While the joys of parenthood are many, it's natural to worry about the inevitable milestones that shape a child's independence, such as their first solo walk to school, first sleep-over or first teen party. In our technology-driven world, parents must now consider a new growing-up moment: their first smartphone.
If you've ever wondered why women are reluctant to bring forward allegations of sexual harassment, look no further than the furor unleashed when 15 female police officers contacted city councillor and police commissioner Diane Colley-Urquhart to discuss sexual harassment and the culture of intimidation and retaliation they'd experienced at the Calgary Police Service.
Our kids have only been back in school for a short while and thus far, I've heard of many children being the victims of "social bullying." Yes, we've all heard the term Cyberbullying but that expression makes it seem so random and out in the "online world," while social gives it more of a defined meaning: A social group using their digital devices to express hatred, threats etc. My true wake up call to this epidemic behavior was after a recent incident involving my daughter.
I was verbally bullied about my weight throughout school. The weight started increasing exponentially while I was in high school. That is when it started impacting my moods and the way I looked at life... I did not want to be around my friends and I started isolating myself. I became physically sick with stomach problems, mentally sick and looked down upon myself. I hit rock bottom.
The fact that Ms. Jones loves herself -- the fact of her obvious confidence and the ease with which she speaks her mind -- well, that's an awful affront to the misogynists who expect a "woman like her," i.e. "not pretty enough" or light-skinned enough (in their tiny minds) to stay in the background with her mouth firmly shut.
How courageous do you suspect those victims had to be to come forward? How much time, thought and fortitude do you think they needed to even decide to take a stand, advocate for themselves -- in the face of all forms of painful, targeted, mostly harsh scrutiny and judgment from a variety of sources. IT TAKES COURAGE.
More authority and less freedom can be an attractive answer. And that's the problem. Legislation of this variety forces us to sacrifice our right to freedom of expression for the chance that some good might come of it. It's a trade off, and it's too high a price to pay, especially when there are less costly options available.
The other thing about bullying is this: no matter which side you're on, it feels awful. When I saw that boy with the icepack, I felt sick. Sad and scared and frustrated. How could my child do this, when I work so tirelessly to teach him to be compassionate and caring? I felt responsible, and desperate.
Lessening bullying requires a societal effort. No single institution can prevent the circumstances that lead to a young person fearing hateful comments online. Humanity has proven we have the capacity to improve the well being of others -- we should plan to make giant strides in minimizing bullying, too.
The interaction of girls towards one another where they are nothing but mean. I'm left wondering why this is something we're found to be okay with. It's not funny. Girls are becoming more and more belligerent towards each other, and for some reason it seems like the world is okay with that. I've been wondering why girls, of any age, are so cruel towards each other.