In the news recently, there was a story about pencil cases being banned to stop poor kids without them being bullied. I went to a private school and we had pencil-case snobbery and the others laughed at my pencil-case as I could only find a really uncool one that would keep my pencils in it as I am a messy person.
Also, the Independent reports that since Brexit we have seen a spike in racial and religious hate crimes committed. We have had the “hostile environment” brought in by our Prime Minister, when she was Home Secretary, sending EU workers home leaving unharvested vegetables rotting in fields, Windrush and the responses to last year’s attacks with religious bigotry, not to mention wars based on religious and racial intolerance, you can see where it stems from.
Bullies don’t bully people because they are poor, rich, fat, thin, tall, short, blond, dark, black, white, male, female, gay or straight. Bullies bully because they are bullies: people who need to dump on others and will keep on until they get a reaction.
Throughout history, people have become famous and said that they thank their school bullies. I just watched a great comedy on All4 called Let’s Get Physical, where the two rivals were friends at school until one started bullying the other. Who was the more successful of the two? It was the one who was bullied.
People need to learn to stand up for themselves. What is stopping this is the incredible mine field that political correctness has created. People have become terrified of direct speech and try to stop it with rhetoric “you can’t say this it’s racist”, “you can’t say that, it’s sexist”.
Everything can be resolved in communication but it has to be out loud and open. People have to be allowed to say what they want and let others respond.
Our government is a bully that hands out licenses for people to bully the disabled, poor people (making children who have forgotten their dinner money to sit in a room alone with bread and water)
In other words, we are allowing real sexism, racism, homophobia, discrimination and other prejudices to hide snugly in the shadows while people cry wolf at anything they want just because they don’t like it.
This behaviour kills communication and forces everyone else or anyone who thinks differently into silence and darkness. Sadly, this shares a characteristic with rape. Being attacked and violated has the effect to make the victim terrified and ashamed, often pushing them into silence, while women who want to use accusations of rape deceitfully may give themselves away with their tone of voice or body language, which do not reflect the terror and shame experienced by a real victim.
Being a victim is a really powerless position to be in as you have control over nothing. People who complain a lot tend to be more likely to see themselves as victims in many different situations, therefore they do not want to take any responsibility for anything if they can avoid it. This health article tells you more.
I just watched The Woman In White, which shows how women in the nineteenth century had no rights or property, which handed a license to their husbands to abuse theme, torture them, steal from them and treat them with no respect.
Then you get to 2018 and sex trafficking has been on the increase in countries where the sex worker is criminalized, not the sex buyer and in countries where the buyer is the criminal, sex trafficking has been greatly reduced. Here is more information. .
How do we detect bias or discrimination in our communities and societies? One way is to look for responses. Are men allowed to be aggressive and angry, while women are chastised for speaking up politely?
In the excellent legal drama The Good Fight, also on All4, it is revealed that one lawyer had convicted a much higher percentage of black rather than white defendants. One character had been convicted for 20 years for holding a gun dropped by a police officer and wasn’t considered important enough to gain justice.
Watching Made in Chelsea, also on 4, is shocking to see much sexism goes unchallenged. The character Digby seems so entitled and privileged by his gender that he dismisses everything his girlfriend Liv or her friends say, plays the victim and acts as if Liv cannot think for herself at all. He claims to love her while treating her as if she is nothing more than a sex toy. This blog on Grazia’s website seems to have agreed for sometime. I have agreed with this for sometime too.
To sort this out, I think we could try this:
- Encourage people to speak up and share their views.
- Listen and acknowledge these views, especially when they are different to your own.
- Resist the temptation to label things so the actual damaging actions and speech can be identified.
- Allow nature to take its course so people can understand how society works.
- Only protect someone when they are in fear of being harmed and when they have requested it.
- If someone complains about someone else to you, stay impartial suggest they speak to the person directly.
- If someone reports overheard speech, go and ask the person politely what they said to make sure you have it first hand in the correct context.
- Teach people how bullying is not personal, it is about the bully not the target and that bullies are unhappy people who need to take things out on others.