pretty good time to think about law school. For the sixth year running, the employment rate fell, as schools produced a record number of graduates for an industry without the room for them. There was, however, a nugget of good news buried in the data.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140625-AMX-HEALTH-EXERCISE252.jpg Fitness program caters to people with developmental disabilities

    Spirit - which stands for "Social Physical Interactive Respectful Inclusive Teamwork" - offers classes that help clients with developmental disabilities build muscle, increase flexibility and improve their diets. As a population, they have limited opportunities when it comes to health, Smith says. "And a lot need more social interaction," he adds.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • twitter.jpg Mobile web siphoning revenue from U.S. cities as landlines fade

    Tweeting, Facebooking, Skyping smartphone users are costing U.S. states and cities revenue as taxes rooted in old-fashioned telephone service fail to keep up with the Internet era.

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

Graduation Salutes
Seasonal Content