I recently posted a photo such as this, where I’m holding Linda the Black Widow, on my blog and the comments coming in are kinda cracking me up.
Here are a few:
“what is photoshop”-
Well, if you knew me personally, you’d understand why this is funny. I am so computer illiterate I could never use photoshop- you’re lucky I know how to use tumblr…. Also, if you follow me, you know I hold all things “creepy” on a regular basis.
“this bitch really let a venomous spider bite her trying to be cute”
Apparently, I’m a bitch? And who said Linda bit me? I didn’t! Black Widows are extremely shy and non-aggressive. They are nothing to be afraid of, like any animal, if treated with respect (which usually means just leave it alone) and not threatened, they will not feel the need to defend themselves. I was not “trying to be cute”.. The point of this blog is to educate others about the natural world. Me holding a venomous beneficial black widow reinforces the point- most of the negative feelings people have towards spiders are based on irrational fear.
“Now they call her rotten hand”
Once again, you’d practically have to force a black widow to bite you. Also, even if she were to bite me, it certainly would not rot my hand. Black widow venom is a nuerotoxin, and does not cause necrosis.
It’s sad that people are so willing to despise what they don’t understand. As if that wasn’t enough, some go so far as to despise anyone who does understand what they don’t. It’s a shame that people have been reacting to a photo of a non-aggressive spider on this person’s hands with jeering and hostility. It shows how little these trolls know, and how afraid they are of having their erroneous preconceptions of the world (“spiders are vicious and deadly monsters that bite and kill people all the time!!!”) challenged.
I dread the day when I receive this same sort of internet backlash for the photos I take of live (and perfectly docile) wasps and spiders on my hands. You won’t find those photos on my tumblr blog, though, because I intend to keep my personal life (read: frivolous and potentially-alienating tumblr crap) and my academic/professional life separate.