Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beat Me Up, Scotty

Just when you think you’ve scraped the bottom of the stupid barrel, you discover there is a secret compartment underneath whose depths are as of yet unknown.

If you lift the lid to this compartment and plunge your hands beneath the oily surface, you might pull out something like this:

Studies Reveal Why Kids Get Bullied and Rejected

I’ll spare you all of the touchy-feely-zen tripe from the end of the article; mercifully, the “money shot” is right upfront:

Kids who get bullied and snubbed by peers may be more likely to have problems in other parts of their lives, past studies have shown. And now researchers have found at least three factors in a child's behavior that can lead to social rejection.

The factors involve a child's inability to pick up on and respond to nonverbal cues from their pals.

What they’re saying – and the rest of the article bears this out if you don’t believe me – is that if a child is being bullied, it is their fault because their “social skills” are not up to par.

Makes perfect sense to me. Remembering times when I was bullied as a child I can now realize that it was the fact that I was walking home from school on the sidewalk minding my own business that earn those kicks and blows.

I’m sure rape victims will now be able to understand – if they think about it with an open mind – that they did indeed “ask for it”.

And the kid whose drunk father beats him with a stick is not only guilty of inspiring that wrath, but he’s also probably to blame for why his father is a drunk in the first place, having not provided him with sufficient pleasure to remain sober.

I remember the first time I read “1984” and saw those three ridiculous slogans “War is Peace”, “Freedom is Slavery”, and “Ignorance is Strength”. They make no sense at all, I thought; how could the people in Orwell’s fictional world “buy-in” to them without a second thought? Surely in the “real world” the lines of truth and fiction could never become so blurred.

Perhaps. Perhaps not.

You were a child once; you lived in that world where children were left to their own devices and allowed to shape their faux society as they saw fit. What do you think?


Patty said...

I clicked over to the article and read it before reading your thoughts and got to the part that you call the "money shot" and immediately thought to myself, "So they are saying it is the kid's fault for getting bullied, not the fault of the bully for not understanding that bullying is not correct social behavior." But the other part that was in there that I found even more disturbing was:

"Unstructured playtime - that is, when children interact without the guidance of an authority figure - is when children experiment with the relationship styles they will have as adults, he said."

Really, bullies don't outgrow the need to be a bully? That to me, if it is really true, is really scary.

Anonymous said...

I wish you wrote regularly for the Casey County News. I mean articles like this and not only Chamber of Commerce news.
C. Peterson

Blaine Staat said...

What a nice thing to say; Thank you!