Refuse to be Homogenized—Beauty, Bullying and Media “Mean Girls”

Sarah Madison pointed me to this blog, and I thank her. We ARE living in a culture of bullies, and I don’t like it either.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Last week I wrote two posts Brave New Bullying: Goodreads Gangs, Amazon Attacks—What Are Writers to Do? and Are Some Humans Born to Bully? Born to Be Victims? Can It Be Changed?. The first post was my own story of enduring hoards of Mean Girls and bullies in school (I switched schools 18 times).

Many people in the comments seemed perplexed as to WHY bullies acted the way they did and how to handle them. Thus, the second post offered even more tips and my Armchair Neuroscientist explanation as to what FEEDS bullies what they CRAVE (and tips to shut bullies down).

A Culture of Control

Since these two posts, I’ve received hundreds of comments and loads of messages and links shared on Facebook. This prompted me to speak a bit more on this topic. My opinion? I feel we live in a culture of bullies. We see it…

View original post 1,710 more words

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About Fenraven

Fenraven happily lives in south Florida, where it is really hot most of the year. Find him on Twitter, Google +, and Facebook by searching on 'fenraven'.
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9 Responses to Refuse to be Homogenized—Beauty, Bullying and Media “Mean Girls”

  1. Christine J. says:

    Thank you, Fen. This was an excellent post. As I am now at the age of 50+ and plan to move to a different town and develop a new career, I wonder what prejudices I might face when trying to compete with those much younger than myself for a job. I am well-educated, experienced, passionate, and energetic. Will potential bosses see those qualities in me? Or will they only focus on my age when they look at me in an interview?

    • My mother gave up looking for work at age 61. She’s taking early retirement. Why? No one will hire her despite her years of experience and excellent work ethic.

      Our culture sucks. Our economy sucks. We throw away old people as if they are diseased. It’s disgusting.

  2. Karen H. says:

    Hi Theo, I really understand where your mother is coming from. As a 50+ years old woman who has a physical disability as well as being plus size, I have given up on finding work because after numerous tries at going to interviews and once they see me walking in using my cane (that I have to use because of a car accident I had 25 years ago) and in spite of the years that I was employed and what are excellent references without fail I do not get follow up interviews or offers of employment. My solution has been that I am going into business with my son and his partner. We are all so excited and it’s a busy time for us as we get ready to launch our website next month. It’s scary, exciting and amazing to work with two of the best people I know and on top of that we’ve brought my husband in as our business consultant (cool thing is when he does consulting for other people his rate is ridiculous but for us not so much, lol. I think he’s as excited as we are).

    I agree with the sad fact that we disregard our elderly and unfortunately the handicapped as well. Sometimes people just don’t recognize all the resources that are available to them. Unfortunately as a plus sized woman I can also attest to the fact that we tend to look at people who aren’t model perfect and disregard the level of intelligence possessed by the individual.

    It’s something that as individuals we all need to be vigilant to ensure we don’t do and speak up against it when we see it happening.

    • You’re doing what others have been forced to: go into business for themselves. Good luck on the new venture. 🙂

      If you’re right about the way people view others regarding intelligence, that’s horrible. It’s like judging a book by its cover, something readers do all the time. 😉

  3. waclements says:

    Theo–Thank you for pointing out Kristen Lamb’s blog. It came at a very timely period for me (I would have said ‘timely time’ but you’re an editor and I’m supposedly an editor, a baby editor, so to speak, so the fact I like to play with words sort of has to fall by the wayside. Timey wimey?) and my experiences growing up (once I was in public school) were much like hers. I just quit a job in April of last year (last year already) because it was making my mental illness worse and was starting to make me physically ill as well, and I thought I was the only one. I guess we always do. In some ways invisible disabilities are worse than ones you can see because everyone thinks you’re “normal” (I’d love a definition for that) when there are actually some thing I can’t do or am slower at than others but am afraid to mention for fear of the consequences. I thought the bullies went away when you grew up, too, but they don’t. I worked for a long time with individuals with disabilities–my favorite was elementary school; sowing the seeds of self-advocacy early on (very quietly, it wasn’t in the curriculum). It wasn’t the kids who were the reason I quit–it was my co-workers and supervisors. I adored the kids I worked with. They are as much teachers as we were. Unions and workman’s comp don’t really seem to believe in mental illness. They hear the words and immediately think of Psycho and school shootings; they can’t see it, so they don’t believe it; I’m just someone who “can’t handle the job.” Rolls eyes. Luckily I’m in a situation where I’m not financially destitute from all of this. I have to depend on someone else completely (bleah) but I’m not on the street.

    I’m following Kristen Lamb’s blog now–so thank you again. I like your blog as well. 🙂 I haven’t had much tea yet, or this would be more coherent and intelligently written. I think. LOL

    • Welcome! And thanks for the comment.

      I hear you about mental illness. I went through a period where I was agoraphobic, and I still occasionally suffer mild anxiety. As you point out, if you can’t see it, it doesn’t exist, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

      I think people have gotten both nicer and meaner the last few years. It probably has to do with our collapsing economy, lack of jobs, threat of total annihilation (who wouldn’t worry about this, given the Fukushima meltdown and using up of natural resources?), and the idiot politicians in Washington. I think mental illness is on the rise for all the listed reasons and many more. It’s sad really. Our species has such promise, and we’re blowing it.

      • waclements says:

        I agree. I have a blog with a very small following–I know it is looked at by a few people. It is sort of my place to vent, which I don’t think is what people want–they want kittens and talking porcupines. Apparently not the ones that don’t talk; the talking part is important. I’m attracting religious followers. This concerns me. It isn’t that type of blog, unless they’re praying for me. According to my now passed away grandfather, a Southern Baptist deacon, I’m already going to hell (I was told this at about 8) because I wasn’t baptized. Luckily my parents left the church shortly after I was born and I didn’t grow up religious. Just with 4th generation genetics with a predisposition toward mental illness. LOL And alcoholism, though I seem to have missed that one, which is good, since you can’t take meds and drink at the same time. 😉

        I am utterly perplexed at how the politicians are getting away with what they’re doing. We have a good Rep.–Peter deFazio, but he’s still made some *interesting* voting choices.

        • I never sidestep being an atheist, so few religious people stop by regularly. I vent all the time. Heh. Doesn’t seem to bother my readers.

          As for the politicians? So over them. They clearly have their own agenda, and that agenda doesn’t include any of us. Eventually, the tenor of government will change or they will be overthrown. It’ll be interesting either way.

          • waclements says:

            I’m somewhat an agnostic, started out as an atheist. I don’t believe in god, more in the collective unconscious that allows creation of things, art, music, architecture, that gives me a feeling there is something bigger than myself. It could just be some being on a cloud playing with popsicle sticks for all I know.

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