Remember how in January, I was all “Meh, offbeat weddings are pretty well accepted as mainstream at this point”? Remember that?
Well, this year has had some tricks up its sleeve for sure, and one of those tricks is that for a whole bunch of reasons, American culture is taking a hard swing right now. The blasé tolerant attitude of “eh, who even cares — you do you” that's been around the past eight years or so is shifting, and with that shift is coming an interesting wave of hatefulness toward the offbeat.
Recently, an Offbeat Bride commenter spent hours on the site, clicking through dozens of posts going back years, leaving carefully crafted bits of customized negativity on post after post after post:
Just admit… you are children…. “man-babies” , “woman-babies” who can't get enough of this childish shit…. millennials love to infantilize themselves…thinking about their fandoms keeps their minds off the real world.
“Anti-body shamers” are having a hard time figuring out how they should feel about your personal choices and how you should feel about your personal choices. They're obsessed with being “politically correct,” like many millennials and social media addicts….they think they're the ones who know best, when usually they know the least but are quick to jump to conclusions based on a blog post or a Tweet they read…they think they're experts because they know how to Google something… millennials really fit the stereotypes….
So now even the concept of “soulmates” is too offensive for SJW millennial snowflakes?? Jeez… you guys are really struggling to find ways to make yourselves extra special unique…
Zombie-themed wedding: because you'd have to be brain-dead to think this is a good idea…..
Self-absorbed millennials sure love looking at photos of themselves….like apes discovering a mirror for the first time….
And on and on it went. Common themes: frustrations with millennials, SJWs, political correctness, special snowflakes. (The real irony here? As a publisher who's firmly in the Gen X category, I share and have written about many of these frustrations! HA!) The commenter read dozens of posts, and carefully crafted negative responses to each one. The attention slathered on our little website was downright loving in its devotion… what is this, 2012?! Half the time, we can't get our followers to click away from Facebook, let alone get readers to actually post a comment on the site. Blog comments?! So old fashioned!
…Plus, doesn't everyone know by now how hate-reads and for-profit websites work? Spoiler alert: if you hate a website, IGNORE IT! If you really hate a site that makes money off pageviews, don't give that site your precious pageviews… so thanks, sweet commenter.
More than anything else, however, what this spate of negative comments makes clear is that… I guess we haven't won the battle. Or there are brand new battles, apparently. Like many things in the world right now, it's both depressing and invigorating. Are we all “woman-babies” who can't get enough of childish shit? Perhaps. But perhaps we're also trying to show that there are options, there are supportive communities, there are endless ways to love.
So, beloved commenter who took so much time to give us so many pageviews and help us see that there's still so much work to do: THANK YOU! We love you.