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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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Because I think it really comes down to this
msauvage purple
cleolinda
So today is Spirit Day. I don't really have any purple to wear, nor anyone to see me wearing it. Bullying has been pretty exhaustively discussed on the internets the last few weeks (although I liked this post the best); I don't really want to get into any of the hows and whys. I was mildly tormented throughout my entire grade-school career, not nothing near as bad as a lot of people had to endure. And the one thing I've figured out from that experience, for absolute sure, is that bullying is able to happen when good people do nothing.

So it doesn't really matter to me what "reason" bullies decide on when they start picking on you. They don't think you're the "right" gender, the right orientation, the right color, the right size; I don't really care. What I'm telling you now is that I'm not going to just stand here anymore. Everyone always says, "Well, it's none of my business." Bullying will be my business now. If I see someone giving you shit, I will tell them to cut that shit out, and we'll take it from there. And if you aren't the one being bullied, and you're standing next to me, I hope you'll back me up. I hope you would do the same for me.

That's my contribution today.



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Rebecca Weisman, the lady who wrote the book that Tina Fey based the movie Mean Girls on, argues that bullying is really about enforcing conformity. By picking out someone to be outside the group, you make it clear to the people within the group what they have to do to stay in and belong.

She also argues that male homophobia and gay bashing is all about keeping straight men in line, while anti-lesbian homophobia is about keeping straight women in line.

Weisman usually writes about teens, but she also wrote a lesser known book about *parents* and how adults carry the same patterns around of insider/outsider and how that plays out in parent-teacher groups and the like.

Oooh, I did not know this. I will have to pick this book up, what's the title?

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She also drew a connection between homophobia, gay bashing and date rape. Which was really obvious once she pointed it out. What pushes young men to ignore the word no? Fear of their peers, who are pushing them to "man up" and score.

she also wrote a lesser known book about *parents* and how adults carry the same patterns around of insider/outsider and how that plays out in parent-teacher groups and the like.

See my comment above - I met the "defiant girl's" mom, and as soon as I did, I knew exactly where her queen bee attitude came from. It's also why I loathe being a parent volunteer - all of that in/out, who's most popular stuff was annoying 20 years ago, and it's just as annoying now. Except now, I can avoid some of those people. Or snark on them.

Do you have links to her books? I tried searching her name on Amazon and on Google and came up empty.

Actually it DOES make a lot of sense from an evolutionary/anthropological standpoint. The reality is we're not especially removed, physically or mentally yet, from troop-organized higher-order primates. "Different" for group-living animal species is "bad." There's a reason for innate distrust of people who do not look like your "group." Human tribalism is pretty deeply encoded, and teenagers seem to come up with especially nasty ways of manifesting it these days (possibly because unlike other primates we have situations like high schools where they're basically allowed to play around on their own without a convenient superior willing and able to slap them back down.)

By picking out someone to be outside the group, you make it clear to the people within the group what they have to do to stay in and belong.

Oh yes. In sixth grade, I went along with some other girls teasing a certain boy, because I was afraid of the girls, and I knew it was a choice between joining them or getting teased myself.

The following year a whole other set of mean girls decided to pick on me anyway, so, there's a lesson on what conformity gets you...

Agreed.

http://pandagon.net/index.php/site/comments/law_enforcement_moves_to_take_bullying_seriously/

Comments here (for example) talk about the "adult buy-in" of bullying in keeping kids "in line."

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