Friday, June 21, 2013

Methodology of Bully-Response, 101

I repeatedly find myself admonished for giving bullies and neanderthals
(a.k.a. religious zealots and bigots) my energy and attention. The advice
I'm given is to 'just ignore them' and not give them any undue power.

It's a wonderfully idealized concept to imagine that we can just pretend
that constant harassment has no impact on us. But to 'simply ignore' a
bully does not teach them that they can't get a rise; it teaches them that
we are willing victims and their abuse will be tolerated until they tire of
dishing it out.

That's depowering and passive and horribly ineffective, whether on the
playground, in the courtrooms, online, or at our work and homes.

Fighting back says that you're worth fighting for.
It draws a line in the sand.
It opposes the harmful action and expresses.
It teaches us how to combat the inappropriate and injust of this world
(and yes, that can be a constant battle.)

Is suffering a bully gladly a time-honored means of building personal
character and strength? Some times.

But what of all the kids and adults who aren't as formidable--who buckle
and are adversely affected by the pressures and attacks of bullies of all
shapes and sizes? Do we throw them to the wolves and let them fend for
themselves? I don't think so.

And that's why I do what I do. Not to grant significance to douchebags
and self-congratulatory schmucks and posers. Not to engage assholes
who think hurting others is their appointment in life. Not to maintain a
sense of victimhood or powerlessness.

No, I address the dicks who try and make our lives miserable so that
those who think they're alone know they're that those who don't
think they can stand up for themselves realize they can....and to let those
who think it's their job to 'shut up and take it' know that they have a choice
and a voice. And of course, to send a clear and vocal message to assholes
that we are off limits to their shenanigans.

We can have as good a life here as we're willing to fight for. And our enemies
are for damned sure organized, so we'd better learn to be as well.


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