bullying is endemic because ultimately, we live in a system set up by and run by bullies
the strategies schools teach to deal with bullies are so ineffective because if they taught actual, functional ways to stand up for oneself and stop bullies in their tracks, the system would no longer be able to perpetuate itself
to build off this, the strategies glorified and perpetuated are:
- don't be a target (victim blaming, tacitly endorses bully's behavior)
- ask the bully to stop (acknowledge their power over you, which reinforces that their tactics work as a way to gain power)
also, sometimes bystanders are asked to intervene - this is incredibly situational, because it assumes that bullying occurs in public places, that standing up will not be punished, and that enough people will do so for it to work
the publicized strategies are what they are because they are entirely consistent with neoliberal ideals. either reshape yourself so you don't stand out (and based on what people are often bullied for, become a model worker drone for the system), or submit to the power of the system and only take actions that the system permits - certainly don't resist in any meaningful, effective way that could force the bully to stop, because that would make you just as bad as them
often, bullying behaviours are also endorsed by the faculty - not only teachers bringing in their own bigotries (a whole other topic), but actively encouraging competition and shaming behavior w/r/t grades, sports, extracurriculars - because those are "objective" (read: capitalistically useful) measures of success and prestige. at this point, even the sanctioned methods of resistance can be punished. and we wonder why there's a mental health crisis in schools
the specific strategy my high school endorsed was "name it claim it stop it", which was exactly what it sounds like - name the behavior, explain that it's not ok, then say stop
of course this immediately became a joke among the student body, because everyone knew it wouldn't work
by making resistance seem impossible, these lessons ensure that real strategies can't take hold, in the same way that fetishism of the voting booth erases the contributions and potential of collective organization
@velexiraptor its honestly really evil how many kids in america get suspended or expelled because they get hit or beat up and caught and schools have zero tolerance policies so anyone in a fight gets in trouble
@velexiraptor This is beautiful. I'd like to embed (and quote) what you wrote here on my blog, if that's cool with you.
@StevenSaus go for it!
@velexiraptor I remember when my son was being bullied in middle school due to gendered norms around voice timbre; the "advice" everyone from teachers to his mom was giving him was so pathetically useless and would have just made it worse. Luckily, I'd had an experience myself as a teen that gave me *enough* of a grasp to give him practical advice, but you've put it very clearly and succinctly. Thank you!
Not go promote electoral politics but if you ran, I'd vote.
@velexiraptor once upon a time in grade school I and another student were 1. Taken out of class to do regular practice sessions to hide our disruptively severe speech impediments 2. Intense targets of bullying.
They tried to make us read(!) In front of our classes(!) Some Very Special picture book about tolerance.
I hid rather than comply. Idk his fate. Our paths diverged at that point and I really (still) feel like I threw him to the wolves
@velexiraptor anyway cosigned about how """confrontation""" tactics reemphasize the bully's position over you
If you can stand up to bullies, you could stand up to your boss.
@Roxxie_Riot or the cops, or politicians, or the patriarchy...
@velexiraptor Yep, Trump is just the Chief Executive Bully, President of the United Bullies and Commander in Bullying
@velexiraptor it's not a bug it's a "feature"
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