Laying the Blame for Epidemic Bullying where It Belongs: At the Feet of Feminist Liberalism

Posted on March 7, 2016

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The phrases in this poster that define bullying (for little kids) also precisely identify the motives and consequences of false accusation and malicious prosecution (by grownup little kids): material privation (i.e., loss of home and property), mischaracterization, threat (by the state), name-calling, public belittlement and humiliation, infliction of pain, social isolation/marginalization, and mobbing.

I mentioned in the last post that a teenage girl I know, an AP student, told me she was called a “whore” through a website called Snapchat. She also told me classmates of hers—girl classmates—had accused her of prostituting herself for money to buy cocaine…which is pretty specific.

It’s true the social media that the Internet Age has spawned make bullying a lot easier than it was when I was a kid (and you had to face your victim), and I’m sure the Liberal Establishment blames it for a wealth of abuses. (I think a valid observation would be that social media make female passive-aggression a lot easier to exercise…just like restraining orders do: You don’t have to look the target of your malice in the eye.)

What, though, has made calling a high school junior a “cocaine whore” okay?

Zero accountability—that’s one thing. Kids know adults can’t do anything but civilly ask that they “behave more considerately.” Anything sterner would be “child abuse,” and kids know they can sink any adult shoulder-deep in it if they finger him or her (especially him) as an abuser. Easy-peasy. (If I were a school administrator in charge of reprimanding kids, I’d never close my office door.)

It’s not just the kids, though, is it?

Feminist liberalism, in the name of “progressive reform,” has encouraged accusation and demanded knee-jerk responsiveness to it from the system for a long time. It was horrible when abused women faced social stigma for complaining of mistreatment in their homes, no question, but that was 40 years ago.

Today, someone has to ask what we lost when we abandoned shame and made accusation not merely acceptable and sympathetic but virtuous and rewarding. Accusation garners attention, and it’s potent. People in power rush to our defense at the drop of a name (cf. McCarthyism). And if we fudge the facts a little, there’s no risk anyone in power is going to back-peddle and turn the glare of blame our way. It’s not an exaggeration to say accusation has become a sport, and it’s certainly no exaggeration to say it has become a weapon, as well as a way to whitewash your own misconduct and make bank.

Kids don’t just “get this stuff off the Internet,” and they’re not just inherently cruel. Kids absorb from their social environment like the sponges they are, and today’s social environment says finger-pointing is cool.

Kids know what they can get away with, and they know there are no reprisals. Adults sling dirt with impunity, so why shouldn’t they?

Accusation and bullying are flipsides of the same coin. The feminist liberal who says it’s okay to accuse your husband (father, teacher, etc.) if you feel like it is the same person who made it okay to call a 16-year-old girl a “cocaine whore.”

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