Well, this is what has been on my mind today. It is something Xiaxue has addressed before. You can read her post about the Protection Order against SMRT (Ltd) Feedback, and find out if someone should be able to take insults online just because he/she is a blogger.
It’s like saying that a comedian should always be making people laugh, even if he is at home, even if he is sad his dog just died, even if he’s having a terrible day. It’s also like saying a celebrity should always have paparazzi intruding upon their privacy because they signed up to be celebrities. No matter where you are, you deserve to have your privacy intruded upon and your pictures taken simply because you are a celebrity?
I am no celebrity. I only call my blog an award-winning one because (1) I did win at the 2013 Singapore Blog Awards – Best Individual Blog award, and (2) My students did well in the 2014 Singapore Blog Awards – winner of Best New Blog, and Top 10 Finalist for the Best Individual Blog Category.
I received my award from Minister Lawrence Wong:
My student received his award from Ms Sim Ann (I took the picture)…
I am not an award-winning Instagrammer, Facebook-er or Twitter-er. I hope I don’t have to keep pointing out the obvious. And yes, many of you have more fans than I do on these platforms – want an award? My point is… I’m a BLOGGER. How come this is so hard to understand?
But no, please don’t try to sign up for blogging workshops. I’m stopping them till further notice.
Like I said on FB, if my readers tell me they think my blog is a terrible one, I will shut it down. (Keyword: readers, not haters who have never been following my blog in the first place)
Likewise, I spent many months putting together my best-selling book, ‘Blogging For A Living’. And Wendy has been attacking me and my work for a long time. Read this blogpost. And here’s an excerpt of what I wrote:
“And it makes me furious if you dare to INSULT me and DISCOUNT the effort I put into the book. Even if you couldn’t care less about my part in the writing (including my experience in the past years of blogging), the book includes interviews with bloggers Celestine Chua (whose site personalexcellence.co gets more traffic than xiaxue.blogspot.sg), Silver Ang (blogger, actress, and survivor of a blog war with Xiaxue), Alvin from alvinology.com (one of the top sites in Singapore), Renee from beautyfool.com (named one of the world’s best beauty blogs by Vogue Italy), and food bloggers Daniel (danielfooddiary) & Melissa (melicacy.com).”
I’m not going to argue this point further. If you can write a better book, please do. And for the record, Armour Publishing was not paid a single cent by me to publish the book. :) So, will Wendy stop saying that I am an “idiot” who got those books printed only because I have money?
Well, you can call me “ugly” (I reserve all rights to take you to court in future). Wendy has. Her advice to me is to go for “artificial enhancement”. I have never had plastic surgery done before, and I don’t think I even qualify for the Top 100,000 Pretty Bloggers in SG list (if there’s such a list). So yes, if you like surgically-enhanced beauties, I’m sorry to disappoint.
I like heading out without makeup, with messy hair and I wear the same clothes to death. Yes, I even shop at NTUC – I have a Plus card to collect points with! :) [Not an ad; I have to clarify] I am an “auntie”, and I have the nieces and nephews to prove it too!
If you want to call me “ugly”, go ahead. It only reflects on your personality, not my looks. Just don’t insult my character, my work, or my students.
Yes, Wendy called me “ugly”, threatened me with a lawsuit (if I dared to reproduce SMRT’s posts. She threatened me, then laughed and told me they had removed their posts, and she says I have a mental illness?!), and she also wrote some other absolutely horrendous things about me (which I shall not reproduce here), so I decided to file for a Protection Order against her. If she can get a PO against SMRT (Ltd) Feedback, why can’t I get one against her? The defamation suit comes after, for those who are concerned.
What was really hurtful was that people actually support her in her humiliation and defamation of me. Heart-chilling vulgarities aside, she also cast aspersions on my character, my work, and even labelled me with a mental illness three times! I wish she had a physician’s proof before saying these things.
The 4 Groups Of People In A Typical Cyber-Bullying Incident:
1: The Bully himself/herself
Someone has asked me to speak with Wendy first, and settle this “petty” spat in a mature and peaceful way.
Remember that time she made a public apology to Dawn Yang and also cursed Dawn with cancer? She may think it’s a joke, but cancer is no laughing matter. I have lost family members and friends to cancer. Have you?
(Screenshot from Xiaxue’s blog)
Well, she is not about to shake hands and make friends with me, ok? Hence the PO. I am sick of someone with rapidly-changing hair color label me with mental illnesses. I AM SICK OF IT! She is harming not just my reputation but affecting my standing in the eyes of advertisers. Should I just turn a blind eye to this?
2: The Victim
I’m not the only victim ever. Read about (just) the Top 10 here: http://alvinology.com/2014/12/31/top-ten-blog-wars-involving-xiaxue-smrt-included/
However, under the Protection from Harassment Act, the offending act has to have taken place after 1 October 2014. Otherwise, the usual non-POHA criminal offences will apply. Sorry, Dawn.
3: The Bystander
Equally sickening are the bystanders who egg people on, and fan the flames, and bring out the popcorn. Sorry, Mr Lee, I mean no offence. To Daryl Wee: got the pictures you wanted?
4: The Supporter
In this case, when I went to file the legal papers in court, I checked the abusive comment she first made about me, and there were 14 supporters:
Yup. The first is Doris, Wendy’s mother. I thought she was really offended by the remarks made about her son when the Gushcloud Whatsapp chat was leaked. I was glad the parties involved apologized. But now… it seems she supports Wendy’s vicious attack on me. You are your son’s mother, I am also my mother’s daughter. How do you think my mom would feel?
What shocked me most were names like “Smith Leong” (my fellow Singapore Blog Award winner, albeit in a later year), “Tan-Thiang Jie Ting” (a blogger I’ve met at an event before) and “Elaine Woo” (a blogger and new mother). And I thought mothers are usually too busy caring for their babies, especially in the first month after delivery!
Also, a Nuffnang blogger Charlene Missuschewy (I hope Zhi Hao and your baby are doing well), and a lot of other people I don’t know have gone on to ‘like’ Wendy’s comment. Of course, the first dozen or so must have been informed of her comments through her.
And oh, Smith referred to me in his blogpost:
Well, Smith, let’s just say that if your wife / sister / mother / friend got called the same names and had the same horrid profanities hurled at them, you won’t be ‘liking’ her comment and blogging so calmly about it. Think about it. And… I know you hate that I am a blogging coach. I used to doubt myself too. Till my student won a blog award in 2014. You know him too – same year as you. :) My success at the blog awards can be replicated, I don’t own shares in SPH, and I think I deserve to make a living by helping others if they also want to win an award or learn to blog. I don’t need permission from you, but I hope I make sense here.
And yes, folks, you are right. Let him who has not sinned cast the first stone. Back in 2014, Xiaxue called me a “bitch”, an “idiot” and a “nobody”. I chose to just… blog about it. No big deal, like my pal told me… a bitch is simply a female dog. I won’t sue her for calling me a “bitch”. I live with it.
What did I call her?
I Am Sorry, Wendy.
[Edited: The lady who left that comment asked for her name and picture to be masked, and we also had a good conversation about her experience of being cyber-bullied.]
The best insult I can come up with is… this.
So, my answer to Smith is this… I can fight fire with fire. I refuse to. All those profanities don’t come out so easily from me. I wish I have a sharp tongue and can use profanities liberally. But I can’t. Read my blogposts and you’ll have a hard time finding me cussing. You won’t find pictures of me showing off my middle finger too. I know Wendy and yourself might be more inclined towards doing so, but not me. I take the legal route if I have to.
So there. I am not doing this for the fame. If you have ever taken out a Protection Order against anyone, you will know you might prefer chopping off your right hand than going through that long, tedious and draining process. This is why many victims have not bothered. It is costly too. Also, has anyone wondered why I didn’t blog about the second Gushcloud-exposed blogpost Wendy did? If I’m traffic-hungry, and coupled with the insider information I have, I would have done so. I did NOT!
And now… I have to deal with jokers like this one:
[Edited: Interesting… so Nicholas is the one who sent out that tweet about how someone should have died for causing a morning traffic jam – https://twitter.com/omySG/status/297189305930113024 – … but honestly…]
I don’t have the time for these things!!!
I would like the bullying to stop. I would like the tarnishing of my reputation to stop. I would like to never hear from her again.
I just want my drama-free life back. I like having nobody Tweet at me, especially if it’s about their orgasms.
I’m proud of my work, I’m proud of my book, and I’m proud of my students.
Final Note: I know that an adorable boy turns two tomorrow. While I am not fond of his mother, I believe every kid deserves to be especially happy on their birthdays. So if I don’t hear from Wendy, she won’t hear from me either.
Follow me on Facebook (@thegracetan), Twitter (@Grace_Tan) or Instagram (@thegracetan) for updates.