A Teaching Moment

Legal Definition

Cyberbullying is defined in legal glossaries as

  • actions that use information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm another or others.
  • use of communication technologies for the intention of harming another person
  • use of internet service and mobile technologies such as web pages and discussion groups as well as instant messaging or SMS text messaging with the intention of harming another person.

Examples of what constitutes cyberbullying include communications that seek to intimidate, control, manipulate, put down, falsely discredit, or humiliate the recipient. The actions are deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior intended to harm another. Cyberbullying has been defined by The National Crime Prevention Council: “when the Internet, cell phones or other devices are used to send or post text or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.

A cyberbully may be a person whom the target knows or an online stranger. A cyberbully may be anonymous and may solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target

The phrase cyber bully is usually reserved these days for our youth, at my age the term most commonly  used is cyber harassment. At the age of the person who has fixated on me, for no logical or reasonable reason:  I call it stupid.

Stupid might not be the kindest word that I can use, but my brain will not process a 50-year-old woman, whose never had a conversation with me, whose never had an interaction with me, who I’ve never had an opinion about deciding to fixate on me.

I might be a self diagnosed attention whore, but some attention even for those who crave it is undesired.

What I’ve had to live through over the past year is not terrible by any stretch of the imagination.  When I stop and think about the things that matter – this really does not.  Except it kind of does, and I will elaborate.

Every day our kids are subjected to this type of behavior.  Our children are committing suicide because the pressure of living under the never-ending assault of those who choose to fixate on them.

Sometimes it is jealousy, sometimes it is boredom, sometimes the reason is never known, but it happens.  One day a person is walking about living their life, the next they find out that they are the star of the campaign designed to hurt them, affect them, and in some cases harm them.

In my situation?  I am old enough to know better, smart enough to do better, yet I can say I’ve allowed this situation to go on for far too long, and given it far too much attention.  Shit, even writing this is giving my cyber-harasser more time and attention than she is worth, but just maybe this can be a teaching moment….maybe.

Just a little over a year ago, on Fetlife, someone brought to my attention the status update of user daMinx.

I knew who she was, because back then Fetlife was smaller, and the Black folks on Fetlife were fewer.  I can’t say that I had an opinion about her one way or the other back then.  I knew she existed, I knew someone she was once involved with and that was about it.

I knew that I’d never had a conversation with her.

I knew that we’d not even had an exchange in a discussion group that had gone wrong.

We were both on the same site, yet we’d not had any interactions.  Think of it like Facebook, you have a profile and Jeffery in Australia has a profile.  You might go all of your Facebook experience never know that Jeffery exists because you do not share the same circle of influence.  That is what it was like with daMinx, except that day what was in that status update was clearly a shot at me personally.

I was a little perplexed, slightly offended, slightly amused, mostly nonplussed. I mean what do you do/think when someone you don’t know, takes a shot at you, for reasons unknown to you?  In that moment I simply chuckled and ignored it.

I actually ignored it for a while, yet these updates kept popping up.  There was more than one, they happened over more than one day, they happened over more than one week.

I eventually got annoyed to the point that I sent her a private message:  If I have done something to disturb you, feel free to share it with me.  Let’s be adults and discuss things like adults and settle any issues.

I didn’t think that I’d done anything, but the constant snide comments just seemed so juvenile to me.  It was possible that something I’d said somewhere, she might have misinterpreted as directed at her.  My logic?  Let’s talk it out, get on the same page, and get back to perving.

That message went unanswered, and the harassment continued.

I let most of it go, but I would toss a grenade back on occasion.

I made the mistake of assuming that my sanity would/could compete with her irrationality.

My grandmother had a saying – never get into an argument with a fool, they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.  I should channel my grandmother MORE often. Half of the mistakes I’ve made in my life could have been avoided had I first asked what would mom-mom do?

After months of us tossing on-line stabs at one another I get a message from the Fetlife Caretakers:  We’ve been alerted to behaviors of yours and we find them to be inappropriate, please stop harassing daMinx.

nigga what????

I went through about two weeks of exchanges with Fetlife explaining that I was minding my own business and Hedra Carlson over there started fucking with me. Fetlife was not in the mood though and we were hit with a Fetlife Restraining Order.

Yes, I said a Fetlife Restraining order.

The gist of it is, don’t talk to her – she won’t talk to you and the two of you ignore one another. If you two keep sniping at each other it will result in a ban from Fetlife.

Are you fucking serious?

I will save you the long and drawn out from my tirade after that, and simply say for a significant period of time she left me alone.

I left Fetlife, I came back and she was still leaving me alone. All was as it usually was, until it wasn’t.

I wonder if it is a seasonal thing, because she started it again a few weeks ago.

I ignored most of it, but I will admit that I took a shot back in my own unique way.

I forgot it, and went along my merry kinky way and this message pops up in my email:

Hi there NVBdaMVP,

I’m {redacted} , a FetLife caretaker,

You were issued A FetLife Restraining Order which requested that you and daMinx would no longer communicate or talk about/refer to each other here on FetLife. Unfortunately you decided to ignore that recently, and posted some pictures where you directed the captions at her as well as a comment in a discussion called “Getting to know one another”. These have been now been removed.
I’m letting you know that you now have a warning. Warnings on FetLife are like strikes in baseball – three is not a good thing! But you can still hit a home run if you play by the rules.

I’ll wrap this up by reminding you that further decisions to ignore the restrictions outlined in the restraining order could result in you losing your account and receiving a ban from FetLife. Let’s avoid that and stick to what’s been requested 🙂

If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch.

Take care.

That’s was the look on my face when I read that message…..yeah I was that bitch.

I composed 3 different emails about this message, including one to the owner of the site.

I was livid that here I was the victim of someone who at the least was irrational, and in my suspicion chemically imbalanced.  Here I was with the knowledge of others on Fetlife that she’s harassed, others that she has stalked with her multiple sock puppet profiles and I was being reprimanded. Wheredafuckdeydodatat?

Well apparently they do it on Fetlife, ain’t that a bitch?

I am still waiting to hear back from the senior Fetlife Caretaking team.  It’s been a couple of days, but then again, I dropped a lot of information in their lap and it takes a while to sort through less than reasonable.

I decided in the meantime…I would revert back to who I truly am.

This blog is a purge of sorts, and yes it is a teaching moment. It is a teaching moment for me.

I have Bonnie & Clyde. I have The Man.  I have school. I have Private Pleasures to get up and running. I have about a dozen other projects in the works.

I can not control the actions of others, I can control who I am and what I do, and how I allow others to affect me (or not).

I can put this issue to bed, and put this woman on ignore because I am better than how I have behaved.

If I am a leader, I must first lead by example, and the only message I am sending by allowing her to occupy my space and my time is: she can bring me down to her level.

I don’t have to be that person.

What I can be is a person who shares a story, and a person who shares resources.  If you or someone who care about is the victim of cyber harassment you are not alone, and there are things you can do:

http://www.haltabuse.org/resources/index.shtml

Author’s note:
I have the fortune of being able to ignore my harasser without fear that she will escalate. Not every victim has that luxury.  If you have reason to think that your harasser has the ability to escalate please take that seriously and contact your local law enforcement agency. 

 

 

About Aphrodite Brown

Aphrodite Brown is the owner and creator of Vizionz from the Bottom. Vizionz is a life and culture blog covering all aspects of life from pop culture, to politics, to parenting, with an extra heavy dose of alternative lifestyle & sex positive living.
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