(The National Pig Anti-Defamation League demands that we apologize for that headline. We're sorry.)
Today's Washington Post has an interesting story on what happens when the internet meets a pretty girl.
Unfortunately, it's not a nice outcome.
The story focuses on an 18-year-old female high school track star in California who happens to be pretty as well as athletic. A photographer snapped an innocent photo of her resting with her pole vault one day at a track meet. Nothing lewd, just a nice photo.
Then someone emailed the photo to a sports blogger of the Howard Stern variety (i.e., appealing to juvenile young males, ages 15-50, with prurient humor), who posted it on his blog accompanied by the erudite writing "hubba, hubba and other grunting sounds."
Next thing you know, a whole bunch of other bloggers, with nothing original to say, had linked to the first blog and the young lady's photo was all over the internet. Followed by a large volume of emails to the young lady, many lewd. Now she stays close to home while her family worries about stalkers, etc.
All of which reflects badly on humankind, especially the man part of mankind.
What can be done? Not much. In an ideal world, the bloggers who posted the young woman's photo would at least have to cough up some of their advertising profits to her--after all, they're using her image to make a buck. But that really isn't very practical, especially with the speed with which an image can travel all over the web.
Nor is this an isolated event. A few months ago, the Post reported on a website run by a couple of male law students, ostensibly to gossip about law school matters, which had degenerated into a forum for lewd comments about various women in law school. Again, not a very nice reflection on law students, especially of the male variety.
Similar stories have circulated of harassment of female bloggers by men, some threatening rape, others just being nasty.
And, we'd have to confess that when the Curmudgeon was a 20-something young male, he didn't exactly shy away from some of these types of male juvenility.
We think this probably explains why women are taking over the world, accounting for nearly 60 percent of college students and a majority of students in professions--such as law--where they were heavily discriminated against just two or three decades ago.
We hope that for the young lady from California, all the hullabaloo will die down as the boys train their sights on some other poor girl.
In the meantime, it's useful to remember an age old adage, which we're pretty sure goes back to Adam and Eve, and certainly to our caveman days: MEN ARE PIGS.