Thursday, February 17, 2011

“Getting Thrown Down the Stairs” is Not Acceptable

My post this week is going to be a little different than usual, because I want to focus on a controversial topic that specifically and typically applies to students, the topic of bullying. I chose this topic because this past week we heard from Dan Savage and his thoughts about gay rights and his project “It Gets Better,” and also our class has started to touch on the issue of bullying. In Savage’s talk in class as well as his lecture, he gave us numerous ideas and influential points, statistics, and quotes to think about, but the one thing that really stuck with me when Savage spoke was the idea of kids getting bullied, and more than once, bullied to death. Listening about the suicides of the children who were facing a tough time in discovering their sexuality, and hearing that the students in their schools who were brutally beating them up not only physically but mentally, was a difficult thought to digest.

I’m very pleased that someone is attempting to stop this bullying as well as trying to support the children who are going through a time that is most likely confusing and unforgiving for many. However, although these are baby steps to moving in the right direction to stop bullying, shouldn’t this issue of bullying be under control at this point in time? I know that sounds like an incredibly difficult task, to simply stop bullying everywhere, but why do you think bullying is still permissible in schools and as Dan said, “sometimes even encouraged?” I believe that each student, whether they are a first grader or a senior in high school of even a college student should have a right to an education, free of bullying, and accepting of diversity in any and all categories. Do you think that it is possible to grant such a right to students?

On that note, we talked vaguely about Rhodes College in particular with bullying and degrading words to people who are LGBT. It seems that many people in the class had known someone or heard phrases from people here that are degrading and could be considered bullying. Do you think that Rhodes College is a place where bullying goes on, especially in relation to LGBT youth? When we discussed in class, we also mentioned how people can use derogatory terms that could or would offend many LGBT people. Some of us admitted that we have either heard phrases that would fit this category or used them ourselves. So my question is why do these phrases get such little recognition as distasteful words? If they are offensive, why do so many people find them acceptable to be used with friends or in general? Do you think that these words are just used among students or do you think they are used by all ages? Moving beyond the schooling realm, do you think that bullying continues into the work world?

Dan Savage really opened my naive thoughts and has made me question bullying and its impact on people of all age. I know that I have asked a lot of questions in this week’s authors post, but I really enjoyed the conversation in the last class and I want to continue the conversation through the blog.

1 comment:

  1. In an attempt to answer one of your questions, the use of GLBT terms offensively in one realm of the young adult, is to reaffirm masculinity. In order to make one feel more masculine, he feels he must create distinct groups in the world (masculine and feminine). In order to place himself in the more masculine group, he feminizes (in a way he feels appropriate) the males around him ("pussy" "wus" "gay" "fag" "bitch" "girly") in order to place himself in the masculine group by default. By doing so, he is reaffirming himself of his own masculinity because he cannot gain this affirmation through normal means. Who knows when this use of language will cease, but contrary to Savage's opinion, it will continue to cause problems until it does.


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