Bully for you!

Posted: September 2, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

I just finished reading a blog post by lil Cao about bullying, and it moved me.  It moved me enough that I wanted to more than just push a like button or even leave a short one-sentence comment.  It made me think about bullying and try to organize my thoughts to share.

Bullying is like a thick fog.  It’s effects are easy to see, making everything a little darker.  When present, it fills the emotional space around it, smothering everyone.  It is easier to spot it than to dispel or disperse it.  And, like fog, if you try to get a firm grip on it, you will find it slipping through your fingers.

I know, I know.  This picture has absolutely nothing to do with bullying...

I know, I know. This picture has absolutely nothing to do with bullying…

I think nearly everyone agrees that bullying is bad.  And of those who disagree, we would be hard pressed to find anyone who actually says bullying is good and to be encouraged.  Instead they would argue bullying is just part of the social dynamic, the establishment of hierarchy and pecking order that occurs in any group, and that we just need to chillax about it.  I can see the perspective argument.  When I was in kindergarten, there was this one girl who was bigger than anyone else in the room.  She would tell me what to do, yell at me, try to prevent the other kids from playing with me if she didn’t like what I was doing, and generally be mean to me.  I thought she was a terrible bully, but everyone else thought Mrs. C. was a great teacher.

Another ‘what is bullying’ anecdote… My firsty has two nephews, six and four.  They are both great kids and I absolutely adore them, but they bicker over everything.  Whatever toy one is playing with becomes the new battleground, because the other one then wants it.  The four year old is a little stockier, less verbal- he generally just spots an opportunity and grabs the toy.  The six year old is a skinny beanpole, actually weighing the same as his ‘little’ brother, and he’s a bit of a drama queen.  Each new toy is “the best toy ever.”  The kid he just met is his new “bestest friend.”  When he is unhappy with his brother he “hates” him.  He will generally argue over the toy for a short period and then run, crying, to their mother claiming that the four year old is stealing the toy from him and have mom make his brother turn the toy over.  I’ve observed this pattern, and it doesn’t matter which kid started with the toy and whether his brother is taking the toy or taking the toy back.  So who is the bully, the little brother who uses force or the big brother who uses the nuclear weapon of little kid arguments, Mommy?

...Nor does this picture.  But I have to fit my fashion moment in somehow!

…Nor does this picture. But I have to fit my fashion moment in somehow!

The stereotype of bullying is that bullying is about physical force, but now we are also trying to fight social bullying.. those who would use harmful words and internet posts to further ostracize and demean those who are already ‘outsiders’ from the group in some way.  The real difficulty with most anti-bullying efforts is that they focus on the bully’s tactics- what the bully does- and bullying is ultimately defined by motive- why the bully does what they do.  When the six year old tells his mother because the four year old took the toy, that isn’t bullying.  When the six year old tells his mother because the four year old wouldn’t surrender the toy, that is.  And yet, with out the key knowledge piece, where the toy actually started, there is no difference between the two scenarios.  So how does a mother know?

I visited the site StopBullying.Gov.  I wasn’t impressed.  It tried to deal with cyber bullying, but gave a definition so vague and inclusive that ‘mean text messages’ were considered bullying.  It tried to warn parents of factors that might indicate potential bullies.  Apparently bullies are likely to either be well-connected to their peers, using their influence and popularity to dominate others or else be isolated from their peers and compensating for their sense of outsider-hood.  Not real cut or dried.  Here’s the core truth.  If an individual is being bossed around, either by force or by ‘coolness’ and social status, or if the individual is being gratuitously humiliated and demeaned, either in person or online, then something is wrong.  It is particularly wrong if the bullying occurs for selfish, self-absorbed motives.  Encourage loving, harmonious behavior.  Also be realistic: kids will establish a pecking order, just like a wolf pack will choose an alpha.  Protect the weaker kids, the ones at the bottom of the pecking order and the ones excluded from the pack, but realize that trying to enforce a different pecking order is potentially a form of bullying also.  Remember that few people are villains in their own head, so bullies may not see themselves as bullies but as victims, so try to resolve conflicts so that neither side needs to bully to other.  Also remember some people are just a**holes, so some conflicts cannot be resolved, only subjected to discipline.

I'm too tough and too cool to be bullied, so there!

I’m too tough and too cool to be bullied, so there!

Oh, and obligatory fashion stuff: Shape: Kids Girl Shape (15-18), source unknown.  Skin: Didy Milk Natural from WoW Skins  Hair: The Katie II in ‘shiny’ and also a flower headband, both from [kik].  Outfit: (skirt, hose, jacket, (both jacket layer and prim collar, sleeves), and gloves): The Selit in Red from LC’s World of Fashion.  Boots: Denim Stilettos from *JStyle.  Other accessories: tattoo from Orsini, pink blush make up (tattoo layer) from LC’s, freebie nose ring.

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Comments
  1. Well thought out post and cool style! Thanks for the shout out too! ❤

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