Slut Shaming & Public Crucifixion: How Lebanon Handled A Nursing Student’s Instagram Caption

Memories of a garbage crisis that is still as is over 8 months after it began are distant now in the country that is in upheaval, outrage, uproar, you name it… over a nursing student’s Instagram caption.

For reference, a nursing student on her way to become a midwife at Université St. Joseph posted to her 14,000+ Instagram followers a selfie of her in pink scrubs, indicating her tenure at Hotel Dieu de France, the hospital with which USJ deals in medical and nursing fields, with the caption: “Be careful bitches, we can kill your babies one day.”

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Despite her account being private, albeit privacy must be extremely futile when you’re sharing posts with over 14,000 people, the picture soon made itself onto the Lebanese blogosphere, and the response has been deafening. In a matter of hours, the girl has been expelled from her university with her entire future up in tatters. If anything can be used as an example as to how careful you need to be on social media, it’s her story.

For starters, what this girl did is abhorrent. Her caption is a disgrace to her profession and to the medical field of which she hoped to become part one day, unlikely as that may be now. There’s no nice way to spin this. This goes against every principle in medical ethics that she’s exposed to, against every oath that either nurses or doctors are obliged to swear before starting their careers, and, in non-medical terms, against all rules of compassion that a human being should have.

But in the grand scheme of things, it remains a fucked up Instagram caption by a young, naive girl who didn’t think it through, who was chasing some attention (as is obvious by the 290+ likes as of screenshot time), and who didn’t know that silly, useless and horrific jokes, when said by people whose impact when it comes to those jokes can be tangible, tend to backfire.

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The girl’s university was quick to respond. She has been expelled. I believe expulsion is an extremely harsh punishment for such an offense. Suspension with a public apology would have been the better way to go, especially that the girl hasn’t actually affected any woman giving birth or her babies, and will probably never be able to given the fact that midwives in hospitals don’t have that level of authority that belongs to doctors only, which she is not.

Regardless of where you stand regarding the punishment this girl received, one thing has to be discussed in the aftermath: the Lebanese public’s response was as horrific as her caption. It was akin to watching a mob lynching an unsuspecting passerby.

As I combed through online responses to the tens of thousands of shares that screenshot got, people of all kinds were united in either calling her a whore, saying that the only job she’d be fit to do was to be a stripper, attacking her looks by alluding to her undergoing prior plastic surgeries, throwing threats at her, among other things. And the constellation of those “comments” and “tweets” is nothing short of disgusting as well.

Say what you want about her caption, but to attack a person in such a systematic and public way, to call them whores and sluts and retarded over and over again is not only unacceptable, but clearly not the best way for any society or community to deal with such a thing. Doing this to this girl means you wouldn’t have an issue others doing it to you in case you fall in the cracks like she did. Are we supposed to go through our entire social media presence now because someone out there might decide that something we posted a long time ago could turn into a viral public shaming post? The idea terrifies me.

The fact of the matter is that girl’s joke, bad as it was, would always be just a joke and never a threat. Your children’s futures are more threatened today by the situation in the country than by an Instagram caption, but that doesn’t outrage you enough. Your babies are more threatened by the carcinogens filling your food and water and air from the garbage crisis and other kinds of pollution than by that girl’s Instagram caption. And yet here we are today, with a silly joke getting the country up in arms.

Lebanon, you have your priorities very well sorted.

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15 thoughts on “Slut Shaming & Public Crucifixion: How Lebanon Handled A Nursing Student’s Instagram Caption

  1. Oh God, thanks for bringing some sanity to this. I’m in the medical profession too. This girl made a really stupid mistake; she shouldn’t pay the rest of her life for it. Kids do STUPID THINGS. Haram.

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  2. I’m confused about this comment ‘probably never be able to given the fact that midwives in hospitals don’t have that level of authority that belongs to doctors only’. In a lot of countries midwives are autonomous in their practice, they are the lead at the birth and do many procedures including giving controlled drugs. Doctors usually only called if high risk birth or complications. Obviously not in all countries but many so your comment is an odd one to make. Midwives shoulder a huge responsibility and are in prime position to negatively affect a woman and her child if the HCP wished to do so.

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  3. Just for clarification: the USJ tweet says that she has been excluded from Hotel Dieu Hospital – not university. She may or may not have been expelled from university.

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  4. Just in reply to nwn, what the blogger meant (I assume) is that in Lebanon (unforunately) midwives are not given authority. In my view this is a big shame and problem, but it is the reality.

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  5. Thank you for being the voice of reason. On FB I saw so many people posting ‘I have x number of kids and therefore the public shaming of this girl is justified’ I’d just like to say that I’m sure all these people would want their kids to be given a second chance at life and career if they ever made a (very) stupid joke on-line or off-line. Also wanted to say I agree with the commenter Elizabelibby

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  6. What about the 293 likes? Did they get expelled from work/university as well?

    The university should seriously reconsider its decision. That’s unfair. Probably if the university have educated their students about how to properly use their social accounts this wouldnt have happened. I blame the university rather than the girl.

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  7. Slut shaming? Well that wasn’t very nice of you to call her a slut. But it’s weird that you are defending a “professional” who publicly threatened the safety of babies by saying she was “naive and didn’t think it through, was only looking for attention, blah blah.” Yet, the random strangers on the internet who called her names (omg they called her NAMES?! The horror!!!) are clearly the problem? Neh, don’t think so. And you don’t know how much of a threat her words were, since you clearly don’t know the girl. It’s irresponsible of you to assert your OPINIONS as facts, and doesn’t look good for your little blog site. There are some sick people in the world, and these types of things need to be taken seriously. One thing is for sure, she certainly wasn’t mature enough to handle the position she was training for, so getting her off the team was the right thing to do.

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  8. Slut shaming is never the answer. However, if this girl, at the probable age of 20-22, and after having supposedly gone through several courses on different medical issues, has not matured to the point of merely not making a stupid “joke” like murdering babies, then she is not fit to handle people’s lives at all. What’s to say she wouldn’t do something much more real in the future to once again get the attention that you speak of? She made her bed and now she’s lying in it, thankfully.

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  9. Yeah It’s dark humor and not a threat. Dumb to post such a thing on her public profile but I don’t think it warrants all this outrage. I actually like dead baby jokes. I just don’t like it when midwives or nurses make dead baby jokes publicly.

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  10. I agree, the public shaming was horrific. Unfortunately I ve noticed recently that public shamings online have become common, and not only in Lebanon. Maybe it s time to realize that our online voices have the same impact as a mob, even though it is not physical violence. I consider that this woman made a serious professionnal mistake and it s only normal to fire her from the hospital ( but not from the university, she has the right to get a degree, useless as it may now become)

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  11. Not only expel them. Imprison them. It’s not abt doing vs not doing. It’s abt that unrest they’ve created in the mind of many preg women now. DIE B! DIE

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  12. Are you kidding me ?!!
    This is not a 2% sentence to be listed under the category of a joke .
    Why would someone even think of such a thing?
    I really do not get where is the funny part in that ” joke”?
    calling mothers bitches , shows that she has hate for them .
    Do you even know the girl to defend her ?
    A lot of people out there have some psychological issues that lead them to become criminals .
    How are you so confident that she’s not gonna harm anyone ?
    Shocked that she didn’t get arrested !
    This girl is over 18 and is responsible of her actions. Considering her a kid , kids do not work in a hospital .
    You Lebanese always complain ” there’s no government , no law”
    When law gets inforced you guys complain with the excuse of war in Lebanon.
    Thanks to mentalities like yours ,lebanon will remain a 3rd world country and keep going backwards !
    Your article is the joke !!

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  13. Alright a few thoughts:

    1) Being actively concerned about the garbage crisis and being concerned/bothered/whatever by this event are not mutually exclusive. I think your reference to the garbage problem is what they call “the straw man argument”.

    2) Slut shaming is bad. But public shaming an idiotic remark is what one gets for being an idiot on the internet. I personally would not publicly shame someone. I’d rather lift someone up than bring them down, but it is what it is. She’s got to learn common sense somehow.

    3) Expulsion is a harsh offense? Debatable.
    She’s an adult, with adult privileges and adult responsibilities. While people refer to her as a “kid”, remember… the law allows her to do a lot more than post Instagram pictures.

    Reply

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