Biblical and Constitutional Politics
Snowflakes, Teasing, and Bullying
By Gary F. Zeolla
The citizens of Australia recently voted on a referendum to allow the legislature to legalize homosexual marriage. The referendum is non-binding, so it now goes to the legislature for approval. The referendum passed by a 62-38% majority (CBN News, 11/15/17). In today’s divided political climate, getting over 60% of the vote is a landslide, and you would think that the LGBTQ community would be rejoicing that they not only won the vote by such a wide margin. But no! The snowflakes among the LGBTQ community still cannot handle knowing there are people who disagree with their lifestyle choices.
Black Homosexual Laments Victory
This attitude was expressed in a column on the website Independent titled, Australia has voted in favour of same-sex marriage, but this is no cause for celebration. The columnist is Amrou Al-Kadhi, who is a black homosexual. He blames his emotional problems and those of others in the LGBTQ community on being bullied in school and on discrimination since then. He also blames it on society not accepting his lifestyle choices.
As evidence of the latter, he points to an article in a London newspaper that used male pronouns to refer to transgender female (i.e., a biological male who dresses like a female). To him, that is cause for distress. Also to him, that 38% of Australians still consider his lifestyle wrong contributes to his emotional traumas. He writes further:
As a queer person of colour who struggles with anxiety and depression, “marriage equality” isn’t that exciting a victory for me. Constant homophobia and racism throughout my life – and living in a society that systemically isolates queer people and people of colour – has led to my lifelong battle with mental health. A school career entirely punctuated by bullying has also resulted in paranoid episodes, which I’ve only managed to control with anti-depressants (Independent).
First, let me say that teasing, bullying, and discrimination against members of the LGBTQ are wrong and perpetrators of such should be dealt with appropriately. But being distressed about someone using the “wrong” pronoun is to take things too far. That is not discrimination, hate, nor insensitivity. It is just people using the pronoun that is appropriate for the person’s biology.
As for being distressed that “only” 62% of people voted in your favor, that would be like the baseball team you root for winning the World Series in seven games; but rather than celebrating, all you can do is complain about the three games they lost. Talk about looking at the glass as half empty.
But most of all, people such as Amrou should stop blaming others for their problems. Their own lifestyle choices and shoving it into the faces of others is what causing their problems. Rather than trying to change society, which is to say, all 7.5 billion people on the planet, how about changing yourself and your attitude towards life?
Moreover, Amrou does not state how old he is, but it appears like it has been quite some time since he graduated from high school. After so many years, maybe it is time he moves on and stop lamenting that he was bullied way back then.
It is not just me that thinks such about his attitude. Most of the comments posted after this column express a similar feeling. Below is a sampling:
If you constantly walk around acting like a victim and looking for victimhood then you’ll always struggle. The writer seems a weak person and thus will always be stuck in this cycle of “they’re all against me.” The fact is, the more articles like this, the less people actually care.
An appalling article, one filled with hatred for white people, the French, rich people and anyone that doesn’t concur with the author, the aforementioned people have rights too, have the author considered this? I think not.
If you ever wanted an example of what happens when identity politics runs amok - this guy is it. I can't help thinking that he’d be better off just signing up for a course of therapy, rather than boring the pants of everyone else with his solipsistic, self-centered bleating?
The problems that you are encountering with society are nothing to do with being quееr. I'm a gаy girl and I don't have any problems in public places or with my neighbours, even the conservative ones. The reason that you perceive antagonism is because you are creating it. You are deliberately going out of your way to get up people’s noses and then say that you're special and deserve special treatment. Just be normal and you will be accepted into normality (which by the way is generally pretty tolerant of us).
The last comment is most instructive. I do not want to be accused of blaming the victim here, but the fact remains is, if you are going to live an “alternative lifestyle,” you are going to get pushback, and the more so if you are constantly shoving it into people’s faces. Maybe if Amrou had kept his head down in high school, rather than demanding everyone accept his chosen lifestyle, he would not have gotten bullied so much.
Dealing with Teasers and Bullies
If you choose to live an alternative lifestyle, there will always be people who disagree with it. That is life. Rather than bemoaning it, you should prepare yourself to deal with it, and if it is years later, get over it.
As for teasing and bullying in school, again that is wrong, and the perpetrators should be punished. But again, if you keep your head down and don’t shove your lifestyle into other people’s faces, then you probably can slide through high school and life in general without much pushback. But if despite that, you are bullied, there are steps you can take steps to stop it. And no, that does not mean running to a teacher or the principal. That will only make matters worse. It means standing up for yourself.
Yes, I said that. The best way to deal with a bully is to stand up to him. To get the confidence to do so, take self-defense classes, take boxing lessons, or join the wrestling team. In other words, learn to fight and to defend yourself. Lifting weights will also help increase your confidence and give you the strength to be able to defend yourself. Taking such steps is far better than playing the victim, as you will not still be bemoaning having been bullied back in high school years later, like Amrou is doing.
My Experience with Bullying
I am writing this as someone who knows what I am talking about when it comes to being teased and bullied.
When I “graduated” from sixth grade, I was 4’11”. That made me very short as compared to the other boys in my class, but I was not the shortest boy. But then I only grew 2” from 6th to 12th grade. By the time I graduated, I was the shortest boy in my high school graduating class of 418 students. That alone made me a very good target for teasing and bullying.
In addition, I suffer from a neurological condition that is somewhat related to Tourette’s Syndrome. My involuntary muscle movements are not near as severe as someone with that condition, but it is noticeable. And again, that by itself would have opened me up to teasing and bullying. And with the two together, I was a real target, and I knew that. But I took steps to prevent that from happening.
First off, despite my small size, I was still rather good at sports. I fostered that by practicing, learning to be good at whatever game my friends and I were playing out of school or my class was playing in gym class. I also started lifting weights in seventh grade, so as to have the strength to be good at sports. Then in ninth grade, I joined the wrestling team so as to learn how to fight and to defend myself.
Through that time, I received some teasing and got in a few fights. In fact, at the bus stop, at one point, we boys had a round where each boy fought each one of the other boys. I won every fight, except the last. The other guy was very fat and just sat on me, and that was the end of that. But still, I held my own in all of the fights, and that kept me from being teased or bullied excessively. Otherwise, I basically kept my head down, trying not to aggravate anyone.
High School Fight:
But then in 11th grade, a very tall but skinny “burn-out” began shouting obscenities at me when I would pass by him in the hallway between classes. Note that “burn-out” was the term at the time for pot-smokers. We all knew who they were. They would congregate on a corner just off school property in the mornings, huddled around a joint. And then there was that smell on their clothes.
In any case, the first couple of times he swore at me, I just ignored him and kept going. But by the third time, I knew it wasn’t going to stop, and I was not about to put up with being called obscenities the rest of high school. Did I run to a teacher crying? No. Again, that would have just made things worse. I instead turned and told him to “Shut the f___ up” and walked away.
He came after me at my locker and started asking, “What did you say?” He then punched me in the nose. I just stood there without flinching. I could tell by the look on his face that he expected me to go running off crying; but when I did not, he wound up to take another punch. But before he could hit me again, I took him down, a perfect double-legged takedown. Once I got him on the ground, I put a half-nelson on him and ground his face into the floor and held him down.
Any wrestler knows what I mean by a double-legged takedown and a half-nelson. They are wrestling moves. The point is, my wrestling instincts kicked in immediately. Then the strength I had from lifting weights enabled me to hold him down.
I couldn’t flip him over as he had braced his legs again the lockers on either side of the cubicle where my locker was located. That was probably for the best, as I’m not sure what I would have done if I had flipped him over. As it was, he just struggled to get up for a while but was not able to, as I had a secure hold on him. As we struggled, quite a crowd of students had gathered around.
Eventually, he stopped struggling, and I let him up. We shouted a few more obscenities at each other, and that was the end of that. He walked away, and I proceeded to class. When I sat down, someone pointed out to me that I had blood on my face. I quickly went to the restroom and cleaned myself up, then went back the classroom in sat back down, just in time for class to start. At that point, there were whispers throughout the classroom about what had happened.
Five minutes later, someone came to the door and said I was wanted in the principal’s office. Everyone starred at me with knowing grins. But as it turned out, it had nothing to do with the fight. I needed to sign some papers or something mundane like that. But I have often wondered what would have happened if it had been about the fight. I would probably have pointed out how tall the other guy was as compared to me and convinced the principal that I did not start the fight, and that probably would have gotten me off the hook.
Of course, in today’s idiotic “no tolerance” climate, we both probably would have been suspended. When I hear about such happening, it aggravates me to no end. In such situations, who started it is a vital question that is not asked today. But by not asking, the adults are telling the bullied kids they are not allowed to defend themselves, but doing so is exactly what a kid who is being bullied needs to do.
In any case, the story of that fight made its way around the school, though apparently, no adult ever heard about it, as I never did get into any trouble. But what did happen was that was the end of me being teased or bullied for the rest of high school. And that if usually all it takes—standing up for yourself once. The bullies are usually insecure wimps who can only bolster their own low-esteems by picking on someone much smaller than themselves. But once they are called on it, that is usually the end of that.
At one point, another rather short student said to me that he couldn’t believe I stood up to that burn-out, as he would never have had the nerve to do so. I didn’t say anything, but I couldn’t help but think that is why he continued to get teased and bullied, while I didn’t.
After high school, I went to Penn State. For my freshman year, I went to an extension campus, then to Main Campus the next three years. At both, I was still just about the shortest male. But at that point, I had gotten into powerlifting and was quite good at it. I was National Collegiate Powerlifting Champion my sophomore year and runner-up at National Collegiates my junior year.
However, I did not look like a powerlifter. I was still just 5’1” and competed in first the 114-pound weight class then 123s. I was very muscular, but with my shirt on, that was not noticeable. Those who knew of my powerlifting generally respected me, and that kept me from being teased and bullied. But those who did not, well that was another story.
At parties, I would often hear snide comments being made behind my back. But I just ignored them. I had confidence from my lifting, so I had no need to “prove” myself to anyone. Picking fights is for those who have little confidence and need to prove they are tough to themselves and others.
It was actually my “drinking buddies” that would tease me. In retrospect, I don’t know why I hung out with those guys, but they would often put little jabs at me about my height, or lack thereof. But again, I would just ignore them as best I could.
But one of them was particularly forceful in his teasing and would really get on my nerves. Then one day, I had had enough. We were hanging out in the living room of his two-bedroom apartment and somehow, we started wrestling. I don’t remember exactly how it started, but once it did, his roommates immediately pushed the furniture out of the way, and I proceeded to thrown him all over the living room.
It only lasted a few minutes, but that was enough to thoroughly embarrass him. Given that he was considerably taller than me and also lifted weights, I doubt he expected what had happened. But happen it did. Again, the fact that I knew how to wrestle helped much in that regard, along with the fact that I was much more serious about my lifting than he was.
Needless to say, that ended any teasing from him. But what happened shortly afterwards was particularly instructive. We were at a bar (The Ratskeller), and a chubby guy began getting on my case. I just ignored him, but my friends began laughing, not at me but at him! The reason they did so was because they knew I could kick his butt, so I had no need to actually do so.
That is an important point. Again, it is those who have little confidence who are constantly picking fights and teasing those smaller than them. Those with confidence in their ability to defend themselves have no need to express that ability unless forced to do so. But in that case, I knew I would probably never see that chubby guy again, so there was no point in even paying attention to him.
Let me reiterate, teasing and bullying others is wrong and should be punished appropriately if discovered by adults in a school. And if the reader was ever or is currently a teaser or bully, then stop it and repent. What you did or are doing is wrong and is a sign of your own insecurities.
But if you are the target of bullying, don’t just take it; do something about it. That starts with not shoving your chosen lifestyle in other people’s faces. If you chose to live a lifestyle that differs from the prevailing culture, you will get pushback. That’s life. It is not possible to change the minds of everyone around you, so stop bellyaching about it and just accept it.
Instead, stop letting yourself be a target by learning to defend yourself. Now I realize some might have physical or mental handicaps that might make that difficult. In such, cases, adults need to be particularly cognizant of the potential for such a person to teased and bullied and watch out for them.
But for those who can so prepare themselves, do so. If you do, you will not still be looking back years later with emotional distress over being teased and bullied. Like me, you can look back with pride with how your handled yourself. But if it is too late for that, then get over it. You are not the only one who was teased and bullied when you were young, and you will not be the last. Stop being a snowflake. Just accept it and move on with your life.
Snowflakes, Teasing, and Bullying. Copyright © 2017 by Gary F. Zeolla.
The above article was posted on this website November 18, 2017.
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