Escaping lawyer mom fb world: A THREAD

People want to know more why about I stayed so long and how I finally left.

I will start at the beginning. If I shared every detail it would take a year so I will try to keep it to key points.

Note: this is my story and nobody else's.

I am sharing this bc it is cathartic and I think it has broader relevance to the state of online discourse today... groupthink, witchhunts, wokeism, I've got it all.

So we start in early 2017. I am a new mom with a 3 month old.

I am returning to my litigation job at a huge int'l law firm. I have other friends with babies but none are lawyers except a couple coworkers. My neighbor invited me into a FB group.

I immediately feel like I've found my "people."

We all post about the unique challenges of being a lawyer with kids. These women are brilliant and witty. They are from all over (even some abroad) with kids of all ages. They give good advice.

They totally get it.

Inside jokes develop.

I make some real friends who I meet up with in LA.

It feels like a supportive community.

Gradually, over time, the group becomes less tolerant of anything other than progressive views.

Trump supporters are dragged.

Any slight misstep is made out to be a huge offense.

A LOT of racial tension develops.

If someone gets called out for any perceived "ism," it becomes unacceptable to disagree or defend the person.

Meanwhile, tons of special interest subgroups emerge. One for Jewish law moms, one for Black law moms, brown law moms, and others.

As in any group, when Israel/Palestine come up, all hell breaks loose.

The group implodes at the end of 2020 and the admins shut it down.

The original group had grown to 13k members.

In the meantime, a secret unauthorized subgroup arose in fall 2020. It purported to be about booze but was really devoted to talking shit about people in the "main group."

It was basically the cool clique.

It was small, maybe 300 people. It was funny and witty. But just really mean. Because the subjects of the mockery were not in the group, it felt morally okay to joke about them, and you gained social status the more you participated.

But the jokes were cruel.

Women who had shared stories about mental illness or other struggles were targeted and mocked.

Making fun of people's kids weren't off limits.

It was just gross.

I wanted to leave, but I was scared what they would say about me, and didn't want to lose friends.

Meanwhile, bc the bigger group was shut down, people started another group. This was the one that required you to answer whose lives matter to enter the group, and you'd be banned if you didn't understand that you had to write "black" or else be deemed racist.

I was in both these groups all early 2021 and both became toxic.

You could not write a post without someone finding it offensive for some reason.

The admins and others would twist anything someone wrote in order to find something racist, sexist, who knows.

Many women were sad when RBG died. I mean, we are female lawyers! But our sadness was labeled "problematic" and mocked...because RBG was not progressive enough on the bench.

Despite having two Jewish admins, left wing antisemitism grew rampant and became the norm.

Once, a woman who was a partner at a law firm posted a scathing account of how her junior associate at work was supposed to stay up to wait for a final draft of a letter to send, but she fell asleep at 2 am and partner had to wait until morning to send it.

Some people suggested it was unreasonable to expect the junior associate to stay up all night.

Others suggested she not share the story because the junior associate could be identified.

These people were derided and one was kicked out for their opinion.

The admins were drunk on power.

They preyed on insecurity and encouraged pile-ons and cyberbullying for the slightest misstep, the slightest break from the lockstep extremism that had become the norm.

I had enough and I left.

16 -- done for now.
Actually I'll continue. So at that point I left the secret smaller group but remained in the bigger one, which was around 3k people.

I stayed because these had become my friends and professional contacts. I had clients in the group. The networking possibilities were huge.

Keep in mind by then -- it was covid. I was stuck at home with no colleagues to see. Everyone was distancing. Restaurants were closed. Everything was closed.

It was easy for my online community to become my support system, even though it was toxic.

By then I also saw how they treated dissidents. I didn't want to become enemies with these women.

Finally I got into an intense discussion with the admins and realized they were just jerks through and through.

This was a couple months ago. I decided to leave all the fb groups and still remain friends with anyone I had met who would stay in touch.

That was fine until about a week ago

A week ago, I linked @davidzweig’s article about masks on my personal FB page.

4-5 women I knew only from lawyer mom world went batshit. Viciously trolled me. Told me I must be mentally ill. Accused me of gaslighting, being Qanon, conspiracy theorist, you name it.

It just reminded me how insane and myopic these women all are.

They felt so threatened by one single article that they had to launch horrible insults at me.

Dozens of new September 2021 accounts have popped up to troll me here.

Part of the way this group exerts control is they weaponize claims of racism against unsuspecting, well intentioned women.

They dont accept apologies. They “educate” through intimidation (and even white women use “tone policing”as justification for misplaced rage).

If you try to gently and patiently explain to someone why their words may be offensive, for example, the clique attacks YOU for not being sufficiently rude.

They like to say “we’re not nice but we’re kind.” They are neither. They get off on destroying other women.

My twitter following is killing them.

It’s hilarious bc I barely know how to use twitter and have not been actively cultivating followers.

This thread has become boring. I’ll do a spicier one tomorrow 🤣


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More from @sarahbeth345

14 Sep
For those (like me) who fully bought into all things covid for awhile, what were the things that changed your mind or got you asking questions?

I had a few watershed moments.

Being forced to re-mask after being fully vaccinated was one of them.
Also, seeing my kids’ daycare stay open with very little masking and only a couple isolated covid cases, no sickness or spread, this whole time. 🤔

Being expected to mask my 2yo at a new preschool (which I promptly pulled her out of) was another big moment.
One day over the summer, I decided to look up how many kids had died of (or with) covid in Florida. I assumed it was hundreds or thousands.

It was 8.

That was a big moment too.
Read 8 tweets
14 Sep
Something interesting happened last weekend when I suddenly got thousands of followers within the span of a few days.

A friend who I’ve known around 20 years texted me. Let’s call her Lisa. Lisa said “omg, I just saw a tweet my friend retweeted and realized it was you!”

Lisa had no idea I was on twitter and I had no idea she was on twitter.

She told me she loved my tweets and was secretly experiencing a similar shift. Not huge, but moving closer to the center, which is kind of an aberration in our leftie friend group.

I told her that some of our mutual friends knew about my twitter account but that we hadn’t discussed it in depth, and I wasn’t sure if they use twitter or were following me, although they did know I was experiencing a little shift.

Read 5 tweets
12 Sep
If any of this was *really* about safety, what would be happening?

I’ll start: medical-grade masks would be made available for free to everyone.

Cloth masks would not even exist.
Goggles would also be provided to all.
No professional sports.
Read 8 tweets
7 Sep
Why aren’t we hearing more from women whose careers were sidelined due to covid?

I’ll start. My children’s daycare was actually open the whole time, but we were led to believe it was dangerous to send them, so we pulled them out.

We kept them home from March-August and again pulled them out in November due to the scary “fall surge.”

They were 3 and 1. It was impossible to handle my biglaw caseload while home with them in a 1700 sq ft house.

The parks around us were closed. The playground was sealed off with caution tape.

My firm cut my salary but also offered a 3 month sabbatical, which I gratefully took.

The day my sabbatical was over and I returned to work, I quit in the middle of writing a brief.

Read 7 tweets
6 Sep
I am leaving the “progressive” lawyer mom group toxicity behind me.

I have one last anecdote.

I wrote earlier about how the latest group called itself anti-racist but barred entry of a Black woman because she didn’t write “black” in the box that asked whose lives matter.

Someone reminded me of how it went down publicly in the group and it may be the most interesting part.

So the woman who had invited her Black friend into the group wrote a post about it afterwards that explained what had happened.

The point of her post was to point out the hypocrisy and ask how the group could call itself anti-racist for banning a Black woman in this myopic way.

This is when the admins said “she [the Black woman] isn’t a good fit.”

Read 6 tweets
5 Sep
The fact that more than a dozen lawyer moms are currently blowing up my inbox in protest over my use of the terms "escaped" and "stock syndrome" pretty much epitomizes one of the reasons why I find these people insufferable and exhausting.

A second thread:
The reaction to my post is predictable. The predominant narrative is that "Sarah fat shamed a dead child" based on an admittedly insensitive comment. They ignore my point, though: obesity is a major comorbidity that must be addressed by the media and public health officials.
One lovely person messaged me to say I am spoon feeding racist and misogynistic trolls for my own ego and entertainment. Which may be accurate lol. But I am not doing it intentionally!
Read 12 tweets

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