Are anti-Bullying crusades killing Human courage?

Bucholz, C. (2012, June 26). 7 Time-Tested Ways to Deal With Bullies. Retrieved December 26, 2015, from http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-time-tested-ways-to-deal-with-bullies/

 

Chris Bucholz – a columnist and well known writer / analyst of comedy.  Began career in 1984 and been a member of the Cracked staff since 2005. – Credibility = Low

Purpose of site is to use satyr to address issues – Credibility = Low

This source is a .com (or commercial) site used to generate revenue – Credibility = Low

Academic value / referencing is almost non-existent – Credibility = Low

Article has had 708,207 views meaning a significant number of people have at least previewed this article – Credibility = Medium

As I began research on this topic I became really frustrated.  I grew up in an environment where “bullying” was a part of growing up.   I am not talking about criminal abuse, which I see as a totally different thing.  I am talking about name-calling, teasing, pinching, and just plain meanness and orneriness.  Kids (actually, people in general) are by nature mean to each other from time to time.  It is a coping mechanism we use sometimes as a survival tool.  Some say this behavior is learned but I am not nearly so sure.  I believe, as a species, we are born predators, fighters, survivors.  We are built this way for several reasons that are very vague but basically it goes back to the survival of the fittest mentality.  The strong will survive while the weak are vetted out.  The question I keep asking myself is when did name calling, teasing, pinching, etc… become a crime instead of a part of growing up? When did “toughening up” fall out of favor as an acceptable social norm (Cialdini and Trost, pg 152)

This article attempts to demonstrate, through humor, 7 strategies a victim could use to stop bullying. While some of them might seem outrageous each of them are, depending on the situation also quite practical.  One of the strategies suggests burning the bully.  Of course they do not mean this literally.  One strategy a victim might consider is to seek out a form of physical retaliation.  This strategy could have severe consequences though.  Another strategy suggests that the victim simply lead a good life.  Grow up, become successful, get the beautiful, handsome, sexy, rich… spouse, buy the nice home, get the yacht… just to spite the bullies of your youth.  The last strategy though is the best as it is based off of all the last strategy described plus totally using your power to take revenge on the former bully.

I chose this source because I really want to know what happened to the attitude and acceptable norms of learning how to deal with bullying.  Every source I came across that talked about toughening up, as a way to deal with bullying, made me feel like I was some kind of second or third rate citizen / parent for thinking that a child needs learn how to handle name calling, teasing, etc…  It was as if somehow or another we are supposed to change human nature and make bullying completely go away.  Lord, how I hope there is not a sane person out there who thinks that is EVER going to happen.  Bullying is a power play.  According to Keltner and associates, individuals and groups respond to bullying in a variety of ways.  Many studies indicate that one of the motivators behind bullying (and thus, an opposite motivator equal in resentment at being the victim) is the need for attention.  Bullies could be looking for potential rewards or at least an opportunity to serve their self-interest(s) (Keltner, pg 271) However, I believe that too little attention is spent on the other half of the bullying scenario – the victim.  What are they doing to stop the bullying?  According to Keltner and associates, the victim represents a person in a reduced power situation and takes on the inhibition-related characteristics in the relationship. As I read these articles and conducted my research it did not take me long to start making some connections.  It has not taken long, a couple of decades (maybe 40 years) of anti-corporal punishment laws, child-abuse laws, and similar ‘social improvement’ laws for us to turn from being the predator at the top of the food chain to a pack of neutered  Jackal wimps!  I mean, come on we just spent the last blog talking about name-calling rather than the real issues.  In one of the previous blog posts the refugee claimed they left their country because “they did not want to fight”.  Do you guys hear what I am hearing?  If a person is not willing to fight for their beliefs, to stand up for themselves (and I mean just be brave, show courage – not necessarily get in a butt – stomp), grow some thick skin: what are we supposed to do?  Where does it end?  Even the victim has resources the bully wants! All the victim needs to learn how to do is keep the bully from getting access or control over those resources. (Keltner, pg 265-266).

Part of me was relieved to find this rather satirical outlook on bullying.  I know bullying can be hurtful, painful, and depressing.  I know it can lead to tragic events that OF COURSE we are going to hear about because bad news and death SELLS.  But I also know it cannot be stopped.  All these articles about how “we” are not doing enough to control bullying sicken me.  What about responsibility for our own actions, good parenting, and oh, I don’t know…. a reality check!!!!  In all honesty though this article said one thing that stood out from the rest, it had one truth that I felt I could take away.  The solution to dealing with bullying and the inequality of power that exists between the bully and the victim is not to try to stop bullying from ever occurring.  The solution is for us as individuals, groups, and a society, to do our best to see the strengths of people, to create attitudes that are positive as possible, as often as possible so that when a person is faced with the power play known as bullying they have a foundation on which to draw from in order to survive.  Survive, not dominate!  Because bullying will happen!

 

 

 

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One thought on “Are anti-Bullying crusades killing Human courage?

  1. SamU says:

    There are cases out there where people have literally been bullied to the point where they wanted to or have taken their own lives. That being said I still agree with your position on this. In a world were we coddle our children we are creating a society of victims. I haven’t ever seen one of these my self, but what’s this thing about “safe zones?!” Seriously why can’t people just take something someone may have said with a grain of salt. There are still a lot of opinionated people out there and if you want to work your way up in this world you will butt heads with some people. Letting our children play the victim card isn’t doing them any favors. Stand up to those bullies! Learn self-reliance and earn your self-respect!

    Like

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