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Author Topic: Bullying  (Read 2559 times)

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Online OniyaTopic starter

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Bullying
« on: October 06, 2012, 05:13:53 PM »
A number of posts on this topic, in scattered threads, have brought back some rather unpleasant memories and events from my life.  You see, I've had some first-hand experiences with bullying, not only as a child, but as an adult and as a mother.  I remember 7th grade (being the one that was under-developed), 8th grade (still not there), 9th through 11th grade (where there were boys trying to stuff contraceptive packages in my bookbag).

It didn't make me stronger.  It made me withdraw.  It made me avoid places and people.  One time, I ended up shrieking at one of my attackers in the lunch line and then fleeing - because I felt guilty.  I didn't get lunch that day.  I didn't even try to buy a school lunch again.

I was stalked during college.  The girl who stalked me had me terrified, because she made a point of telling me that she was a black belt, and had both a butterfly knife and a number of throwing stars on campus.  I spent a couple of hours trapped in my room after she decided that my avoiding her was a reason to profess her undying love for me.  The next year, I managed to get a room down the hall from someone who had a restraining order against her.

Before I left the DC area, I was a member of a fairly active spiritual discussion group - until the best friend of one of the mods decided that one of my friends was lying about his past.  Mind you, she had known him maybe ten weeks - I'd known him for years.  It didn't matter.  First it was veiled references, then outright sniping comments.  Eventually, I shut down that email account completely.  It's been over ten years, and I'm only now starting to get to get back in touch with some of the people I knew from back then.

Many of you know that I have a daughter.  She's smart, small, a bit of a 'pleaser' - in short, a perfect target.  She's a lot like me, and I've already gotten involved once to shut down a set of bullies (first grade - I found out about it from my mother-in-law, called the teacher and the principal about it, and the three miscreants were called on the carpet).  These days, bullying is more than mean words in the hallways and threats of 'I'll get you after school'.  It can be a constant barrage of text messages, Facebook postings, viral videos - in short, it's gone from something that you can 'leave' at school to something that can follow you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  It is not what we grew up with.  It can easily drive even the strongest individual to their knees.  Or worse.

I know there are people that disagree with me.  I know that there are people who (just as vehemently) side with me when I say that bullying shouldn't be tolerated.  I'd like to point out one thing, though:  If someone disagrees with you, and you choose to belittle them, call them names, and so forth, you aren't holding up your end of being 'anti-bullying'.

You're becoming part of the problem.

Offline tozhma

Re: Bullying
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2012, 07:09:05 PM »
Well people can react in various ways to various stimuli. I was certainly bullied more than I ever cared to be, and in a lot of ways that has hurt me. I don't think the argument that "bullying makes you strong" holds any salt. Certainly there are some cases where tough love can help, but that is not bullying. Indeed, I'm wont to think that bullying, especially when gone unchecked, would do more to foster learned helplessness which is really the opposite of strength.

Bullying is intimidation, violation, and outright malice. What falls under its label is violence whether physical, social, or emotional. The notion that bullying imparts strength and that the strong will rise and the weak will fall bothers me for a number of reasons. The fact is that the behaviors of bullying, which include theft, assault, and even kidnapping (denying someone the ability to exit a room actually counts as kidnapping fyi), take on a very different meaning when they are practiced  by adults instead of children. For adults these would be felonies.

To be frank, I'd assume that anyone thinking anti-social behavior is a way to impart strength is a troll, and idiot or both. To be fair though, let's say that the troll is right, and that bullying does make some people strong. Afterall, there are some people who do come out on the otherside rather hardened, or so they claim. Is this an efficient way of creating strong people? I think not. Far more  people end up hurt and with lasting psychological trauma. That is to say nothing of the cost to society of fostering in children the notion that they will not be punished for acting anti-socially.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Bullying
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2012, 07:28:19 PM »
To me.. the PC movement in part has empowered bullies since the various school mechanisms that would normally be empowered to punish at various levels has been crippled. Add in the outlook that 'loners' are dangerous and prone to snapping (fun note..the boys who did the Columbine shooting WEREN'T bullied or loners) and a tendacy to brush over the impact these actions to bad things like teen suicide and drug use.

I seem to recall someone a while back posting how the 'no such thing as homosexuals' policy in Michelle Bachmann's district was resulting in truly depressing numbers of suicides and abuses since the school staff couldn't defend the bullied students and in some cases were even empowering the bullies.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Bullying
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2012, 10:07:32 PM »
Let us say, for the sake of argument, that bullying did somehow separate the wheat from the chaff.  I thought the entire purpose of having a civil society was that we did not want to live by survival of the fitest.

Offline Sabby

Re: Bullying
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2012, 10:30:09 PM »
I'm taking a break from the board (was getting too heated and I needed to collect myself xD) but I need to ask here. What bullying are you referring to? Unless I've missed it, or it was very recent (in which case, apologies) I've seen no bullying in the threads I was a part of.

Bullying is systematic. I've seen no targeting of members, no repeated harassment, no name calling, none. Tempers have flared up, as they do in this part of the forum, and when it has gotten a bit ugly it's always been about the topic, not a victim and abuser.

So unless I missed this 'bullying', I'm just going to say I've seen none.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Bullying
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2012, 10:41:11 PM »
I'm taking a break from the board (was getting too heated and I needed to collect myself xD) but I need to ask here. What bullying are you referring to? Unless I've missed it, or it was very recent (in which case, apologies) I've seen no bullying in the threads I was a part of.

Bullying is systematic. I've seen no targeting of members, no repeated harassment, no name calling, none. Tempers have flared up, as they do in this part of the forum, and when it has gotten a bit ugly it's always been about the topic, not a victim and abuser.

So unless I missed this 'bullying', I'm just going to say I've seen none.

I don't think it's about Bullying on E! but rather Bullying in the real world Sabby.

Offline Sabby

Re: Bullying
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2012, 10:43:08 PM »
OH! Crap, I'm so sorry xD I misread you Oniya. Been a looooong day, haha. Many apologies. I'll remove the post if Callie wants to remove his response as well :)

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Bullying
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2012, 10:44:09 PM »
OH! Crap, I'm so sorry xD I misread you Oniya. Been a looooong day, haha. Many apologies. I'll remove the post if Callie wants to remove his response as well :)

Relax man.. it's okay.. (I've been working on a paper for Diveristy in the workplace all day long)

Online OniyaTopic starter

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Re: Bullying
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2012, 11:08:36 PM »
Actually, I've seen posts on E that brought this up, and they were fairly recent, so I don't fault you for not seeing them.  I didn't put this post up to draw specific attention to them, as much as to say that there are faces behind the words.  People.  And if someone disagrees with a position, that's no reason to call them a fool, idiot, 'mindless zombie', or any other such thing.  We're bigger than that.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Bullying
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2012, 11:19:33 PM »
Oh great!  So it is about size, is it?

Sorry.  Couldn't resist.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Bullying
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2012, 11:25:33 PM »
Actually, I've seen posts on E that brought this up, and they were fairly recent, so I don't fault you for not seeing them.  I didn't put this post up to draw specific attention to them, as much as to say that there are faces behind the words.  People.  And if someone disagrees with a position, that's no reason to call them a fool, idiot, 'mindless zombie', or any other such thing.  We're bigger than that.

Don't feel bad Ony.. you're right..the issue was SPREAD over many forums and threads.

Offline MasterMischief

Re: Bullying
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2012, 01:04:21 AM »
No one likes being bullied.  Even bullies.

Who knew.   ::)

Offline tozhma

Re: Bullying
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2012, 02:06:47 AM »
Actually, I've seen posts on E that brought this up, and they were fairly recent, so I don't fault you for not seeing them.  I didn't put this post up to draw specific attention to them, as much as to say that there are faces behind the words.  People.  And if someone disagrees with a position, that's no reason to call them a fool, idiot, 'mindless zombie', or any other such thing.  We're bigger than that.

This is a good point.

Offline Dim Hon

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Re: Bullying
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2012, 02:14:06 AM »
Victim blaming is another sort of bullying. Attacking someone who did nothing to provoke it, but simply was the target of attack is almost more disgusting than the initial attack.

Offline Stattick

Re: Bullying
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2012, 04:19:05 AM »
A number of posts on this topic, in scattered threads, have brought back some rather unpleasant memories and events from my life.  You see, I've had some first-hand experiences with bullying, not only as a child, but as an adult and as a mother.  I remember 7th grade (being the one that was under-developed), 8th grade (still not there), 9th through 11th grade (where there were boys trying to stuff contraceptive packages in my bookbag).

It didn't make me stronger.  It made me withdraw.  It made me avoid places and people.  One time, I ended up shrieking at one of my attackers in the lunch line and then fleeing - because I felt guilty.  I didn't get lunch that day.  I didn't even try to buy a school lunch again.

I was stalked during college.  The girl who stalked me had me terrified, because she made a point of telling me that she was a black belt, and had both a butterfly knife and a number of throwing stars on campus.  I spent a couple of hours trapped in my room after she decided that my avoiding her was a reason to profess her undying love for me.  The next year, I managed to get a room down the hall from someone who had a restraining order against her.

Before I left the DC area, I was a member of a fairly active spiritual discussion group - until the best friend of one of the mods decided that one of my friends was lying about his past.  Mind you, she had known him maybe ten weeks - I'd known him for years.  It didn't matter.  First it was veiled references, then outright sniping comments.  Eventually, I shut down that email account completely.  It's been over ten years, and I'm only now starting to get to get back in touch with some of the people I knew from back then.

Many of you know that I have a daughter.  She's smart, small, a bit of a 'pleaser' - in short, a perfect target.  She's a lot like me, and I've already gotten involved once to shut down a set of bullies (first grade - I found out about it from my mother-in-law, called the teacher and the principal about it, and the three miscreants were called on the carpet).  These days, bullying is more than mean words in the hallways and threats of 'I'll get you after school'.  It can be a constant barrage of text messages, Facebook postings, viral videos - in short, it's gone from something that you can 'leave' at school to something that can follow you twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  It is not what we grew up with.  It can easily drive even the strongest individual to their knees.  Or worse.

I know there are people that disagree with me.  I know that there are people who (just as vehemently) side with me when I say that bullying shouldn't be tolerated.  I'd like to point out one thing, though:  If someone disagrees with you, and you choose to belittle them, call them names, and so forth, you aren't holding up your end of being 'anti-bullying'.

You're becoming part of the problem.

Agreed.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Bullying
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2012, 06:52:03 AM »
Bullying can stunt a person's development rather than give it any kind of boost or "strength". If someone came out strong then they likely would have reached that point a lot sooner through encouragement rather than belittlement.

I've known plenty of people who suffered through years of bullying and can honestly say that I've yet to see a single phoenix rise from the ashes - and I certainly won't count those who found their bearings in their late twenties.

I should probably add that I'm speaking of psychological bullying rather than physical. I've never seen much of the latter.

Offline tozhma

Re: Bullying
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2012, 08:28:59 AM »
I think bullying, when manifested physically, necessarily manifests psychologically as well. When you, as a person, become an active and purposeful agent in physical harm, your mere presence, regardless of intent, can do a lot to terrorize the abused. Psychological bullying shares this same phenomenon, though it doesn't switch modes.

Offline Scribbles

Re: Bullying
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2012, 09:07:19 AM »
I don't doubt it. I've heard of quite a number of horrific events involving physical abuse and I can certainly see how intimidation and humiliation affect the victims.

Offline Shjade

Re: Bullying
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2012, 02:39:54 AM »
I should probably add that I'm speaking of psychological bullying rather than physical. I've never seen much of the latter.

I think physical bullying is probably easier to deal with, to be honest. Maybe it's because I was on the receiving end of more of that than psychological, but I really don't know how I would've responded to a much less physical kind of bullying directed my way. With the strictly physical kind there's something tangible you can respond to in kind, if you're so inclined. I eventually got beyond the bullying by fighting my way out of it, more or less. That's a much more difficult option if there's no real "fight" you can win, if it's even possible.

Offline tozhma

Re: Bullying
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2012, 02:45:03 AM »
I think the difficulty of bullying is probably subjective.

Offline Trieste

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Re: Bullying
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2012, 02:58:49 AM »
I think it depends on the bullies, too. I can't say I was ever bullied, not... really. If I think about it, I can recall some incidents in middle school where the attempt was made, but I was pretty well introverted through grade school. Not shy, but I just didn't really even see other people as particularly... real? Important? Not sure how to describe it, but between being like that and being pretty clueless about pop culture (I watched very little TV as a kid and wasn't a video game person; I read. A lot.) most attempts at teasing or bullying just went right over my head. For some reason, my habit of pause, slow blink, move on seemed to just make it not at all fun or satisfying. If there was physical bullying, I don't recall it.

I think that if the bullies in my school had been less inclined to mental torture and more inclined toward the physical, I would probably have had a very different experience.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Bullying
« Reply #21 on: October 08, 2012, 02:59:35 AM »
I think bullying, when manifested physically, necessarily manifests psychologically as well. When you, as a person, become an active and purposeful agent in physical harm, your mere presence, regardless of intent, can do a lot to terrorize the abused. Psychological bullying shares this same phenomenon, though it doesn't switch modes.

Fewer people will go to direct physical bullying (or battering, beating up, if it's in some sort of family circle) but yeah the psychological bullying and rethorical belittlement, victim-blaming and so on can pave the way for physical abuse. And if it's face to face you sense that. I'm not physically weak or frail, but I've been in up-close situations when I felt there was no way I could tell a person to leave, even though I would have been in the right to do so, because something (half unstated) about the situation made me feel it could spin out of control and I might get forced down. A bit like a young woman facing a smooth, muscular thug making half-veiled threats and playing cat and mouse with her.

I think the difficulty of bullying is probably subjective.


There is no hard-and-fast connection to just what one is getting called, that's for sure. It's just as much about who says it, in what tone and if it's in front of other people.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 03:03:06 AM by gaggedLouise »

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Bullying
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2012, 03:12:40 AM »
I got beat up a lot. And teased even more. Once in the 8th grade I get teased mercilessly by seven or eight students in class for 2 hours while the teacher was away. (The school had a fire and our teacher was a vice principle as well)

I used to tear up when I got mad and punch walls and lockers and kick things. Most likely why I got a toe that likes to pop out of joint and dozens of boxer fractures in my hands as well as my crooked nose. Today, I'd most likely be though of as the kid most likely to snap in class and have folks compare me to the columbine kids.

It took me nearly 15 years to get a handle of my temper and I'm told when I let it go I am a scary guy. Being 6' 1" and barrel chested with some still good amount of muscle under the spare tire (I grew into the 'husky guy' late in high school, for most of my time I was 120 to 140 and kind of gangly)

Offline Scribbles

Re: Bullying
« Reply #23 on: October 08, 2012, 05:39:41 AM »
Callie, that's awful! I hope it's all behind you now...

I think physical bullying is probably easier to deal with, to be honest.

I think that tozhma is right in saying that it can be subjective as both types have their own varying degrees of severity. In the most extreme cases, I've heard of physical bullying shifting into the areas of sexual abuse or permanent damage. I'm going to refrain from going into anymore detail than that...
« Last Edit: October 08, 2012, 05:41:37 AM by Scribbles »

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: Bullying
« Reply #24 on: October 08, 2012, 05:48:46 AM »
Linking to this thread which has lots of food for thought about objectification, oppression, abuse, name-calling and victim blaming:

Elliquiy's Slutwalk