On a certain ladyblog that shall not be named, a certain writer who emphatically ends her name with an IE wrote about a wedding. Not a celebrity wedding, an historical same-sex wedding, a wonderfully quirky and subversive wedding, or anything celebratory like that. No, what she did was take a wedding from Offbeat Bride and tear it to shreds. Nothing was safe. The literary quotes in their vows, their vegan and gluten-free fare, the bride’s bouquet made of kale, they were all open for scrutiny and cruelly mocked.
And apparently, posts have been circulating around Tumblr brutally ripping apart this same affair. On top of the fact that I feel incredibly bad for this couple — what should be a day of love and celebration is now the plaything of Internet bullies — it just makes me sad.
It’s not just about this one wedding. It happens all the time. And while this sort of thing isn’t a new phenomenon, but the anonymity and permanence of the Internet makes it seem worse. It’s really easy to start pile-ons and forget that you’re talking about real people.
I’m all for calling people out when they do something awful. If the wedding had been full of racism and cultural appropriation, yeah, go for it. I might even join in. But I see no point in ruthlessly mocking people who aren’t doing anything wrong. Not a vegan? That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy someone else’s animal-free feast. Don’t like kale bouquets? Don’t have one at your own wedding. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never been to a wedding where every aspect was exactly what I would do for myself. Which is fine, since it wasn’t my event. It wasn’t about me.
It’s the same mentality that keeps Daniel Tosh on the air and celebrates Joan Rivers making a fat joke about Adele’s baby. Nastiness, cruelty, and unnecessary judgmental attitudes about things that don’t actually have a negative effect on anyone. Let’s be honest, someone else having dirty toenails or a lot of tattoos or an outfit you don’t like really has no impact whatsoever on your life. Just look elsewhere.
What’s the benefit to ragging on someone else? If it’s entertainment, I don’t see the humor. Look, I’m not perfect. I’ve participated before. How did I feel after? Amused? No. I felt mean and awful. Besides, it’s not exactly original comedy.
I guess I prefer my comedy intelligently subversive. Instead of making fun of a couple for their quirky ceremony, I’d rather crack jokes that take on the wedding industrial complex. It’s smart and makes a point, without targeting individuals unfairly.
I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people to stop being so judgmental.