The photo and caption struck me like a backhand rising from my coffee mug. Engaged in my morning comfort ritual, I wasn’t prepared for anger before 7 a.m., but there it was. After demolishing a bagel and glass of juice, I moved on to caffeine soaked emails, then facebook messages. Something at the top of the feed caught my eye, a post by a little known acquaintance. A photo of a fierce looking spider beside a baseboard with this comment beneath it: “My wimpy kid forced me to kill this in his room. A girl would have been easier.” I’m sure she meant the post to be cute and funny, but I found it to be anything but.

I don’t know this boy’s age, but I immediately felt sorry for him. He probably doesn’t see his mother’s facebook posts, I truly hope he doesn’t, but I was stricken by her public shaming of him. I think mothers sometimes forget the sway we hold over our children. I can’t stand it when I hear boys being called wimps and girls being called bossy. Think before you speak. How do those labels translate in a child’s head?

I’m no advocate for over coddling and child worship, but this quick commentary she so publicly offered as to her son’s “wimpy” nature I doubt is an isolated incident. It speaks to a greater problem. Will the boy endure a childhood of cracks and jabs based upon his human foibles? Does she call him a wimp to his face?

I don’t normally bother with commenting on the thoughtless things I see on facebook, but when I saw a mother passive aggressively bully her son on a social media site, I couldn’t remain silent. I posted this: “He’s a wimp because he’s afraid of a spider? Keep emasculating him like that and he’ll be afraid of pussy too.” Now, I know that was an overreach, but perhaps not a vast one. A childhood of emasculation will lead not only to self loathing, but loathing of the opposite sex, that could manifest in his behavior towards women for the duration of his life.

Am I making an example of this woman? Yes. Am I being unfair? Perhaps. I’ll let you decide. I’m fed up with social media and our grand ineptitude continuously on display.

Why do I need to undertake this social dissection? That’s simple…I’m trying to pinpoint a catalyst for social pathology. I’m trying to figure out where the monsters we should fear come from. No, Norman Bates isn’t real, but the writer who conceptualized him was.