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A girl, a boy, and a very tired debate: or, why it’s time we all just minded our own business

This was going to be a wordy, probably very sweary rant about why someone needs to change Piers Morgan’s wi-fi password and not tell him what the new one is. But, given his penchant for taking any tweet bearing his name and launching a catastrophic, self-righteous argument about it, it felt better to keep the point of this piece somewhat vaguer.

If we’re going to keep this to one overarching theme, it’s this; stay in your lane. The world is hateful enough in many other ways for us to need or want to put any stock in the opinions of people who spend their time degrading others. Everyone is rightfully entitled to their own thoughts on any topic they like, but what they’re not entitled to is the ability to launch tirades on public platforms that only serve to make people feel as awful as possible. You’ll find many people of a certain age whinging about millennials ‘using social media to tell us what they had for breakfast’, but do you know what? I’d rather see ten photos of Kate from North London’s brunch than hear someone refer to Kim Kardashian as a ‘vacuous wastrel’.

I’m not a zen person, nor do I practice mindfulness on a regular basis. I’ve never believed that calmness and good vibes are the solution to every problem life throws at you, and I’m often angry about very menial things – and have taken to Twitter to vent. But venting is not the same as attacking. You can say ‘I sodding hate it when people don’t indicate’, without saying ‘CC: That evil cow that cut me up on the roundabout – I hope you die.’ And then tag their @ handle in it.

It seems to me that there’s very little to be gained, and a lot to be lost, from doing your utmost to contribute to a culture of hatred. It’s not exactly breaking news that the majority of the mainstream British media thrives on the subtle – or not so subtle – degradation of those they see fit to be targets, but it’s certainly not something we need to see pervade every aspect of our lives.

Let’s take one example – and continue keep it vague. Just over a week ago, an unnamed journalist launched an insufferable attack on a photo showing the figure of an unnamed socialite. Now, never mind the fact that said socialite has birthed two children, and never mind the fact that the photo in question was taken by intrusive paparazzi and then broadcast all over mainstream media; the point is this.

What’s the point?

At what point in your day did you become so offended by a picture of a woman in her mid-30’s with cellulite that you felt you had to hurl abuse on national television? The aforementioned ‘journalist’ became further enraged when his co-host had the audacity to suggest that real women’s bodies were to be celebrated, crying “What did you conquer because you have cellulite?”

Now, there’s a whole can of worms here; body-shaming, female empowerment, socially normalised beauty standards, a media obsessed with fix-its for problems that actually aren’t that important. But I want to know why a fully-grown married man felt the need to spew repellent abuse at a woman for no other reason than because he can. What good does it do? What does it say to people younger than myself, who don’t question your motives but instead become hard-wired into a cycle of spite?

There’s the age old question thrown at a lot of men – “What would you do if it was this was being said to your daughter?’’ But that’s actually not important, because regardless of whether you have had a personal tie to a woman at some point in your life, you should know better than to treat one like shit, just because you can. It’s repugnant to me that an unnamed journalist has built his empire on throwing abuse at whoever’s closest. At whoever he considers to be ‘fair game’. For whatever reason he deems sufficient enough to justify his hatred.

So my advice – not to a certain unnamed journalist, but to everyone – is this. Mind your business. If you love something, yell about it, make noise. If you don’t? Mind your business. There’s too much awfulness going around for my liking, and it’s just so easy to avoid. Don’t like a photo of a woman’s arse? Don’t talk about it. Don’t look at it. Certainly don’t launch a public attack on morning television. Just mind your business, and we’ll all be happier.

You never know, you might just find that you like it.

Words by Jess Ennis

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