F**K off Bully’s

Once again I hear of adult members in our community engaging in Bullying towards one another.

We continually fight for acceptance as a community. We have stood side by side to win our rights and for people to accept us because of our differences and we celebrate this by turning on each other?

Decades and decades of community heroes’ have walked before us to enable us to live the life we currently live, to stand together to fight the remaining battles and turn our attention to those who still need our help.

We all stand together to support our younger communities who are being bullied at schools. We rush in, embrace the cause and lend our undying support, because we do know it gets better… and most of the time it does, but….

When it comes to adult bullying within our own community we are not so quick to jump in and say it’s not ok.

Why is this?

Why are we scared to point out the flaws in our own communities? Are we scared that we we will not be included in the “in crowd” we socialise with on the weekend? Are we still acting out our schoolyard scenarios but in a more sophisticated and adult fashion?

Why is it OK to bully one another as adults? And more so, why is it ok to see it happening and not call the bully out on their behaviour.

The Canada Safety Council defines adult bullying as:

“a grab for control by an insecure, inadequate person, an exercise of power through the humiliation of the target.” It involves humiliation or abusive words that lower a person’s self-esteem. It can take the form of rude, degrading or offensive remarks; intimidating gestures; or discrediting a person by spreading rumours, ridiculing them or calling into question their convictions and private life.”

Sound familiar, or do you call this gossip or politics or scandal? Or is it ok to make fun of someone who is fat or skinny, or doesn’t wear the right clothes or isn’t as socially outgoing as you? Or do you call this just the natural pecking order?

It’s really a sad day when I keep hearing about this and have to write a blog like this.

As a community please stand up and start calling this behaviour when you see it. It’s not acceptable, and it’s not cool.

You are responsible for the way you choose to treat others, and no-one else. Watching bullying and not doing anything about it is just as bad as doing the bullying in my opinion.

If you are being bullied as an adult talk to someone about it and then call the behavior. It’s the only way this is going to stop.


About mgsteph

Mardi Gras Blog
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6 Responses to F**K off Bully’s

  1. Nicky says:

    Very good point, Steph!

    • Carl Rodrigues says:

      There wouldnt be too many of us who can honestly say they haven’t ever engaged in bullying when looking from this perspective.
      I certainly cant cast the first stone.
      I guess if we can correct our behaviour now, our children stand a better chance of growing up free from bullying.
      You forced me to think about my workplace and my social circle.
      Thank You,
      Ms. Sands.

  2. Asha says:

    It’s a wonderful point, but, I fear, too much to hope for.
    For whatever reason humans are weirdly pack-like in their behaviour (I’m not a behavioural scientist and I didn’t pay attention when I studied psych.) There will always be a pecking order, it will shift and change, and in smaller communities it’s perceived as more important than in larger, but I think that’s just because you’re more likely to know the players. And the more players you know, the more you will think you can influence the pecking order. If you are insecure you probably want to. “Knowing” you won’t be at the top, you can at least move the other players so you either get closer to the top, closer to the person at the top, or just feel like you have control. We all want control. And bullying slots right in. Want to move up a notch? Shove someone down. Want the illusion of control? Control others to dislike someone else and like you more.
    And it’s not always as nefarious as this. Sometimes it’s just the desire for reassurance when you didn’t like something someone else did. Horribly screwed up communication in small communities means people don’t take responsibility for things as much as they probably should, so people are left feeling invalidated. If you can get ten other people to agree that what person x did was awful, your feelings are validated and justified. This, too, comes from insecurity.

    So why don’t I think people will start calling it? Because our communities are set up so that when you fall, you fall HARD. You get isolated and vilified. Why call someone else’s bullying when your own position is so precarious. You know it is, because you see everyone around you falling, being picked on, for the smallest things.

    Sometimes it’s just too hard to see. Or sometimes the bully is your friend, and the person they are bullying has genuinely hurt them. Unfortunately the programmed response is to bully them out of their own support network of their community.

    We need our “bubble” too much to risk losing by calling the wrong person out on bullying. Where on earth would you go if you were shunned by your entire network?
    We don’t stand up because we fear we’ll be next.

    It depends on how it’s manifesting. Unfortunately, as adults, we learn sneaky insidious ways to bully without it being overt and, therefore, able to be called out.

    So in an ideal world we notice it, and call people out on it, we care less about social standing and more about love and compassion. In an ideal world nobody gets segregated from their community just because they stand up. But we don’t, and they do.

  3. Asha says:

    Please note that this doesn’t mean I don’t intend to stand up against bullying when I see it. I do. I’ve risked greater things to stand up against bullying before.

  4. Teddy says:

    Very well said Steph!

    The definition of bullying looks like a typical day in the life of a Facebook debate! Public humiliation, slandering and aggression, all used to ‘call people out on their shit’…when will people learn that being polite is far more powerful than getting out the executioner!

    Thanks again! Xxx

  5. Zoo says:

    So grateful to see this being talked about — thanks Steph. This issue has been bugging me for quite a while, and I have been discussing it with various people who work with this kind of thing.

    I’ve got a few people together to conduct a workshop at Camp Betty (over the June long weekend in Sydney) which will talk about bullying within the community, and ways to deal with it on a personal and collective level, as well as looking at other forms of violence that happen between members of our community (such as domestic violence, sexual harrassment, sexual assault). Check out updated program at http://www.campbetty.com for details of where and when the workshop is on (we’re still working at the scheduling but should be there now).

    Thanks too Asha, for your considered and insightful comments too — you are SO on the money I think!

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