Voice your opinion - bullying

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Emelie, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,929
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Yggdrasil
    Ratings:
    +62 / 0 / -0
    Do you guys think its right to voice your opinion no matter what other people or specific person may think or feel about it?


    I'm partly thinking of recent debates, and those who occur at most forums online.

    But also some events that happened to a friend of mine.
    This friend have a very special clothing style, 'Steampunkish', which draws attention to him. This person is also a transgender person.

    After he started to dress more like the boy he really feels like, he can never go anywhere alone without people "voicing their opinion".

    And I know many think "well it's my right, freedom of speech" and all that.

    But when he comes home and tells me all that happens, every day, and cries, it saddens me that people can be such ignorant fools.

    Let me list some things he hears everyday: You are an abomination, you should die, you are a freak, what's wrong with you, you shouldn't be allowed to live, I'm going to get my friends and the next time we see you we will kill you etc. etc.
    This is normal people, it's teenagers, parents, old people.. you know. average Joe. And kids of course, but many times they haven't learned how to behave yet.

    And my thought is, what makes them think they have the right, to come up to people and insult them like that, and then just state that "it's their right to voice their opinion" ?

    For me this is discrimination, bullying and downright mean behaviour. And this saddens me, that people don't think outside their selves, being selfish.


    Well I sort of wanted this off my chest, I know most people claim to be against bullying and stuff like that, but yet they do the exact same thing the very next moment. I just don't think many think of it as bullying... We don't often reflect on how our words comes across to others and how we make them feel.


    I would also like to share a video I found very moving, that concerns this topic.


    (Those who watches glee might want to consider spoilers though)
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  2. Forgotten Realms

    Forgotten Realms Human Version of Drizzt

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2011
    Messages:
    267
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Emerged from the Underdark into the Light
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    I have left this forum to 80%, but nevertheless I have seen this right now. Probably this is really my last official post here. Who can know?

    I absolutely feel sorry for your friend when hearing that he is treated like this because people can only think up to the threshold of their house door. But this usually happens when things, beings, behaviours are strange to them and they cannot explain them by reason and science. Label says "normal" person have to be such and such. Just a slight deviation makes hell of your life. And the labels people are used to give themselves by "voicing" their own opinions without considering their opposite they address to.

    No matter what feelings the one might have. No matter what harm could be caused.

    That does not mean "free" speech should be forbidden because of feelings, but: "Free" Speech should be granted to everybody, not only to single ones who has right and others who do not have rights. Everybody should voice his opinion and the opinions should be discussed in a polite manner. If explained when there are questions, not being thought: Oh, that fool asks simple things he should know! By explaining each other opinions can be brought nearer to each other, to be better accepted. Everybody can review his own opinion, adopt something, all or even nothing, but then explaining why not adopting. Sorry, this is the way a "reasonable" and peaceful debate would go.

    Nevertheless, I am one of the living examples that have been bullyed out of this forum. Seems that I am on the way to find a nice home for an otherkin like me....

    Wishing you all the best and hope you will not fare with everybody as you have fared with me.
     
  3. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,823
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1


    When I was your age it was the Gothic crowd, or the Punks, or whatever the scene was I'm not sure.
    There's always going to be unkindness in the world so it's better to face up to it with confidence.

    I was pushed ahead in school so was always one or two years younger than my classmates, got more than my fair share of bullying... until my dad taught me how to fight. Then it was a different story. Your friend should not allow others to have such power over him, and for your part, you should do what you can to help his confidence. Don't sit by and let him be victimized, that does nothing but enable the same response over and over again. Your friend doesn't have to learn to fight or respond in kind, but I think he does need to change his mindset. He shouldn't care what others think, the fact that he does means something's missing from his psyche.

    But you should always be careful, sometimes cruel comments are truer than we'd like to believe.
     
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,823
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1
    No one has bullied you out of anything.

    On another thread you petitioned us for comments and when some of them weren't to your liking, that is some of us didn't stroke your ego, you hurried off. That kind of manipulative nonsense may work on your "otherkin" but it won't wash with me. In fact I'll go so far as to say that what you're doing right now is *reverse bullying*.

    See there, Forgotten Realms, you've hurt my feelings.
     
  5. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,537
    Likes Received:
    232
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +342 / 1 / -0
    *will return for a more serious reply later, but for now here's Foamy*


    Warning lots of bad language and irate squirrel views on life. Some sane points contained within - probably
     
  6. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,929
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Yggdrasil
    Ratings:
    +62 / 0 / -0
    Forgotten - but there is a difference between "free speech" to say to passing people that they are ugly and idiots, its nothing they care to discuss really. And free speech as in, we are entitled to our own opinions. But we don't have to insult other people just because there was a thought in our heads :/

    Sparrow - There will always be unkindness in the world, there you are correct, but perhaps by raising awareness, at least it can lessen.
    The thing is, especially in our teens, we are sensitive, we do care what other people think, it's a thing that we learn throughout life to ignore what others think.
    I try to help him every day, but it's not always that simple unfortunately. Some people have a harder time to ignore stuff like that.
    And the fact that he cares what others think doesnt mean something is missing within him, it's normal. I bet its more normal than people actually not caring what others think.
    I was wondering what you meant by the last sentence, would you care to elaborate?
     
  7. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,929
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Yggdrasil
    Ratings:
    +62 / 0 / -0
    And please, no bullshit in this thread. No personal attacks, no discrimination or whatever. Respect people... Respect and others will respect you back.
     
  8. Silvermune

    Silvermune New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    Curious, sparrow are you saying that the people bullied deserved it?
    Being picked on because of some certain aspect but get their feelings hurt, but it is the harsh truth and they shouldn't let it get to em???
     
  9. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    6,537
    Likes Received:
    232
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    UK
    Ratings:
    +342 / 1 / -0
    Anyone the stands apart from the normal has to fight the tide that pushes back - and the further apart you stand the more you find you have to fight back. And then sometimes you gotta take a step back and realise that sometimes you're fighting against not the tide but a tiny tiny eddy in the water and that if you move a little to the left there ain't much to fight against at all.


    Humans are no different from many creatures and you can see similar patterns of behaviour even in creatures we deem "simple" such as, for example, chickens. If one ever keeps them and breeds to any scale one can see the similar pattern of bully behaviour against any born with differences or weaknesses within the group.

    I guess in the end what I am trying to say there is that one should not be left surprised that differences are not always accepted nor tolerated - and that a great great many people simply want to flow with the tide and pull all those around them along with them. Life is simple and easy to approach that way - you know and don't have to "fear" the unknown that way because its swept away.
    Tolerance of those differences generally only comes a broader picture of the world and that generally goes hand in hand with education. I'm not saying smart = more tolerant - but that those with a wider view of the world and broader number of influencing viewpoints can generally become more tolerant of differences.

    Of course one person trying to educate and broaden the minds of the masses has a big job on their hands, so sometimes its best just to select those ones from the group that are worth the time and focus on them and let the rest float along.


    As for self confidence - eh - for many that is rather like bravery or courage - you generally "get it" just after you actually wanted to have it and you can't normally get it before in preparation. For many self confidence is an age linked thing and it typically grows with age (to the point where some forget what its like to not be confident in ones self - but then memory loss also comes with age ;)).

    *isn't sure where he's going now so is just gonna stop rambling for a bit*
     
  10. Feidai

    Feidai Put some spleen into it.

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Elsewhere
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0 / -0
    I went through what should have been hell at the different schools I went to, dressing much flashier than everyone else on casual days, and being... different. But I always seemed to be far too intimidatingly unaffected by the initial attempts at bullying for anyone to bother keeping it up. There were probably a few words and many questions about sexuality thrown in behind my back later on, but instead of breaking down I played it up and got a kick out of frightening people with it. Before the 'mean' bunch became the drop-outs, I practically lead the group because they were too scared to not claim me as a friend, then they came to like me anyway because I was better than them at what they do, and I made them laugh. Although I did change groups every year in highschool, and accumulated a good collection of friends, all of which I knew were indeed my friends and never had trouble with false ones. Everyone knew what I was going to be like within about a day or so, if it wasn't to their taste then they would avoid me, while the ones who liked it would flock to me. Hiding things never leads to any good, just makes things seem like a bigger deal than they are. Though I must say, I found there to be much more acceptance in the hoity-toity catholic school I did my last year in than the backwater mudpit of a college I went to the year before. And the Highschool before that one was in the middle to lower ground.
    Not to mention I am and was also transgendered, and completely whacky about it. I'm not sure which came first, other people declaring I wasn't the right gender, or if it was me who decided it. So I never copped the crap that comes with being an 'abomination'. Everyone just accepted I was either neither or the wrong one, but certainly didn't match my anatomy, and my friends are more intrigued by it than anything.

    I think it's more of a height thing though, everyone knows to fear the tiny megalomaniac, and that it's best to be friends with them before they take over the world and hope they don't turn when they get what they want.

    Other people's experience from me; I've never been the nicest person, perhaps a little blunt. Very blunt. But that's what people like, they know they can trust me to tell them exactly how I feel about them without the pretence. Although nobody is ever quite sure whether the insults are serious or not, and friends that were on the receiving end of a lot of it back in the day still couldn't bring themselves to hate me. Okay, I got a juicebox in the head once from one for mocking her countless sick days, but I still wangled myself into the chair next to her in the following class and acted like nothing had happened, she was fuming, but was forced to yield her resentment and bought me lunch every day, while I also did my rounds collecting morsels from everyone else I knew too because I was averse to bringing my own. It wasn't just other students though. I mockingly insulted my teachers on a regular basis, even rubbed the bald vice principal's noggin every time I saw him.

    On the matter of freedom to voice one's opinion; Yes, I would admit to thinking some people deserve a bit of a lashing. I'm an advocate for the harshest truth straight at people's faces to encourage them to mend their flaws, like poor hygiene. But not everyone has the courage to do that, nor what it takes to be blunt and make it humourous enough to get away with it. If you can't tell it to the person's face, or rely on spreading rumours, then go crouch down in a hole and grow mushrooms. I have no patience for falseness or cowardice.
     
  11. Saeriel

    Saeriel A Paranoid Android

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2011
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Canada
    Ratings:
    +6 / 0 / -0
    I was on the receiving end of bullying for most of my childhood. I was the bully for some of it too - mostly because I was too stubborn and proud to admit that I was wrong, or because the rare friend I had wanted to bully some kid, and after awhile just because I was angry, so very angry, at everything... And maybe I thought they deserved it, too. I don't know.. It was ever so long ago.

    Now though, I've stopped caring what people say. The only ones who have a fraction of a chance to hurt me are the ones who should know me better than that, but there aren't many of them... but a lot of the time, not caring was hard. I don't blame him for caring, nor do I think one isn't right because they do care.

    But I've been there, and now I guess I try to live by the classic 'if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all.' You can't know why they act how they do, or what else is going on or has happened in their life. And frankly, bullying just mocks people for stupid shit.

    And if you need to say something not-nice, you can phrase it so it's not so much bullying as ah... friendly advice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  12. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2004
    Messages:
    20,590
    Likes Received:
    541
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    good ol' Germany
    Ratings:
    +790 / 5 / -0
    Much has been said already, so my post will be pretty short: Although I regard freedom of speech as an absolutely important part of social life, there's a limit to everything, and even freedom needs its limits. When people meet other, 'different' people (at school is a very good example, I think, as most of us seem to have been bullied at school) they dislike - even if it was just because of their outer appearance - the ideal reaction would be to ignore them and stay out of their way. That's pretty much what I do at university when I meet people I dislike.
    I suppose there are many reasons why some people just cannot do that, but all the reasons I can think of have to do with ignorance, bad manners and stupidity. And unfortunately those are common traits among humans.
     
  13. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,823
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1
    I think it comes down to how a person views the outside world and to what depth they're going to engage it.
    Personally, I like to be engaged and I usually reciprocate in good order. I'm not into small talk so much, don't discuss the weather or what's going on in popular culture very much... heck, the last couple of times I've watched Saturday Night Live I had no idea who either the guest was or even who the band was... both sucked.
    The world won't ever march to my tune, and I'd be horrified if it did... so all I can do is change those things I can within myself... strike some kind of compromise I can live with. That's better known as "selling out". You're friend is being himself, dresses differently and whatever, and of course is ridiculed by some folks. I'm afraid that's the price you often pay for being different; he should pay the bill gladly or make some changes in his life so he doesn't stand out so much. I wish it wasn't so but there it is, reality.

    Would I like to live in a world that was more progressive and liberal, that had no problem with gay marriage and was more tolerant of differences... sure, and no doubt so would you. You and I can't move mountains but we can at least grab a handful of dirt. So when the chance arises that's what I try to do.

    Has anybody ever said something directed to hurt you and upon further reflection you discover that there was something to it? I think sometimes we insulate ourselves and perhaps become too self-contained and get overly defensive when someone shakes us awake.
     
  14. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,823
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1

    Not at all... I'm saying if you spit into the wind expect to get wet.

    Being different usually means there's a price you have to pay, perhaps even on a Darwinian level it's a price that must be paid. I'm saying you should pay the bill on time, every time it comes due. Now that said, there's two main ways people are different; by making a conscious choice in which case I think they need to face up to the sometimes cruel response... the other way of being different are those things you have no power over, like natural appearance or mental defects of some kind. For those folks I truly feel bad as it's just luck and through no choice of their own that they stand out from society.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2012
  15. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,823
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1


    Self-confidence... and a sense of humor.

    I find that getting older is the great equalizer; I'm more confident than ever that there's less road ahead of me than behind.
     
  16. Silvermune

    Silvermune New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2012
    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ratings:
    +5 / 0 / -0
    Ah okay I understand what ya mean now, agree with ya in that case was just slightly confused of what ya meant by that.
     
  17. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,929
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Yggdrasil
    Ratings:
    +62 / 0 / -0
    Overread - But the difference between animals and humans are that humans can think of what's right and wrong. And therefore I feel that it's not a valid argument for bullying. In nature this is also a way to kill of the "weak animals", cause they need to be strong to survive in order to continue living as a species. But humans again, don't need that any longer with our modern societies technology. Now even babies born way to prematurely can live.

    I can understand what you mean with moving a little to the left and there might be less of a struggle, but not all people can make that choice. And I guess that those people that can make that choice and chooses to stay in the tide and hard times, that person can handle it. Because then its more of an active choice.


    Feidai - Interesting to hear of your personal experiences, you seemed to have coped well with what life brought you, but not everyone is able to do that.
    From what you're writing it seems like your friends accepted who you are, but mostly its not the friends who are the problem (although they can be too, i have experienced that), but usually it's strangers or the ones you are not friends with. My friend in the example, have constant bullies, who are the same all the time, but the worse are those who don't know him, and probably only will see him once, which is why they feel confident enough to blurt out pure shit right in his face. The thing that surprised me the most was the range of people who do it, I myself, as everyone on this earth, had preconceptions about who would do stuff like that.

    And as for what you say about you being blunt and telling the truth to others. It's one thing to give constructive criticism, in a nice manner (and trying to be nice about it doesn't mean its a lie or needs to be less blunt, there are different ways to go about it) and then there are just being an arse.
    There's a difference in telling a friend that their hair looks like it might need a shower (and that friend might still be hurt though, also something to think about) or saying that its the most disgusting thing you've ever seen and that person should be shot because of it.

    Saeriel -
    I think that 'if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all' is a very good thing to live by, but of course its not always possible to follow it all the way. We do have flaws, we get angry and maybe even hateful from time to time. Or just simply don't care. But there is something really good about that saying.
    And I agree with phrasing it differently, because things can still be said, in a truthful manner, but also in a nice manner that wont hurt that persons feelings. I know when I was younger and if someone commented on something and I found it hurtful, I could think of it for weeks, and feel really bad. While I knew, that that person forgot it the second he/she said it. And many of the stuff I got bullied for are with me to this day, although I know they shouldn't be. But thankfully we do get better with age, to stop caring about stuff like that.


    Firiath - as you say, one should think that it would be wiser just to ignore it, but one must remember that bullies do usually feel bad within themselves and have problems, which seems to be relieved when taking the anger out on other people. It's not easy for the person being bullied to pity the bullier though..
    And ignorance I feel is a big part of it, as is bad manners. Or maybe that they just don't care about other peoples feelings, selfishness is a big thing these days. If everyone had a little more love for the fellow human, it might have been different.


    Sparrow - It's not so much the style of choice that he is bullied for, although people do notice him more in those clothes. But for periods he tried to wear the normal jeans and sweater. But there are always people that notice something is "wrong". There are breasts on a dude, for example. At least the steampunk outfits hides those better than normal clothes, but people still seem to notice.
    And that is something he can't change. He can't chose not to be who he is, cause that would mean he would probably kill himself. Then being bullied the better choice, even if its not much of a choice. Death or discrimination.

    And we here in Sweden are at least a bit more lucky than most of the countries here in the world, and quite more liberal as well, I cant imagine how it would be for those who actually live in countries where for example gay marriages aren't allowed. No wonder the suicide rate is high. And is here too, even though all the progress we are making here within many fields of discrimination.
    And all we can do is try, and if we are lucky we might actually make a change, I'm sure of it. You just gotta know the way to go about it.

    And as for people not being aware but through comments maybe realizing that it's true, what they are saying. It has happened to me, but I was already aware of it, I just hoped nobody else was xD
    But there is still a difference between saying someone might need to change this, this isnt a good trait, and we shall evolve like humans and all that. Than being an asshole and just say something totally 'non constructive'.
     
  18. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,823
    Likes Received:
    159
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    here and there
    Ratings:
    +251 / 3 / -1

    I don't know if you've ever heard the term *Social Darwinism*, or having heard of it that you understand it?
    Friedrich Nietzsche had a great retort for those who believed Natural Selection (survival of the fittest) had a place in modern society... his view is something I completely agree with...


    This purposes that even our mental defects and perceived weaknesses can sometimes be in actuality strengths, in that they help to deviate and temper society. This sure doesn't help the bullied against the bully or make reality any less harsh... but it does put it against a backdrop that society can and does advance despite the ugliness.

    I think it's why the English model of society (Edwardian/Victorian) failed, and the much more dynamic American model of society won out; why Nazi Germany and Communist Russia failed in spectacular fashion, while Nordic countries survive quite well. Using Gay Marriage as a high watermark... those against it always say it hurts the institution of marriage and is against "traditional family values"... that's bullshit. Gay marriage forces society to be more dynamic and open, stronger not weaker.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2012
  19. Feidai

    Feidai Put some spleen into it.

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Messages:
    240
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Elsewhere
    Ratings:
    +4 / 0 / -0
    I tend to get more compliments from strangers for wearing what I do, and being as I am. I am also quite outgoing so they don't remain strangers for long, nor detect the fear that leads bullies and other nasties to do what they do.

    I'll choose to be the arse every time. Only because I know I won't be hated by the people I do it to, or if I am it's probably because I want them to hate me. Never works though. I still get undesirables wanting to be my friend.

    There are ways around that, and not all of them are painful.

    Just learn, if you don't love yourself and can't accept your differences, nobody else will.
     
  20. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,929
    Likes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Yggdrasil
    Ratings:
    +62 / 0 / -0

    There was some interesting theories in there! For sure. I definitely think that there can be something in that. Human beings are very adaptable, which the examples with the blind man shows.


    This is true, but at the same time loving yourself is a very long process for some people, especially if one is being bullied for example. I talked to my friend today, he said: It would have been one thing if he started to get bullied today, at 17, if he got to live a normal life before that. It would probably be easier to handle. But now he's been bullied since he started school basically, and after a while you internalize how the bullies sees you, it's not the easiest of tasks to love oneself then.