Recently, a new documentary on bullying came out. "Bully" is a film that follows five families and looks at how bullying has affected their children, and their lives. While I have not seen the film yet, I have heard it is an intimate look at the harsh reality bullying can have on a family. I started to think, nothing is going to change, unless we, as adults, change. How can we tell our children to be loving, tolerant, and accepting of each other, when we have a hard time doing it? I’m including myself in this, beside as hard as I try, I am not innocent. I talk about people and things that I shouldn’t be talking about. I am judgmental when I shouldn’t be, gossiping when it’s none of my business. I too am guilty of bullying.
What’s the difference between a 14-year-old girl teasing a peer about her “not cool” clothes, and a 30-something year old woman commenting to a friend about another woman’s choice of outfit? How many times have you heard a grown woman say snarkily, “Did you see what she was wearing?”
What’s the difference between a 15-year-old girl calling a peer a slut because there are rumors that she “sleeps around”, and a 30-something year old woman commenting on rumors she had heard about so-and-so’s wife or husband having an affair?
What’s the difference between a 16-year-old girl calling another girl fat, and a 30-something year old woman commenting on how someone in her town has gained weight?
What’s the difference between a 17-year-old girl berating a peer for not getting into a “good” college, and a 30-something year old woman commenting on someone else’s financial status?
How can we be telling our daughters not to bully each other when we are not setting the right example for them? No wonder so many teens think they have the right to comment on or spread rumors about each others lives. Isn’t that what women do all day long? Isn’t that what gossip is?
None of us has the right to stand in judgement of another. Not at 14, 15, 16, 17 or 35. We need to be the example for our daughters. It has to start with us, because telling our daughters not to bully each other while we do it behind each others back everyday is not setting an example. It’s being a hypocrite.