By Courtny Gerrish
new trend of women being mean to other women online Video by tmj4.com
MILWAUKEE – Cyberbullying isn’t just a teenage problem.
Women are also being targeted online, mostly by other women.
We tracked down adult cyber-bullying and found it tends to start in chatrooms and on social networking sites.
Gina Moore-Sanders loves typing out her opinions and sharing them with her peers online.
“I get to meet a lot of different people with diverse opinions and I like to have conversations with them,” she told us.
Recently, Gina posted a creative story on an internet bulletin board. Soon, cyberbullies began taking swings at her.
“They said expletives, profanity that I was stupid and I was crazy,” Moore-Sanders told us.
From snide comments to personal attacks to just plain mean words, the verbage left Gina shocked.
Cheryl Dellasega is a psychologist who also penned a book called “Mean Girls Grown Up.” Dellasega says women commonly attack other women, particularly in cyberspace.
“I hear about adult women retaliating a lot more and retaliating in really vicious ways, to the point where sites get shut down, people drop off of sites,” she said.
This bullying can be one rude comment, or a string of them. It can take place through e-mail, social networking sites, even instant messages.
“The topics that women are cyberbullied about are really endless. It could be a romance. It could be your parenting practices,” Dellasega elaborated.
Romi Lassally started a website that’s an anonymous online confession booth for women. While she’s seen plenty of professional posting, “We probably see cyberbullying…maybe 1 in 10 confessions, maybe 2 in 10 comments. We don’t want to post it. We want to offer a judgment free, safe place for women,” she said.
Romi believes part of the reason women bear their claws is insecurity. Anonymity also comes into play, she said. And Dellasega agreed.
“It’s like being behind a mask. It offers that sort of anonymous screen for a woman to say some things that she wouldn’t normally say.”
Gina says, even though she’s all grown up…the words cut just as deep. “It made me feel offended and it hurt a lot.”
So, what can you do if someone is being downright dirty online? Dellasega has this advice: “They want you to fire back. The best thing to do is to turn off the computer and walk away.”
Some sites ban bullyers, so you can report them as well to site administrators.
FYI, 40% of teens have reported being bullied online.