Bully Rant

I’ve noted a whole lot of traffic in the media about bullying, and to be my usual subtle-as-a-2×4-in-the-teeth, ranttastic self, I’m f-ing sick of hearing about it. Call me insensitive, callous, asshole, or whatever colorful descriptive words you prefer. That’s what I’m here for, and I’m suggesting that all the outraged parents, pandering media, activist cretins, and busybody-Nancy-Graces out there need to please move into the deep hole over here and be patient while I bulldoze dirt over you. Thanks.

From my foxhole, I tend to see this whole phenomenon as a generalized failure of parenting discovered by a media in need of an ethics transplant, and perpetuated by do-gooders who are merely making things worse. How can I be so misguided? Easy: a long time ago in a city far, far away, I was a nerdy, fat, pussy who got bullied a lot. Nobody took action, nobody held school-office conferences, no parents were put on notice about their little spawn-of-hell schoolyard tyrants. The only support I got with my life challenge came from the conflicting guidance I got from my parents. Dad advised I man up and kick their ass. Mom warned that nothing good ever came of fighting. I struggled with the seemingly conflicting camps of wisdom for a while. Not surprising because seven-year-olds generally can’t grasp complex concepts inherent in the duality of the human condition nor discern that two conflicting truths can sometimes still be equally true.

The point is I had to make a choice, and I did. All it took was one wild, untrained swing to end the problem with a quickness. Problem solved. I learned that a lot of bullies are all blow and no show, and that the bully is as nervous as the spaz being bullied because they just don’t know how psycho their target may react. What retards now seem to forget is that bullies are that way for a reason, meaning they learned it somewhere. The process of complaining to the school to make the bully’s parent make the bully kid stop really and truly only stimulates the bully-creation process.

Parental intervention also relieves the kid from the necessary burden of learning life lessons like “being punched in the face hurts.” It teaches kids that you can go cry to someone in authority to make a problem go away instead of thinking – and sometimes fighting – your way out of a situation. It relieves the little wuss from the responsibility of relying on him or herself. In reality, helicopter-parent intervention and do-gooder facilitation only reinforces the characteristics that makes a kid a target for bullying.

This is what is so insane about it all to me. If you buy what I’m selling in the above two paragraphs, then I tend to think it’s logical to conclude that what these people are doing is not only perpetuating the system but in fact making it even worse for the effort.  Kind of like Congress showing up for work. Also, I’m completely immune to the notion that internet bullying is a special case requiring attention. Bullied on Facebook? Here’s your choice: click the ‘X’ at the top right, or ignore what’s said. Your choice.

I’d like to think I successfully internalized both parents’ guidance on this, and I’d also like to think I’ve been able to better express both ideas at once. I know I’ve learned that a quick, violent jab is far more effective than a looping haymaker or uppercut as well. On my part, the fat took care of itself, and that swing took care of the ‘pussy’ aspect. Unfortunately, ‘nerd’ is a lifelong virus. When I was told a couple of years ago that my daughter got suspended from school for beating the shit out of another kid who was bullying her, my statement to Daughter Unit the Second was this: “You’re not in trouble with me. But it’s because you didn’t start the fight, and because you finished it.”

I like to think that was a good call.

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33 Responses to “Bully Rant”

  1. Excellent call in regard to your daughter.
    Bullying: gets on my nerves.
    I hear you on the Facebook bullying.
    When I was young(er), a few kids tried to bully me. Luckily for me I inherited the “completely freaking nuts” gene from my mother. Needless to say – junior high wasn’t so bad after I showed my teeth.

    Great post.

  2. Respect.
    Also ,I found this today and thought you might enjoy it :

  3. Your daughter rocks.
    Maybe I have some philosophical issues with the above, but yeah, everyone should defend/stand up for themselves and not rely on someone else.

    • Cool. I couldn’t cover every possible scenario, and probably ought to have said it’s better to avoid a fight, but sometimes you can’t. Then you kick ass. Decisively.

  4. I remember my kid having to deal with bullies, I always encouraged him to man up but make sure the teachers weren’t watching. If busted I assured him I would defend his actions but that I would deny emphatically that I encouraged it! He finally found his balance after a few suspensions 🙂

  5. This is my second visit to this particular post and as I hesitate to comment, I feel I should. I know that not all bullies are asshats, but desperate kids looking for attention, and yeah, some are just plain asshats. As for the ‘bullying’ and all the crap that’s shoved at kids about just saying ‘no’ and fighting is not the answer, there is a part of me that knows reality is cruel. Kids are cruel and empowering young ones to stand up for themselves SHOULD be the message contained in any anti-bullying propaganda. Not the run-to-the-nearest-adult-and-tattle which does make it worse. I do disagree that a fist is a good way to deal with a situation. A fist should be the last resort. Talking first. Reasoning second. Ass-whipping last. Running=never. My youngest was cornered a couple of times and since he’s on the puny side, his father took him aside and showed him the finer points of a good right hook, while I told him the finer points of baffling with bullshit. He used both and walked away with a friend..if you can believe it. This whole issue is one that has grown waaaay out of proportion, but the existence of beat downs for no reason is disturbing and there needs to be some acknowledgement from adults. I guess there is no right answer as to the intervention that adults should/should not take, but there needs to be a line. That’s all I’m sayin’…

    • Kayjai you’re always welcome to expound here. I agree with you completely. I think you just said it more clearly and succinctly. I love the word ‘asshat.’

  6. Great post! Intelligently written and very thought-provoking.

  7. Gunboat Diplomat Says:

    Intelligent putdowns seem to work in my experience. They stand brow furrowed, emitting smoke like an overloaded computer while trying to process the sheer complexity, witiness, and awesomeosity that has just been forced into their aural system

  8. My dad always told me, don’t hit first, and hit em so hard you don’t need to hit them again.

    I was bullied (I had braces and glasses), but not to the extent that some kids are today. While I think they should drop kick the bullies, I feel bad for the kids who are different and are bullied. That kind of stuff makes me MAD!

  9. There are those cases, and we don’t want street justice to run rampant, but I generally agree with you. The problem is when the victim has just as crappy parents as the bully.

    • True, nothing is black and white. My post deals with one segment, and if Savor were here she’d have run me through with a liberal skewer, but it is what it is.

  10. Amen, brotha. This needs to be said. I was “bullied” a lot as a kid too and the only way out of it was to prove I wasn’t a complete wuss.

  11. JanCorey Says:

    As far as bullying, does it matter to anyone that Nancy Grace was bullied three victims to their death already? Plus all those victims that failed to first report to 911 before their suicide.

  12. My daughter wasn’t bullied much, but when she was I taught her to baffle the idiots with words first, which worked for her every time. But I also taught her some self defense moves just in case.

    What I was a bit entertained with is that she decided one day to break up a fight between two boys (both a year older and a bit larger than she). One of the boys backed down, the other threw a punch at her … she deflected the punch and had the kid pinned against the wall with his shirt collar in one hand, the other cocked to throw her own punch, at which point she asked if he really wanted to be that much of an ass.

    I think the embarrassment of being in that position n front of his “friends” was more than he could take. And no, she never had a problem with any of the boys in that school again. 😆

  13. I suppose it depends on how extreme the bullying is. If it’s just some kids calling names or throwing punches then just teach the kid to beat the shit out of them. Not too hard. But if it’s an entire school making fun of one kid incessantly then that might be an unfightable scenario. I’m all for teaching kids not to be whiny little soapboxes, but there is a point at which intervention is required. When entire schools hold judgements for one person (i.e. that SLUT!!!! or that ANTISOCIAL GUY!!!!) that has the potential to become a gun-down-everyone-in-school kind of thing

  14. JanCorey Says:

    Great article, thanks.

  15. I think with the social networks, bullying has taken on a whole different aspect than it did when I was a kid where just a few kids would be calling you names or picking on you. Now bullies can post lies about you on the social network, getting lots of people involved, so no matter where you turn, the bullying is right there in your face.
    In some ways I agree with you, we should let the “kids” sort it out by themselves so the person being bullied has to stand up for themselves. But I think we should be there to back them up against the huge onslaught the social networks provide.

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