Saturday, 20 February 2010

A little paragraph suggests that

at least 74% of people feel that they have been bullied in childhood. I suspect most people were bullied in childhood but some much less than others. Even as adults we get bullied. We are made to do things we do not wish to do and pay for things we do not wish to pay for.
Some time ago a doctor I saw when my regular GP was unavailable told me, "I'm putting you on a diet. No eggs. No dairy products. Dairy products are so bad for you they are soon going to be banned for everyone." What I should have done faced with this behaviour was say, "I have never heard anything so ridiculous in all my life" and left the room. I did not because I needed a prescription. He knew I needed that prescription, and made me promise to adhere to the diet he was proposing before he wrote it. That was bullying. I will refuse to see him again. It is the only way I can handle his behaviour.
And why should I feel guilty about not giving to the same charity five days in a row because it is their week in the local shopping centre? It used to be just Fridays and now it is every day of the week and often two different charities trying to collect.
Yes, I do consider it bullying of a sort. I know charities are desperate for money. But, I object to the fact that many of them get so little of what I might give. I find myself walking the long way around to avoid those who collect much more aggressively than they once did. One young paid collector told me she was reduced to tears when, at the end of a long hot day, she was berated by her employer for 'not collecting enough' - because it reduced his income. That is also bullying.
Governments bully. Public servants bully. A Centrelink staff member once boasted about a deliberate campaign to increase compliance through measures that could only be described as deliberate bullying. The police bully, taking their frustration out on innocent members of the public when they have failed to collect sufficient fines - because they will be bullied by their superiors for not getting increased revenue.
Advertisers and sales people bully us into buying things we do not wish to buy. I think I am actually reasonably immune to advertising and sales people because my lack of disposable income means I cannot comply with their demands.
It makes me suspect that, while totally unacceptable it may be, bullying in schools is not going to cease through any education campaign. It will only take on new and different forms - because adults enjoy doing it too much.


Redleg said...

Another thought that occurs to me is what that 74% statistic really means. Every single person in that minority 26% would have to be bullying three other people. It's like when 95% of people consider themselves middle class, when clearly only about one third really can be. I wonder to what extent everybody just automatically feels bullied - because obviously nobody's copping to the fact that they are bullying others.

catdownunder said...

Ah it is even more complicated than that because sometimes those who are being bullied are also bullying others. I think everyone has the potential to be bullied and, sadly, we might all be capable of it - even if we think we are acting out of the best of intentions!

Rachel Fenton said...

This is very apt for me right now...children learn behavioural politics vcery quickly - and bullying is right up there on the skills to get ahead by whatever means list. I have found that performance scales and all the other tosh that goes along with education today means teachers are too tied up with administration to actually have any time - and sadly interest - in children in their care (which is what they are). Also, as a result of these pressures, it's often the teachers who become the bully the chil fears the most - because the other bullies go unchecked and the child being bullied is reprimanded by the teacher for not sorting it out themselves.

On a side note: my daughter was ticked off for not testing herself on a list of spellings that I should have tested her on but had forgotten. My daughter came home baffled - "but I had all the answers, how could I have tested myself without cheating?"

I think some teachers simply like to make people feel small - even when the people are small people to begin with. Very sad.

catdownunder said...

This has happened to young Sam - of whom I have spoken. His teacher does not seem to be able to get her head around the fact that Sam does not fight other children however much they might bully him. He cannot even get the words out to tell her what has happened - and she tells him to go away because he cannot communicate. It saddens me but I don't know what to do about it either and that angers me.

Anonymous said...

Whew! For a minute there, I was afraid you were going to say publishers bully!

catdownunder said...