Cartoon Network PSA: Bullying and Roundhouse Kicks
Okay, so I recently saw a Cartoon Network PSA about bullying (check it out at http://youtu.be/QawFn-SWD-Y.) In many ways, I was glad to see the media address the problem of bullying, but they offered some dangerously naive advice --- like turning your back on an attacker. A small portion of my ethnographic research at a boxing club illustrates why that might be a bad idea (check it out at How (Not) to Handle a Bully.) However, that's not thorough enough to make a useful social impact.
My questions for Bullshido's martial artists:
(1) Would you ever suggest turning your back on an attacker, like this PSA suggests?
(2) What're some other ways to deescalate this kinda confrontation? They may've joked about it, but might a roundhouse kick actually work here? Lol.
(3) What're your thoughts, on bullying as a social phenom? Like, what are some ways bullying manifests outside the schoolyard?
--- Ashkuff | http://www.ashkuff.com | How to use anthropology, in business and ADVENTURE!!!!
As a social phenomenon, I think bullying has become a controvercial subject partly because it is a loosely defined phenomenon, so the ultimate causes are widely speculated in all directions, by a society that has unprecedented ability to be vocal. So, in order to properly discuss bullying, we need a common definition.
Here's one kind of bullying that never seems to receive any attention at all in the media: counter-bullying. Remember when that overweight reporter was "bullied" when some guy sent her an email calling her fat? Well, I think she was the bigger bully by going on air to denounce him and having her husband start a huge online flame war against him. There are times where someone may be sort of guilty of bullying, and in retaliation the other person brings a disproportionately large force that's too big to fight. That sounds like bullying to me, but what reporter will champion the cause of a low-level prick being picked on by a bunch of white knights? The Internet can take these things and run with them, due to sheer numbers, anonymity, and possibly a high incidence rate of bullying in the childhood of Internet People.
I also have a bit of a notion that bullying has gone from under-reported to over-reported. Seems like every slow news day is an opportunity to catch some viewers by suggesting that maybe their kid is being bullied. Its an easy emotional appeal- nobody with a kid wants their kid bullied, so its an easy emotional string to pull to get people to watch a fluff news segment.
I suppose its possible for the pendulum to swing the other way- where bullying takes a turn for the worst and people like me are too jaded to read another story about bullying, assuming its nothing new.
Along with an over-saturation of bully news comes a sense that any playground injustice is some kind of bullying, and thus should be solved by reporting it to the authorities. Part of me thinks that this is training the next generation to not solve problems but rather to pass them on to someone else. The tricky part is that in very real bullying cases, a kid really should tell an adult. We just shouldn't have the message that if someone is mean to you, you can get on national TV by telling on them.
I agree that we need a better classification system of bullying.
Can we have a PSA that says grow a thicker skin for the oh nooooos my feelings have been hurt type?
Then there is true mental bullying that is relentless that just having a thicker skin isn't going to cut it. That PSA should be go and talk it out with counselors, parents, what not.
As far as physical bullying goes yeah a PSA telling someone to turn ones back is probably not so good.
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