Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gender and Bullying at 30,000 feet

Today, a set of tweets from the producer of The Bachelor, Bachelorette, and other programs contributing to the inanity of American culture and transmission of limiting gender norms has gone at least semi-viral.

According to this author at Huffington Post, he's a hero for standing up to an annoying airline passenger. And she does sound annoying.

But if you read the tweets, slowly but surely, the narrative for me shifts. Instead of being a story of chiding someone for being rude and self-centered, it's about a celebrity male bullying a woman, telling her to "eat her dick," provoking her, then using his media presence as a source for shaming.

I don't care how annoying "Diane" was. This isn't justified and it wouldn't have happened if Diane were a man, particularly a big man.

This is gendered. It is not heroic. It is bullying.