all public school anti-bullying activism is extremely transparent and meaningless
faculty: BULLYING IS BAD!! ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY!! THIS IS A HATE FREE ZONE!!
me: hey this person called me a stupid dyke today
faculty: hmm that’s unfortunate. have you tried perhaps, not being gay?
I feel like everyone is against bullying until they actually look at the kids who are being bullied.
The cheesy anti-bullying tapes that they show in schools feature these skinny straight white neurotypical kids who get picked on for no reason. Usually the insults are something along the lines of “You’re a loser!” or “Get lost, freak.” All the kids watching immediately feel bad for the victim, and think “Aw! She didn’t deserve that!”
Then, ten minutes later, they go pick on some marginalized kid without thinking twice. As an autistic person, I was often this kid. The insults I heard growing up were not “You’re a loser!” or “Get lost, freak.” They were “Don’t let the retard work with us” or “Shouldn’t she be going to the special school?”
The problem is we teach kids that bullying occurs for no other reason other than just to be mean. This could not be further from the truth. Bullying occurs because as a society, we condition kids into hating fat, black, neurodivergent, queer, and disabled people. Kids don’t bully each other just to be mean. They do it because if something’s “wrong” with the person, it’s completely justified.
But of course, we can’t tell kids this kind of stuff. We can’t say, “Hey! Making fun of your gay classmate is bad!”
Because when we do, suddenly the phone calls come pouring in, each with a parent on the other end screaming “You can’t be feeding my son that liberal propaganda!”
Lemme tell you some shit that happened to me and why anti-bullying things are the fucking worst
– I was a pretty whiny kid. I cried a bunch, and I was sensitive. So, recess. Fifth grade. I was called ‘immature’ and a ‘baby who cried too much.’
I ran crying to the teacher after recess, because I couldn’t find another teacher during recess. Here’s the conversation.
Me: “Miss, I was called a baby during recess.” (I was sobbing still.)
And this, this is what the teacher told me. The very same teacher who told me to tell them if I was being bullied.
Teacher: “Sorry Anna. That’s a recess problem, so I can’t help you now.”
Now, Tumblr. Tell me how this makes the slightest bit of sense.
That is why those ‘anti-bullying’ things are stupid. If the teachers aren’t going to help, why should the kids even think of being nice?
Adding to this, there’s a big misconception that kids who bully other kids are victims themselves in some way. That they’re maladjusted. That they come from broken homes. That they’re repressing something, usually their feelings or their sexuality, and deep down they’re just scared and upset.
A lot of the kids who bullied me at school were perfectly fine and came from perfectly adequate homes. They simply lacked empathy – either because their parents didn’t consider it an important trait to have, or felt that it should be reserved only for people they deem deserving of it.
And what these campaigns never address is that these kinds of people are more likely than their victims to grow up to be successful adults. They grow up, and they forget everything they ever did to hurt you, because their daily routine of making your life hell was as insignificant to them as what they had for lunch that day. You still remember what they did to you, and you carry the scars for years. But if you ever confronted them about it, they’d just smile and look confused.
You can say what you want about the shortcomings of society, but I live for destroying the idea that all abusers are all victims deep down.