You aren’t really against bullying

By now you’ve probably seen this one of its varients about a thousand times on The Internet:

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, noone knows she has a serious disease which causes her to be over weight. People call an old man ugly, noone knows he had a serious injury to his face while he was…fighting in the war. Make this your status if your against bullying & stereotyping, bet none of you will?

Every time I read it, I get really angry because of what it stands for. This isn’t a message against bullying, it’s a message against bullying people who don’t deserve it.

People call a girl fat, noone knows she has a serious disease which causes her to be over weight.

So what does this mean? If the girl didn’t have a serious disease it would be fine to call her fat? Is it fine to pick on someone because they don’t have an excuse to be overweight? Why does this chick have an obligation to other people to keep her weight down. All this is doing is lowering the self-esteem of girls who perceive themselves to be overweight (notice I didn’t say actually are overweight, the first group is much larger than the second).

The other lines aren’t any better. Any  15 year old that has a child clearly has serious issues with their life and needs sympathy, not judgement. And people calling an old guy ugly?  Who does that, how petty could you get?

Just to clarify, in case I’ve been unclear, the wording of this message, or whatever you want to call it, says that bullying these people is justified until it’s found out that they have a good reason for being the way they are.

The last sentence is the one that makes me the most angry though.

Make this your status if your against bullying & stereotyping, bet none of you will?

Ok, for a start that is poor grammar. It’s not a question, it’s a request so it shouldn’t have a question mark there. Secondly, it says that reposting this will somehow put you on the side of good and against bullying. I’m sick of these things on Facebook where saying that support something is substitute for actually actually supporting something. Take the week where everyone changed their pictures to cartoons to take a stand against child abuse. How exactly does changing your picture do anything at all about child abuse? Re-posting this wont do a single thing about bullying, in fact it’ll make it worse because of the flawed aesop.

This is how I think it should go:

A fifteen year old girl holds her one year old son and people call her a slut. Nobody cares about how hard her life is and helps her. People call a girl fat, and miss meeting the person who could have been her best friend. People call an old man ugly, instead of talking to him and learning about all the extraordinarily things that have happened in this life. Pass this on if you want to, but more importantly, show kindness to others, even when you find them distasteful.

But then again, I find all of these dime a dozen sentimental statements to be annoying anyway.


15 thoughts on “You aren’t really against bullying

  1. Thank you for this Tom! As a victim of bullying myself, I often get very angry at those groups when I see them, because you’re right, it’s not a message against bullying, its against bullying those who don’t deserve it. And yeah, I always think reposting those things is silly and pountless, particularly if they say “ignoring this means you don’t care” or things along those lines.

    • Thankyou :). I was too, that’s why I felt this had to be said. It was especially infuriating when I saw that a girl who’d been bullying me when I was a kid like one of these things.

      But… aren’t you meant to be at a Little Rocket concert right now? Why are you looking up things on The Internet? =P

  2. I was pissed already, and now I’m doubly pissed.

    My original reason for being less than happy was the STUPID, RIDICULOUS “No, WOMEN CAN’T DRIVE ‘CAUSE ALLAH SAYS SO” law in Saudi Arabia, which I just read about and which made the feminist side of me upset. And now, it’s the issue of stereotypes.

    Now I’m kind of ticked because I completely agree with what you’re saying and I feel that it is POINTLESS for people to re-post something on Facebook when they aren’t…like, getting their asses out and DOING something.

    Although the fact that I’m pointing it out makes me feel like a hypocrite because I don’t really do anything to stop bullying or stereotyping either.

    I am, obviously, guilty of this crime. I think all humans are built to stereotype and bully. It’s just a matter of indirectly branding someone with a label, or actually saying it outright.

    Great post. Gives me something to think about. 😉

  3. Quite frankly, this sort of post is insulting. A couple of months back there was a similar message regarding cancer. Something about thinking about those people with cancer.

    The implication of these messages is what? If you don’t re-post you like cancer? Or you support bullying? Its, quite frankly, insulting to those people who the message ACTUALLY applies to, having lost several family members to cancer.

    • Oh my. In my preview window it just said “Frankly, this sort of post is insulting”, I thought you were talking about my post D:

      I agree. Although most people who do repost have a good sentiment, the actual message can be insulting.

  4. I will link it too! It annoys me as much as everyone else.

    But I do like your re-wording of it. Much better.

  5. I know I’m a month late, but whatever. This stuff really annoys me as well, but the current trend pissing me off is the “Post a fruit depending on your relationship” I’m not sure what the exact ‘secret girl code’ is (it’s Google-able though) but, for example, if you’re single you post Strawberry, married- Blueberry, etc. Note: only women are meant to know the ‘secret code’.

    This magically raises awareness of Breast Cancer.

    How? Banana. See that! I solved world hunger! How? Because I said by saying banana you stop world hunger! Whoo!

    Though I really dislike these sorts of memes, some are rather fitting:

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