Bullies, Stereotypes and Labels

There was a Facebook post this morning that hit home…

A 15 year old girl holds hands with her 1 year old son. People call her a slut. No-one knows she was raped at 13. People call a girl fat. No-one knows she has a serious disease which causes her to he over weight. People call an old man ugly. No-one knows he had a serious injury to his face whilst fighting for our country in the war. Re post this if you are against bullying and stereotyping. Bet none of you will

Tonight, Dr Phil was talking to people who were self proclaimed bully-ers.

It struck me that in fighting one of these we are often guilty of the other.  In trying to stop the act of bullying, we label people as bullies.  We stereotype them as bullies.  We use “labels” in the interest of keeping people from being bullied.

Don’t get me wrong.  Bullying is wrong.  Bullying is also a VERB.  It is what someone does it is not necessarily who someone is.

Bully (from Dictionary.com)

–noun

1.

a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.
2.

Archaic . a man hired to do violence.
3.

Obsolete . a pimp; procurer.
4.

Obsolete . good friend; good fellow.
5.

Obsolete . sweetheart; darling.
–verb (used with object)

6.

to act the bully toward; intimidate; domineer.
–verb (used without object)

7.

to be loudly arrogant and overbearing.
–adjective

8.

Informal . fine; excellent; very good.
9.

dashing; jovial; high-spirited.
–interjection

10.

Informal . good! well done!
Reading the definitions… it makes one go hmmmm.
As a chick (and as a chick… chick is WAY TOTALLY less politically incorrect) in a totally non-traditional filed (Geekdom) I’ve always been painfully aware of stereotypes.  In making friends with people who I feel are really good friends, I see how stereotypes could have been applied to them growing up and how those stereotypes might have been excuses for people to bully them (again… bully as a verb).
The only labels that I accept being stuck to me are pretty much mommy.  That one works and that one I am proud to wear.   Barney isn’t so bad, either.
I have RA, I am not RA.  Amandya is not epilepsy, she has it, it does not have her nor does it define her.  Adam is not any of the labels that people have stuck to him.  I’m not even totally convinced he is completely any of the labels that he has stuck to himself.
I’m trying to figure out why people insist on putting labels on people.  Why hurting other people makes some people feel important or better about themselves or whatever.
Maybe that is why technology really holds a fascination for me.  Technology really may be able to be (if we can take bullying out of it…) the great field leveler.  You can read things that some people write and not know (unless they choose to let you in on information) how old they are, what color their skin is, what their body type is, what conditions they live with in their lives (depression, RA, OCD, Fibro, Autism… whatever).  I could be 23 years old, a perfect size 1 with blonde hair and blue eyes and 6 feet tall (all legs and boobs).  I’m not.  I don’t care that I’m not (frankly most days I don’t care what anyone thinks either… but some days I do.. and some days I feel the direct bullying that are directed at me).
I try not to put labels on people or apply stereotypes.  I try very very hard to avoid any bullying situations…
another flag to wave.  Heck yeah.
Sticks and stones may break my bones
— but bones and blood heal
But words will never <bull> hurt me
— bull words hurt way worse than sticks and stones and they take longer to heal if they ever heal.
They don’t make you a bigger person
They don’t make people admire you
They just hurt people and make them resent you.
why is that acceptable?

2 responses to “Bullies, Stereotypes and Labels

  1. You are so right. I feel that you can use the hurt stinging words to your advantage to make you stronger or you can give in to the pain and believe the crap that the bullies say. I choose the former and persevere. Thanks for showing the way to overcome these bullies.

    Like

    • I’m glad that you found the way to get even with the bullies by surviving. It took me a long time to get past most of it… and a long time to help both my kids to understand that it is the BULLIES who have the problem… not them.

      Like

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