04 April 2012
The Pussification of America: Bullying
In December of 2007 I wrote an article for my blog entitled, "The Pussification of America." It basically dealt with how American culture concedes many of its own cultural traditions to capitulate to the traditions of other cultures. Today I'm going to revisit this title, but on a whole new level. One of the largest social problems Americans are facing today is bullying. Bullying is defined as "To treat abusively. To affect by means of force or coercion." Bottom line ... it's one or more people bothering another person or group of people with the intent to make them feel less than who or what they are ... and it's unacceptable.
Before I go any further ... I am prepared to accept that the following may not be popularly received, but you know what? I don't really give a damn. I have never claimed to be politically correct, and quite frankly, it is this overwhelming touchy-feely/everyone must make nice-nice crap that has allowed this scourge of political correctness to overrun and overrule common sense and thus be the most major contributing factor to "The Pussification of America."
Every year there are news articles about tragic incidents that occur as a result of bullying. Either a young person harms him or herself, or they go buck wild and shoot up a damn school! This is what happens when bullying goes too far and the kid being bullied refuses to take it anymore. So who's to blame? Every damn adult in the child's sphere of influence ... YEAH DAMMIT I SAID IT! Parents, teachers, relatives ... anyone in a child's life who is not teaching that child to be proud of who he or she is and not need to seek the validation of others who are ultimately no better than they are is at fault for these tragedies. Anyone who does not sit a child down and teach him or her that there's always someone "bigger and badder" out there, and that no matter how cool or how popular they may be, they can easily find themselves in a new circle in which no one knows or cares how cool they were wherever came from is at fault for these tragedies.
People who have met and known me within the past 15-20 years - my wife included - refuse to believe that I was once a very shy and quiet person. People see me as I am today and cannot conceive it possible that I know what it's like to have been bullied. Today, I am confident to the point where it actually intimidates some, but when I was a kid, I didn't wear all of the brand name clothes. I wasn't invited to all the parties; in fact, I wasn't invited to any of them. I was cracked on & ragged on (made fun of & ridiculed if you don't know what those terms mean). But I recall two significant events that turned my life around. Both incidents occurred in grade school; both times I was being bullied, and both times I stood up for myself. And that is the cure for bullying - standing up for oneself.
Children need to be taught how to defend themselves. Children need to be taught the benefits of putting forth hard work. In my former career as a police officer; at a Homeland Security seminar, I once met a former Israeli Special Forces soldier who told me that in Israel; because of the combative climate, children are taught hand to hand and close quarter combat techniques in school. Fortunately, things are not that bad here in the U.S. that we have to necessarily do this, but how about a self defense class added to the physical education curriculum. That would be far more productive to a student's "physical education" as well as more conducive to improving self-esteem than just walking around a track or playing dodge-ball.
This is why in addition to teaching my boys to be nice and respectful, I will also teach my boys that if anyone lays a hand on them, beat that sum'bitch within an inch of knock-knock-knocking on heaven's door so that he will not only think twice about bullying them, he'll think twice about bullying anyone else. The only way to beat a bully is to beat a bully. If a bully understood logic and reason, he or she would not engage in the act to begin with. Bullying is about control, dominance and making one feel superior about him- or herself by way of making someone else feel less about him- or herself. But if we were to begin teaching our children to feel super about themselves and not superior to anyone, then they would not need to make anyone else feel less about themselves or seek the approval of others by doing so.