Happy International Women’s Day!

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I approach this day with mixed feelings – yes I want to celebrate all the achievements of women that have brought us at least in Europe and to an extend in the US to have relative comfortable lives, but as the election approaches and I hear the backward fundamental thinking of some of the candidates – specifically when it regards gender, orientation and religious equality, I feel my heart become heavy with the work that is left done, here in this country alone. Then there are my Sisters in countries with no rights, and no protection, while at least here I have a voice to speak out. There is so much to do, so much that needs to be done so that the next generation of little girls coming into this world have a true fighting chance. So while I wish you all a Happy International Women’s Day – I call upon all of us who can stand up to do something that will bring some change so there is no need anymore for this one day of the year, and every day of each year is a day of true equality.

 

Goddess Blessings to you All! 

Bullying – There Are No Easy Solutions

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Something struck a nerve with me this morning. On my usual rounds of blog readings I came across an anti-bullying post. As an equal rights activist, anti-bullying programs and ideas are dear to my heart. Teaching and practicing discrimination and violent behavior starts young, no one becomes a racist or a bigot all over a sudden, so I am very interested in any idea that would stop this behavior early, and aid the victims of this devastating problem our schools and society faces.
So to the blog post. The first part told the tale of a friend of her daughters who became a victim, and explained in details all the participants roles within the bullying. So far so good. I feel for the girl. How horrible she must have felt. You can read about this account here:
http://journeytofindpurpose.blogspot.com/
The end of the post had me choking on my morning coffee, as she suggested that anti-bullying campaigns do not work (huh?), punishing bullies does not work (what, let them get away with it?), but that we should teach the children to embrace higher self-esteem, and the result would be less victims, as they would be too confident to be a victim, and less bullies as they would feel to good about themselves to bully anyone.

In my humble opinion as a former victim, this approach does not serve anyone. Yes we do need to work on raising the self-esteem of our children – but that is a process that takes a long time and a lot of work from both teachers and parents. Not all parents are good at that, and neither are all teachers who are way to focused on placing high tests scores then to worry about how self confident their students are. The problem is that now children are being victimized, and now there are people who are bullies and we must act now to keep kids from killing themselves, by removing and punishing those who are victimizing others. Actions have consequences – or at least should have, and rather then patronizing the poor bullier with the low self-esteem, he or she needs to face the consequences right away! After that we can fix the underlying issues that drove him/her to that place. Protection of the victim is absolutely a priority, then we can raise their self-esteem to be able to deal with this kind of pressure and the scars left behind.
Yes indeed we need to identify the reasoning behind the bullying so the next generation will be free from that kind of behavior, but these are separate actions from dealing with the now, the hurt that this causes, the danger our children are in, and the scars that are left behind with each new day, new attack, new victim. This is way to a complex societal issue to fix with an easy approach.