They say that having a daughter is something that makes most men feminists, sooner or later. Read here to see what happened when Curt Schilling sent a congratulatory Tweet when his baby jock won a college softball scholarship and included the name of her future school. At first, it was the usual further congratulations, but then:
Tweets with the word rape, bloody underwear and pretty much every other vulgar and defiling word you could likely fathom began to follow.
Now let me emphasize again. I was a jock my whole life. I played sports my whole life. Baseball since I was 5 until I retired at 41. I know clubhouses. I lived in a dorm. I get it. Guys will be guys. Guys will say dumb crap, often. But I can’t ever remember, drunk, in a clubhouse, with best friends, with anyone, ever speaking like this to someone.
Just go read, and weep. Gabby Schilling is seventeen years old. Curt Schilling makes a point I’ve been making here for years and years and years. And years:
This is a generation of kids who have grown up behind the monitor and keyboard. The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others. We’re at a point now where you better be sure who you’re going after.
Let’s just stop with the “digital natives” chant already. “Digital dumba$$es” is often more appropriate, and this is why:
If I was a deranged protective dad I could have been face to face with any of these people in less than 4 hours. I know every one of their names, their parents, where they go to school, what they do, what team they are on, their positions, stats, all of it. I had to do almost nothing to get ANY of that information because it is all public.
What part of talking about a young woman, my daughter or not, makes you even consider the possibility that this is either funny or makes you tough?
I found it rather funny at how quickly tone changed when I heard via email from a few athletes who’d been suspended by their coaches. Gone was the tough guy tweeter, replaced by the “I’m so sorry” apology used by those only sorry because they got caught.
It was EXACTLY like the Scared Straight episodes you watch where “tough” kids get brought to tears when they face the real world.
What these kids are failing to realize, what this generation fails to realize is this; Everything they’ve just said and done? That is out there now, forever. It can, and in some cases will, follow them for the rest of their lives.
Here’s hoping, anyway! The more hits and links Schilling’s blog post gets, the more likely it is that some of the most egregious offenders he names will have this post pop up when potential future employers run a Google search on them.
Something else occurred to me as a woman and a feminist: Schilling probably wasn’t cautious enough about putting personal information about his daughter online because he is a man, and a Republican, and a famous and successful athlete who didn’t see himself as potentially vulnerable to online or real life harassment. I’m so glad he gets it now–both the need to be cautious about what we write about children online as well as the gendered and sexualized nature of the online abuse and harassment of women.