Gabby Douglas has, once again, fallen prey to this “cancel culture” among millennials.
#GabbyDouglasIsOverParty is what’s trending right now on Twitter.
In this latest episode, Gabby addresses her teammate Aly Raisman’s disclosure that the team doctor sexually assaulted her. Gabby’s response implied that the way girls dress attracts molestation.
With that, 2016 teammate Simone Biles stepped in:
shocks me that I’m seeing this but it doesn’t surprise me… honestly seeing this brings me to tears bc as your teammate I expected more from you & to support her. I support you Aly 💕 & all the other women out there!
STAY STRONG pic.twitter.com/CccTzhyPcb
— Simone Biles (@Simone_Biles) November 17, 2017
Yes, it’s true. Gabby can come off as somewhat arrogant and self-centered. I believe it’s immaturity. She has a lot of growing to do. It does seem Gabby’s training focused on the mechanics of the sport, and not on sportsmanlike conduct. Either that, or she’s one of those people who must put a lot of effort into making friends. She seems a little more serious and reflective than her teammates, with a natural tendency to be a bit of a loner. And that’s okay. It’s not bad or a reason to hate someone. Those are the kinds of people who operate in their own world, and must try harder to be sociable. I know this because I’m one of them. Many times, I naturally inhabit my own space, but it can come across to others as rudeness or arrogance.
Adding to the problem is that Simone and Aly appear to team up against Gabby. Not just now, but at the 2016 Olympics also. In this situation, while Gabby’s opinion is unfortunate, there was a better way for Simone to correct her and still support Aly, without putting down Gabby. A better way for Simone to handle the issue was opening a dialogue starting with “Hey, Gabby, I’m a little concerned that we’re not being supportive of Aly? Can we talk it out?”
Instead, Simone chose to make herself look better with: “[Gabby’s conduct] doesn’t surprise me” and “I support you, Aly” – a classic way to throw shade, under the subterfuge of being nice.
Now, instead of us discussing how to support the growth and understanding of ALL women who think the way Gabby does (because many do), the headlines are talking about how Simone Biles “slammed” Gabby Douglas. This is the last thing we need in the Trump era, when women are fighting, not talking. We need to be discussing, not destroying.
We can have a conversation with Gabby about her opinion, and help her think it through. In a non-confrontational way. The dialogue helps everyone grow. Even if we still ultimately disagree, we don’t have to “cancel” her. The way we communicate can literally change this nation.
But the “cancel culture” among millennials – in which they rush to accuse and denigrate anyone with a different opinion – is getting out of control. An incredible wave of activism and inclusion is sweeping the country. But they’re only empty buzz words if we are not using them to have real conversations of substance.