I went into this whole thing with an open mind.
And when I say “open mind” I mean “okay, boys, you’re traumatizing little girls. It’s time to move on now.”
Then I got curious. Exactly what did this kid see? How easy is this stuff to find?
Onward, to the Googling!!
I thought to myself, “Self, if you were four, and had free reign over the intertoobs, what would you search first?” Self said, “My Little Pony.”
Tiptiptaptap. My little pony image search. Two things: one, I’m am by all legal definitions an adult. Two: My SafeSearch stays off.
Ya know what came up in a “my little pony” (no caps like a heathen) image search? A bunch of totally innocuous My Little Pony fan art. Yeah, okay the five steps from pony to Anime style human was a leeeeeeeettle weird, but it’s not fucking traumatizing anyone. Also, there’s a bit of a MLP/Disney Princess cross over artistic lovefest, and not in the dirty way. I saw nothing, and I do mean NOTHING remotely disturbing (except for the bastardized abomination that is the new and “improved” My Little Pony franchise as a whole. Another diatribe about the ruination of my youth for another day, I suppose).
Hmmm, okay… all safe here. Let’s try “my little pony friendship is magic.” And yes, again sans capitalization.
Aaaaaaaaaaaand squat. Not one remotely unpleasant (ish… see above statement) image. Not one. No sex. No violence. No nothing. Bupkiss. Now I was just getting disappointed. I wanted to see some depraved pony-on-pony action, or at the very least some horror standards done up in pony fashion. Think My Little Zombie, My Little Cthulhu, My Little Vampire, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.
Not yet deterred, I tried mlp. Same results with one, that’s right, ONE legitimately adorable zombie. Blargh.
“my little pony games?” Who the hell invited Kirby to the party? And still nothing.
Uhm, okay, Google suggests “my little pony rainbow sparkle.” Click. Holy shit snacks and now my retinas are bleeding from the rainbow-splosions. The Castro District doesn’t have this many rainbows during pride week. My brain was in Roy G Biv over load.
What I’m saying is I saw a lot of fucking rainbows.
And still no depravity.
What the fucking fuck did this evil genius little computer mastermind do on the goddamned internet that immediately sent her shriveling back up into a scared little girl?
Finally, one of my teens mentioned Cupcakes. Clickityclickity.
I’m not going to go into Cupcake right now. Google it. There’s a wikia devoted to it. Short version: Brony with a penchant for dark horror wrote a fic, posted it to the bowels of the internet known as 4chan (fuck rule 1), and the internet took it and ran, far and batshit crazy, as the internet is wont to do.
Here’s the thing. I’m a librarian who works with teens, and is also still deeply in touch with her inner fourteen year old boy. I had to go through FIVE different searches to find this stuff. It didn’t just pop on the first collection of images.
And that’s where my change of heart was born.
You see, the mom behind this frankly insulting Tumblr plea just pisses me off. I’m pissed about it. I am. And I’ll tell you why.
The Internet Is A Scary Fucking Place.
And you are NOT the police. You wouldn’t let your precious four year old stroll through the neighborhood all by herself. Why in the name of reason would you let her surf the web sans supervision? Where the fuck was your Safesearch? Did you plop her down to fucking Tumblr of all places, the same social biosphere that brought you this? Have you lost your mind?
Honestly, as illustrated above, the shit this kid found wasn’t easy TO find, so what happened? I’m not going to speculate, because speculating will lead to someone quoting it as gospel truth. But trying to divine the moral compass of the most unfiltered mass of information the human race has ever known is both narcissistic and rude. The beauty of the internet and censorship is that, unlike television or radio, you don’t just stumble into shit. You have to actively seeking it out. Every move you make on your computer is a deliberate one. You can’t just flip through the channels and end up on Skin-i-max or Jimmy Smit’s butt cheeks. I’ll assume you don’t just let your kid watch whatever she fancies on Netflix. Let’s maybe apply that philosophy to the internet, mmmmkay? Be a parent, especially to a freaking four year old.
Rule 34 Is Still Alive And Well.
If you know ANYTHING about the Internet, you should know that. And if you don’t, fucking school yourself. Also, don’t mother the rest of the free and not so free world. Don’t tell people to “lock it up.” That’s how we developed this oppressive and repressive society we have now. The same one that assumes it can tell grown adults how to live their lives and makes it really hard for some of them to buy decent dildos.
Who needs to control themselves more? The guy writing depraved pony fanfiction that doesn’t actually hurt, maim, humiliate, or otherwise directly cause ill to anything or the kid who isn’t old enough to understand that what she saw online isn’t real or representative of her beloved ponies? For that matter, the kid who doesn’t realize her ponies are just cartoons the begin with? Oh yeah, that’s right. IT’S THE FUCKING KID WHO CAN’T FUNCTION IN SOCIETY WITHOUT A HAND TO HOLD. Children turn into adults. Adults, especially adults who are not bound by confused little four year olds, should NOT have to restructure their world to suit the needs of children. Children are on the planet for a relatively short time. Adults are here until they die.
Star Trek Wasn’t Meant To Entice Teenage Girls Either.
But I am proof and I have proof that a ripe, healthy devoted following made almost EXCLUSIVELY of 12 to 18 year old girls existed and FAWNED over some STTOSTNGDS9VGR. You know, a collection of TV shows with the target demographic of men 18-49.
Back. The FUCK. Up.
And while we’re on the subject of what’s for who and where the fans lie…
Gender Equality Works Both Ways
I dare someone to tell this little girl she can’t start playing with superheros, Skylanders, or whatever. Gasp you should. The idea of pigeon holing a little girl into only playing with “girls toys” is as reprehensible today as the idea of a gender neutral Easy Bake Oven in the seventies. No one bats an eye when stuff like this populates Pinterest, Facebook, and/or other social networking or craft sites. We applaud these efforts to include the girls in their boyish passions. We tell little girls they are as strong, as smart, as capable as any little boy. We empower them. We lambast ad campaigns that cast girls in as sexual creatures, or portray women in unattainable standards of beauty. Americans today just Will. Not. Tolerate. anything less than total equality for their little girls.
And nobody stops to think about the little boys.
Some kid wears pink shoes to school. The Internet EXPLODES with ugliness. (Updated version of the story here.)
We can’t sacrifice little boys for the sake of little girls. We can’t keep lifting up “the girl” to the detriment of “the boy.”
Yes, white men have historically had it much, MUCH easier than…well than anybody else on the planet. But today’s little boy? Today’s little boy is just an embattled as… well as any other demographic. Where’s the “gender equality” in telling a boy (dude, man, whatever) that he shouldn’t watch/love/be involved in something because it’s intended for little girls? Hint: nonexistent.
So stop it. Stop vilifying the Brony. Because shit like this keeps happening. I wanted a few more examples of little boys getting their asses kicked and made to feel like less than they are for liking things society feels are “made for little girls,” but the first three pages of Google were plastered with the story of this poor kid. This eleven year old boy attempted suicide last week because he was bullied. Can you guess why? Simple. He’s a Brony.
Please cry me a river because your four year old won’t play with her toys. This kid tried to DIE because people don’t think he should like a show made for little girls.
Bronies are not to blame for your bad parenting.
Bring it, Internet. Fucking bring it.