March 31, 2012

Bogus bully brouhaha.

"Despite the rare and tragic cases that rightly command our attention and outrage, the data show that things are, in fact, getting better for kids."


edutcher said...

The latest in the ongoing campaign to emasculate little boys.

The world has always had a problem with bullies - Genjis (Strauss-)Kahn, Bonaparte, Hitler, etc.

You need to learn to fight back, which was something most fathers taught their sons - back before fathers were considered expendable.

Being short for my age, I got pushed around a lot until I realized a slide rule and those 500 page hardbound history books were wonderful equalizers.

MayBee said...

I'm so happy to see push back on the bully meme.

Part of the problem is we are trying to create a society where someone is never offended. If that's the way you program kids, then someone saying bad things to you is very hurtful. There's a lot to be said about teaching kids who feel they are being verbally bullied to just not give a crap what people you don't like have to say.

You would think with all this self-esteem stuff we'd be teaching our kids that, too. But it's like we think we've built this house of cards, where one ill word will make them think they are

MayBee said...

they have to be special to everyone in order to be important to themselves.

rhhardin said...

It's the lifestyle age.

The WSJ is part of the problem, actually.

Women buy their subscriptions today, the men having given up in disgust.

EDH said...

Oh, yea, Cheeeeeeeese.

"Yea, didn't we lock you in a dumpster one time?"

"I got out."

"Cool man."

wyo sis said...

Soon only liberals will dare say anything at all. (Liberals always get a pass.) The 2 minute hate extended infinitely. This is really about the opportunity for political players to be the biggest bullies of all.

But, by all means lets be sensitive. Sensitivity being what makes the world go round.

Wally Kalbacken said...

I could just beat these people, these people who over-exploit the bullying issue, with a rusty tire iron. Maybe a cudgel or a maul. Maybe a cudgel and a maul, I'm so upset.

FloridaSteve said...

And after all the children watch the anti-bullying videos they will give everyone a trophy... and a hug. What a crock.

Quayle said...

But, but, but, if we pass enough laws,

and hurl enough shame,

and have enough rallies,

and drum out enough dissenters,

and chant enough pithy slogans,

and sing "imagine" enough times,

and control enough taxpayer funds,

and hold enough clever signs,

and shout down enough bad guys,

and wear enough colored ribbons,

and refuse to stay silent enough times,

and hold enough candlelight vigils,

and stand in solidarity enough times,

won't we be able to create a safe space for everyone in the world?

Won't all enmity vanish?

Won't all kids turn out happy and above average?

Won't we all finally get along?

And my answer is: sure.

As long as your not ignoring your kid, or manipulating her to not need your help, or shaming him for being impatient with you, or viciously fighting with your spouse, while you're on the phone planning all these wonderful redemptive and healing civic things.

Which is the part we're not so good at.

FloridaSteve said...

What the author describes as bullying is nothing of the sort. What he's being so sensitive about is called teasing.

Bullying as I always understood it has (had?) much more menace to it. Usually there is a significant physical intimidation factor that goes well beyond name calling. I'm not suggesting it's a cakewalk but it's NOT the same thing.

I have a French a last name that got me a lot of unwanted attention (especially going to school in the south) but I quickly learned how to zing back with good humor as a coping mechanism. I just saw it as a fact of life and never thought of it as bullying by any stretch. 2 cents..

FloridaSteve said...

and what are all these properly sensitized children going to do once they are in charge and an actual bully punches them in the nose. Like say Iran or Russia? Is the UN going to make the Mullahs and dictators go through sensitivity training? Somewhere Chamberlain and Churchill shake his heads at the lessons NOT learned by history.

Penny said...

To the parents and taxpayers out there.

Read THIS.

Penny said...

And frankly, I suspect parents reading Althouse will read it all if they are concerned about bullying.

Penny said...

To all others, there's this man who believes that asking kids to have a moment of silence in school every morning makes a huge difference when they are tasked with asking their parents what they might consider in that moment of silence.

One of the most interesting series of articles I have read on the internet in a long time.

After which I hit myself in the head and said, "I could have had a V8!"

Penny said...

Yeah, yeah, I know. SHOULD have had a V8!

And there you go!

Read it.

You can thank me later.

rcommal said...

I like Nick Gillespie.

And my own kid, almost 12, is WAY better dealing with certain kinds of shit than I was, at his age, and even at years older. Truth be told, I don't really know how he's come by that, but I sure as hell am glad that he has.

He's stronger.


rcommal said...

I mean, I wasn't exactly *weak*--but I suffered for that. And I took it to heart.

He doesn't appear to have much truck with that, nor put up with it, either.

Bruce Hayden said...

and what are all these properly sensitized children going to do once they are in charge and an actual bully punches them in the nose.

Or, if not physical bullying, at least emotional bullying. It is very hard to succeed in this world without being able to handle being bullied.

Of course, as an attorney, you deal with it on a routine basis. The attorneys who can bully when the job calls for it, tend to do better than those who can't, and a lot better than those who can be bullied. I know one guy who has gotten opposing counsel in private, convincingly threatened to tear out their guts, and gotten them to settle on favorable terms as a result.

Obviously, we are not all attorneys, and so don't get paid for this. You just find it more in that field (which may be why guys seem to do better long run in the profession). But, I found it in business long before I became a lawyer. The VP who could control a meeting by threatening to blow up. Being screamed at. Dirty language aimed at women. Etc.

In a large number of the evening TV shows, bullying takes center stage. Cops bullying suspects. Lawyers bullying witnesses, opposing parties, and opposing counsel. Corporate officers bullying people inside and outside their companies.

Bullying is all about dominance, which is a very natural human need. Or, more accurately maybe, animal need. Males use violence, size, and the threat of violence to dominate and to bully. Females are more subtle, but just as likely to bully. And, maybe even more viciously. They may not leave physical bruises nearly as often, but the interior bruises can be even worse.

As a side note - male dominance behavior, including bullying, is fairly universal throughout at least mammals. It is what controls, to a great extent, breeding opportunities, and, thus, genetic success. But, there does not seem to be as much female bullying in lower mammals. My theory is that it is due to our primarily monogamous nature, combined with our long childhoods. In most species, males compete for females for breeding opportunities, but in ours, females also compete for males, because their success there has traditionally determined how many and how well their children will survive and flourish.

Bullying before adolescence is practice for dominance competitions later when competing for breeding opportunities and mate selection. It may not be good, it may not be nice, and it may not be pretty. But, it is pure instinct.

I am not saying that bullying is to be tolerated. It isn't.