Thursday, June 20, 2013

The B Word - Revisited. (and the last Thursday Thoughts!)

Toby's Tails
Today is the last Thursday Thoughts, so I had to link up!! Thursday Thoughts was the first link-up I ever got to co-host, so I have a special place in my heart for it. Big ups to Jamie and Jaime for hosting for this long. 

I mentioned during my Roundup on Friday that Blair had a really interesting post about bullying last week. It really resonated with me, and so the few days following that, I kept up with the comments. (I also had a really great conversation with Blair about it via email.) I'm not going to rehash everything Blair said in her post, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot in the last week - specifically, the things that people have said in response to the question Blair posed: Can adults be bullied?

(Note: this post isn't meant to put any specific person on blast. The comments on Blair's post are things I've been seeing and hearing for years... her post was just the catalyst that got me to put all my thoughts into a post of my own.)  

Being in the education world, bullying is something that I care about very, very much. I see it all the time, and it's incredibly hard to watch. 

What is equally as hard is seeing all of the misconceptions and misplaced blame that surround bullying, and that's what I'd like to talk about today.

As I discussed yesterday, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. And Blair ended her post with a question - obviously, people are going to respond. But seeing so many people simply say "adults can't be bullied because adults are free to change their environment" is frustrating and discouraging for several reasons.

For one, who has the freedom to simply quit their job and find a new one whenever they want? If you haven't been job searching lately, let me be the first to tell you: job searching SUCKS. The fact that YOU have to go through the entire job search process because someone ELSE is being a jerk is completely backwards, especially if it's a job that (outside of that person) you enjoy. AND all of this is operating under the assumption that you'll even be able to find a new job, which we all know is not a guarantee. 

I think it is INCREDIBLY unfair to say to the victim of harassment that they should be the one that has to change. If it's just someone you "hang out with," that's one thing. It's totally different when you can't control that person's presence in your life. You can't tell someone to "just deal with it" or worse, to "grow a pair." It's way deeper than that, and if you think harassment always has a simple solution like that, you have a whole lot to learn about being an adult.

All of these things have one common factor: they place the blame and responsibility on the victim, and not the aggressor. And that, my friends, is completely inexcusable. We don't know what the conditions are in each situation, so we can't make blanket statements like "just ignore it! it'll get better eventually. Because we don't know that. We need to start being proactive. We have to do better. 

Ultimately, I think it all boils down to this: when are we going to stop telling people to "have thick skin" and "get over it," and start teaching people to not be jerks? It's something we need to work on,  we need to make it a priority, and we HAVE to stop blaming the victims.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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Rachel said...

Such a good post Alyssa! Bullying still happens in the "grown-up world" and anyone who doesn't see that is being ignorant. I think a lot of people blame the victim simply because it's easy, although it's not right at all. You can try your hardest to ignore bullying, but just because you're not 12 doesn't mean that you shouldn't be upset over it. You have the right to let it effect you and be open about it.

Another Clean Slate said...

Great post, Alyssa! I think it is terrible when anyone is bullied- and I have seen it in adults as well as children. I think in adults it is a bit more passive aggressive, but still hurtful. Thanks for sharing this!

Alyssa said...

I couldn't agree more–I think bullying is one of those things that doesn't have a specific age or gender attached to can happen to anyone, at any stage of their life! I think it's most important to get out of the "well, they must have done something to deserve it" mindset. Um, no–that's rarely the case. As much as you may try to ignore it if it's happening to you, it's always going to come to a head eventually, whether that's you calling someone out, or someone else sticking up for you.

Adriana said...

Yes to ALL of this. I hateeee my job (not for bullying reasons) but I can't get another one! I've tried!

and adults are the worst bully-ers. at least kids may not always know better, of have trouble expressing themselves but adults? It's like come on. If anyone needs to "get over it" it's the person doing the bullying. they need to grow up.

Kirstie Semler said...

I completely agree! Great post! I think adults can be even worse then the middle & high schooler bullies. Its something that definitely needs to be taken care of. I have never personally gone through it, but I have had friends and it's the worse

brooke lyn said...

you nailed it on the head here: they place the blame and responsibility on the victim!!! wish more people understood that even beyond bullying.

Ginny @ Buttergirl Diaries said...

It's so true. When you are being bullied in the workplace, you are stuck. It is like you have to live in absolute hell just to pay your bills. What kind of life is that?! I'm a nanny, so fortunately I don't have to see anyone during the day but a sweet 2 year old boy. However, I was in nursing school (failed 5 months b4 graduation, but thats another post for another day) but I had an instructor tha tbullied me. No joke. This was 2 years ago. She wouls always call me out infront of my classmates about my hair. I have wispies when I put it in a pony tail and she couldn't stand it. Everything I did was scrutinized. I couldn't take it. I attribute a lot of my nursing demise from her. You can't just suck it affects your inner core.

I agree that kids need to be taught not to be ass starts with the parents.



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