A Piece of Mind: The Price of Being a Bully, By Bennet Pomerantz
My friend, Bennet Pomerantz, wrote this article and it resonated so much that I was pleased to get permission to repost it here:
Lately, there has been aggressive behavior on line . . . Bullying on the pages of Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon as well as other sites. It hasn’t been young homosexuals or teens bullying by other teens. It’s worse than that. It is adults annoying and harassing adult writers of erotica . . . Both male and female.
Someone may say to me “You’re a critic, what do you know about erotica?” Well, I have written an erotic work of fiction (Last Wish) in the book collection Faggots. This story was a M/M romance. It does not make me gay, it just makes me a writer who has written in the genre. I also review erotic books. So now, you can say I have some street cred in talking about the subject.
I can understand someone giving a book or a novella a bad review. I am guilty . . . I have done that myself. However when I do say something is bad, I tend to give a reason why I assume you need not get it. It is not picking on an author’s life or lifestyle.
What annoys me is someone personally attacking another human being because they write a fiction genre they don’t like nor do they respect. Many of these writers are female. Most of these authors are married with families. They have productive lives out of writing erotica. They pay their bills like we all do. However some men (and a few women) assume that since a person writes a book with erotic content that it’s is okay to stalk, annoy, harass, and belittle these authors in public and private
There is a different between gentle kidding around and true harassment. I told an erotic author on Facebook that she was a BITCH (my term means a Beautiful Intelligent Talented Charming Honest lady). She said “Bennet that is the nicest thing anyone said to me”. She knew I was joking around.
Most of these people are not using a witticism like I did. They seem to prey upon these women (and some men). If they cannot get them by trashing their book or their private life in a public site, they do it with a campaign of hate and ignorance. In my opinion, this isn’t right. Someone needs to shine a light of them
An author friend of mine said “It makes me wonder. Why do people have to say nasty things about each other on Facebook and elsewhere?”
Another writer friend said this, “I've always kept this quote close to heart: ‘Your opinion of me is none of my business.’ People who understand you are the ones to keep in your life and those that don't, don't know what they are missing!”
What I think is that most of these people are close minded , narrow headed clods that either assume erotica is beneath them and their social status or are beer swilling (I know I am stereotyping very badly here) jackasses who go by the name Bubba. (I did say I was stereo typing–NO HATE MAIL PLEASE). Jeff Foxworthy is right. They might be a REDNECK. So with misunderstanding, they make judgments and putdowns that they are unsure of and/or are stupid. They point fingers for they do not know better. We also know many of these stalkers must have Hustler, Playboy , some girlie magazine or some erotic literature semen-stained under their bed, because their girlfriend or wife had a headache last night
I really do not know what we have to do. Nevertheless, I do not want a stalker’s list. For the moment we do that, someone will take someone else’s words or emails out of context or get their feeling hurt . . . then there is a mass riot because someone does get another’s opinion.
On a personal note, I’ve been a jerk before. Some people block you when they don’t understand you, instead of trying to open a dialog. Emails and online posts don’t have emotion as a real person on skype, phone or in person. In this modern age, a second chance is a rare event especially in this age of living on line. I always remember the Joan Rivers’ quote, it seems to fit here, “Always keep your enemy’s list in pencil. The person who is your enemy today may be your boss the next day.”
However You cannot turn a blind eye to the man who messages someone with a line “Want to see naked pictures of me?” or “You are such a (Insert nasty word here), want to cam and play on line?” or “Want meet somewhere and screw?” or other winning pieces of crap that these stupid ones want to spew out on a Facebook wall or an email.
There are no easy answers to why someone does do what they do. Just more questions to ponder and to mull over. I would be remiss if I did not mention this old adage I was told when I was a child “Why Can’t we all get along?!”