As Free as a Bird

Spreading my voice on the injustices of rape culture, misogyny, and human trafficking in an effort to educate others and empower like-minded women.

Archive for the tag “Violence”

A Challenge to Men

The Truth About Bullying

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Bullying used to be something that people assumed only happened in high school. The truth is, bullying can start as early as elementary, preschool, or middle school and can endure throughout high school, sometimes into college, and can even leech into one’s professional life at their workplace or at home in their personal life. Hell, it even occurs in some nursing homes. Bullying has no age limit.

Some forms of bullying that are currently trending in society include:

  • Slut Shaming
  • Victim Blaming
  • Victim Shaming
  • Rape Culture (which includes many of the above, but is not limited to the above)
  • Sexual Harassment (including, but not limited to: workplace and street harassment)
  • Cyber Harassment
  • Texting Harassment
  • Fat Shaming
  • Skinny Shaming
  • Workplace Discrimination
  • Racism and Racial Slurs
  • Gender Discrimination and Sexism
  • Racial Profiling, Gender Profiling, Age Profiling
  • Homophobia and Sexual Orientation Discrimination
  • Age Discrimination
  • As well as many other isolated or recurring forms of general bullying

So, what are we going to do about this epidemic of hate? I have stated before that I believe bullying leads to, or is as a result of, violence against women. None of us are immune to it. Many are bullied:

  • at school
  • at work
  • at home
  • at church
  • at the park
  • at the mall
  • at a nursing home
  • by a spouse
  • by a pastor or religious official
  • by a family member
  • by a significant other
  • by a coach
  • by a sibling
  • by a friend
  • by a boss
  • by the police
  • by a teacher or professor
  • by a caretaker

The list goes on. There is a constant barrage of attacks on our self-esteem daily, whether it is a subtle message from society, or a completely obvious attack from someone. Maybe you never considered something from the list above as a form of bullying, maybe you never considered one of the places listed, or maybe you never even considered one of the people listed as a bully, but any of them can be possible and should be considered. In order for things to change we need to get to the root of the problem. I believe the root of violence is bullying and hatred of others. It is vital to begin to work to eliminate bullying and stop it before it reaches a peak of catastrophe. When you see someone being bullied in any way, speak up. Do not let the bully intimidate you; you are almost as guilty allowing it to happen. If you are being bullied, recognize that being mistreated is not your fault and do not let anyone convince you otherwise. No one deserves to be tortured, and yes, bullying is torture. Despite the saying we have always heard, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me”, nothing could be more inaccurate. Sometimes verbal abuse can be just as, if not more, damaging than physical abuse. Physical abuse can heal over time, but emotional scars can remain for a lifetime. Violence is a cycle, and just because it starts with verbal abuse, does not mean it will not end with physical violence, and vice versa. The two oftentimes come hand-in-hand. Something has to be done that is preventative, rather than actions resulting after a tragedy that could have been prevented. The first step is to bring light to the issue. Spread the word, don not let efforts against bullying become a dull voice in the background.

 

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