Scarlet Letter Shaming

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A building without a solid foundation will collapse upon itself if it encounters any disturbances. If society acts as a building, then shame and other ways of asserting dominance would act as the foundation. These tools that allow anyone to assert their superiority are a necessary vice America must keep in order to preserve the structural integrity of our nation. Some may claim they use shame as a tool to correct other people’s behavior, but the real reason for the use of shame is for its underlying effect of asserting dominance over one another, which is an essential behavior both animals and humans use to keep society organized. Although shaming occurs under rare circumstances in the animal kingdom, asserting dominance over one another remains…show more content…
I would argue against it; shaming is a tool used to preserve the structural integrity established in each individual society. Returning to the Laxamana incident, I believe the real reason for the father’s behavior was to prove to his children that his word is final and he has unquestionable authority over them. He took her actions as a direct attack against his executive powers and decided to flex those powers by teaching her a lesson with the most effective tool at his disposal, shame. The Scarlet Letter demonstrates the same pattern. The real goal for shaming Hester Prynne wasn’t to make her into a better Puritan; it was to preserve the structural integrity of the Puritan colony by making her punishment an example to the other colonists. If one person can break the rules what stops everyone else from doing so as well? An answer to this question is given with a brutal example of bandwagon shaming in the article “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life” by best-selling author, Jon Ronson in which he describes how society misinterpreted a woman by the name of Justine Sacco’s humorous tweet saying, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” Thousands of Americans began to berate her for posting such a “racist” and “insensitive” tweet. One of the thousands who upbraided Sacco went as far as to call her a “retarded racist bitch.” Americans may shame others believing they are correcting their behavior, but in reality what they are doing is asserting the importance of their beliefs over the importance of

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