Facebook travel groups are full of bitches. There, I said it.
In the run up to my current trip, I joined loads of female travel groups to get advice and to feel a little less alone on my first big solo voyage. The very reason that these groups exist is for us to inspire one another to travel more and to support each other when things don’t go to plan, which is exactly what I needed when I was feeling nervous in the countdown to my South American adventure. And this is definitely what happens most of the time, but every now and again it is seriously like Mean Girls up in there.
Honestly, I totally expect someone to fury-type “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US” in one of the many comments threads that get out of control.
An example of outstanding bitchiness that stands out in my mind is when a member of one of the groups asked if anyone had any experience of travelling solo whilst in an open marriage. Her question was perfectly reasonable, no? Well, no, according to several members of that particular Facebook group. The comments ranged from people questioning the validity of her marriage and telling her to “stop messing around and get a divorce already”, to others fully shaming her for “being a whore”. Woah. If you don’t believe in open relationships then that’s fine, but keep your aggressive and pointless opinions to yourself, please. Take a leaf out of Ms Norbury’s book (Tina Fey’s Mean Girls character, as if you didn’t already know): “You all have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it ok for guys to call you sluts and whores”. So there.
There’s also an incredible amount of victim blaming in those groups. If a woman is sexually harassed on the street, or if she’s been attacked, mugged or otherwise violated, she might post about it in the group to look for support from her fellow female travellers. And she’ll definitely get some of that from the more pleasant babes in the group, but at the same time, she will receive a barrage of questions with regards to how she could let this happen to her. What were you wearing? Was it after dark? Were you alone? WHY DOES ANY OF THIS MATTER, YOU IDIOTS? She didn’t grope herself uninvited, did she? So how is it in any way her fault? Eugh, your comments are so not fetch.
Personally, I only ever comment on posts when I’m drunk and feeling super loving, otherwise I just lurk and stew over the vileness of those douchebag keyboard warriors. My last booze-fuelled comment was something super basic along the lines of “You are so strong and powerful. You do you, girl”. Gross and majorly cringe, but that’s just who I am on the internet when I’m pissed.
Whatever. I’m getting cheese fries.