WHEN YOUR BLOG GOES VIRAL FOR THE WRONG REASONS

To say the past two weeks have been taxing, would be an understatement. And while it’s lovely to hear huge news sites suddenly refer to me as an “influential mommy blogger” and “big time blogger”, I won’t sit here and pretend like my blog gets any usual clicks beyond friends and family. So while I do appreciate the accolades, lets call a spade a spade. My blog didn’t go viral because I’m an internet blogging sensation with a huge following. And while I’d love to think it went viral because my plight through the Disneyland restroom inspired other women to not stay silent, but instead speak up regardless of political correctness, I know exactly why it really went viral. It went viral because a few huge conservative sites took my words, twisted them, misrepresented who I am, what I believe and then plastered it as political clickbait. And boy did people click. Every hour of every day, a friend or family member was sending me links to articles from The Blaze, Conservative Tribune, etc to the affect of “Liberal mom gets what she had coming and finally sees the light on why transgender people are the problem in the world.” 

….I dont even know where to begin with that headline. For starters, while I don’t think my political affiliation has anything to do with my blog, their implication that I’m some "raging social justice warrior" is severely misplaced. I’m aware that in today’s world everyone so desperately wants to shove people into political boxes and make grand assumptions about them based on that, but I don’t play identity politics. And I'd like to think most of us don't. This notion that we are a country defined by the polarizing “alt" left and right is incorrect. Sure these groups are the loudest, but that’s not to mean representative. Most people hold varying degrees on issues and often cross party lines. So yea, I love the free market and small government, but I also don’t have a problem with anyone living their lives in a way that makes them happy. And if any of those half assed "journalists" truly wanted to know my political affiliation, a simple google search would’ve produced that. But they weren’t seeking truth... and I suppose the headline "Fairly moderate woman seeks level headed discussion about safety in women's restroom" isn't that sexy.

And then, like a prophet, I wrote the words, "I didn't know if I was going to write this blog or not. A part of me was scared it'd be shared as some transgender hot piece about yet another homophobic mom lashing out at Disney and then I'd have to deal with the wrath of the internet telling me to kill myself.” And this... is exactly what happened.

Oh the hate. That good old bipartisan hate. I received messages from the Left furious that I had questioned gender whatsoever, calling me transphobic and bigoted. Not to be outdone I received messages from the Right telling me “they hoped me and my son died of cancer b/c liberals are destroying the world” and “that they wish that man had assaulted my son b/c I asked for it.” And of course my personal favorite from the woman who accused me of being "a racist white woman who’s true purpose in writing this blog was to promote micro aggressions against the brown man." I wish I was making this stuff up, folks. This crap... for two weeks. The irony is not lost on me that I was both shamed by the Right for not speaking up in the restroom and shamed by the Left for speaking up after the fact in my blog. Equal hate from equal sides. But this issue. My issue. This story…was not a Republican or Democrat story. My story was about 25 women who saw a man in the women’s restroom and said nothing. 

Yes we could analyze for days about why he was in there, why I didn’t speak, etc but none of those things change the fact that 25 women did. not. speak. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I take full responsibility for why I did not speak, but its worth discussing that so many others didn’t when they were visibly uncomfortable. Yes, I'm sure you'd all like to think you'd have the perfect Wonder Woman response, but this is the real world. And in the real world, people freeze, they hesitate, and most importantly, they only think of that perfect response later that night as they lay in bed replaying the scene a thousand times. Oh the witty comebacks I’ve come up with at those late hours. Solid zingers I tell ya. lol So no, you don’t know what you would’ve done in my situation, but you aren’t my story. All those women in the bathroom are. 

And yes, I suggested our PC culture has gone too far. Are we all really gonna sit around here and pretend it hasn’t? Are we all going to keep pretending like everyone isn’t offended by everything these days? Not a day goes by without me hearing of someone getting triggered by something stupid. Last year, moms were boycotting Playdoh because their new dispenser "appeared phallic". I mean…I can’t. It’s like the 90’s came and went and we all stopped knowing how to laugh at ourselves. We live in a world where comedians now have to issue apologies. Comedians. Just let that sink in. I’m not sure when everyone decided to start taking everything so seriously, but I do know I had a visceral fear in my stomach this afternoon before I shared a funny meme about milking almonds, and how a vegan might get offended - and that’s just absurd. We have to stop. I am compassionate to the transgender community. I am. My issue is not with transgender women coming in the women’s restroom. My issue is with men with penises coming in the women’s restroom. And a man walked in and no one said a word. Why? Because someone decided that it's offensive to assume someone’s gender... and I think that’s both irresponsible and dangerous. To tell women they don’t know what a man is, is dangerous. When the vast majority, 99% of sexual assault is done by men, we can not tell women they don’t know what a man is. This isn’t politics. This is common sense. Political correctness has no place in a bathroom.

So no, I have not come to any conclusions that "transgender women are abominations and they should be shunned from all bathrooms." I’m sorry if you came to my site thinking that was my stance, but I feel I should be clear it is not. It’s simple: men should not be in the women’s restroom. If a man is ever in the women's restroom, then women should "assume" away and feel empowered to speak up. Maybe that’s not a sexy headline that'll go viral, but those are my words. I’m only sad that more people read these conservative site's "fake news" version than mine. But who am I to expect people to check sources anymore?

At a certain point in all of this, for my own sanity, I had to check out. I stopped reading the articles, ignored the comments, sent several cease and desists for libel and copyright infringement, but I’m not naive; the damage is done. Their story was told, shared and retweeted. Often with no link back to my actual blog.  And it makes me sad, the era we’re living through, where the truth isn’t good enough. It’s not enough to raise awareness through a personal story. It must be spun and sensationalized any cost...for clicks.