When there’s a culture of bullying at school, everything is all about appearances. And it isn’t about what’s being done; it’s about who’s doing it.
Sadly, people often hold victims of bullying to a double-standard. If someone makes a statement, it’s never about the comment itself, but who it came from. Unfortunately, politics, whether it be on a national, local, school, or office level, is rife with double-standards.
Here are a few scenarios for examples:
1. The student body and people in the community find out that a particular girl is in a monogamous romantic relationship and that she and her boyfriend are not only dating; they have sex every weekend.
If she’s a target of bullying, she’s a “whore” or “slut.” And her boyfriend must be with her for the sole purpose of getting in her pants. It’s only a matter of time until he gets tired of her and dumps her for something better. And everyone uses her lack of celibacy as a means to persecute her.
On the other hand, what if she’s not a target of bullying (And she doesn’t have to be one of the popular crowd, she can be just an average Jane who blends in)?
As long as she’s any girl who doesn’t get bullied- she and her boyfriend are only in love, and they’re only experimenting and exploring the sexual terrain, which is only a normal part of being a young couple in love. And everyone either cuts her some slack and either doesn’t say anything, or congratulates her for reaching the milestone of finding love and losing her virginity.
Here are a few more examples:
2. A boy in the school is going out and getting drunk or high on the weekends.
If he’s a target of bullying, he’s a worthless drunk or druggie.
If he’s any boy who isn’t a target of bullying, however, he’s “cool,” he’s a hellraiser! He’s only doing what most teenage boys will try at some point during their adolescent years. And others dismiss it as his being one of the crazy kids from high school.
3. It’s discovered that a girl at school is pregnant.
If she’s a bullied girl, she’s a cheap little slut, and it’s no surprise she’s “knocked up.” People shun her like Hester Prynne in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Scarlet Letter.” Everyone judges her harshly and has the attitudes that she and her baby will only live on welfare and leach from society while the non-bullied kids will move on to successful careers. And that they will be stuck paying taxes, which will support this sorry excuse for a human being and her little spawn.
But if she’s any girl who isn’t a target of bullying, then she’s just a good girl who made a bad mistake. And everyone reaches out to her and extends compassion.
Do you see where I’m going with this?
Realize that school politics and double-standards are firmly put in place to keep a select few down and oppressed.
In a nutshell, if you aren’t a target of bullying, there’s margin for error and you’re allowed to explore many worlds. You’re allowed to make mistakes. You’re allowed to be a human being.
But if you’re a target of bullying, you’re not afforded any of it. You’re not allowed to be yourself. You’re not allowed to be human because in the minds of others, you aren’t human at all. In the minds of the student body, you aren’t even allowed to be- to exist.
But no matter how they judge you, do it anyway.
1. Allow yourself to make mistakes because that’s how you learn.
2. Be yourself because that’s how you weed out the people who aren’t supposed to be in your life and attract into your world the people who belong there.
3. Be human because being human is what exposes the people who are wrong for you and shows you the people who are right for you.
4. And don’t only exist, but live! Be alive! Live life to the fullest!
5. And know that happiness is a choice! And that you do have the power to choose.