Sticks and Stones - Words Hurt
“You’re a fat, fat gross lady.”
Those words were said to me by a young boy (about 8 I think?) at the play place the other day. This same lad thought it alright to also berate my young son while they were in the bouncy castle. He and his friends bounced around Bean calling him all sorts of names. Bean is too young yet to understand what they were saying – and the malice behind it – but soon he won’t be. Soon he’ll understand that these boys were making fun of him, not playing with him. His laughter will turn to tears as he realizes that they were being mean, malicious little assholes. And I have to wonder if this child had absolutely no fear at calling me fat and gross TO MY FACE what does he do to other children his own age?
And where the fuck were his parents?
Kids say things. I know that. Calling me fat isn’t really an insult, it’s a stated fact. I am fat. But also calling me GROSS…that’s learned. Somewhere along the line this boy learned that fat = gross. Somewhere along the line this little boy learned how to shame, how to bully.
And this is where it needs to stop. If anyone ever told me about Bean being a bully, I would take a good hard look at OUR behavior and correct both mine and his. Take responsibility for your children parents – if they are accused of being a bully, it’s up to you to STOP THE BEHAVIOR. None of this “boys will be boys”. No denial – no ignoring the issue and hoping it will go away. Words hurt. Words can stay with someone their entire life causing mental distress and low self esteem.
Take this story, for example. A little boy is bringing his Rainbow Dash backpack to school and is being bullied. The school reacts by banning the boy’s backpack, calling it a trigger for bullying. But the boy says he had been bullied before, and I KNOW he’s going to be bullied after. The backpack is just a scapegoat. Did the school react badly? YES. They basically taught this boy, his bullies, and all the other kids that victim blaming is ok. That if you are getting bullied you are asking for it. That’s some fucked up shit right there. I read these stories and I wonder about the bullies parents. Do they know their kids are being little assholes? Do they know they are building bullies? Do they care?
Kid bullies grow up to be adult bullies. People who feel it’s ok to shame, berate and just be complete asses to total strangers. Like this douche-canoe in Boston who thought it was just a-ok to make an underhanded comment to a woman on a train, and then just run away like the coward we all know true bullies to be. He probably called a fat lady gross when he was a kid too.
I’ve been bullied my entire life. By other kids, strangers, boyfriends, supposed “friends”. The type of bullying varied but the undercurrent remained the same – they all got off on the power it gave them to make another human being feel worthless. To make them afraid to come to school. To assert their beliefs on someone else with detrimental effects.
I still wear each and every scar.
Parents, PLEASE, whether your child is being bullied or is being accused of being a bully, take this seriously. It starts with us – schools and other public places can only do so much.
No child should have to live in fear and no adult should have to suffer such scars.