Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bullying - Why Should You Care?

Much has been made in the reviews of Breakable over the bullying Stacy (the protagonist) is forced to deal with. I really appreciate the reviewers asking hard questions, or looking into the issues. Though I didn't intend for Breakable to be a "bullying book", it appears to have slipped into that category. And I'd rather discuss the issue than avoid it.

That said, there are those who read my book, or watch the current headlines, or listen to their niece / nephew complain about experiences at school and they just kind of shrug.

"Toughen up. It isn't that bad."

Those are the responses to any bullying discussion that get the hairs on the nape of neck standing to attention. Why? Because it means those people really don't understand why bullying should be eradicated with the same singularity of focus we'd give to a rat's nest in the baby's bedroom.

If you're someone who has those thoughts, I'd ask you to keep reading.

Consider this:

Outwardly bullying appears to be social jockeying for position; the natural process of conflict and triumph that dictates the hierarchy of any mammalian group.

And when that "survival of the fittest" filter is applied, there are certain aspects of teenage social interactions that even I would agree fall into that category: We have all been teased, humiliated, targeted, or socially isolated at some time. Having a crappy day at the hands of our peers isn't tantamount to bullying.

Bullying is another beast entirely.

Read the rest here.

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