When I was young, a bully was someone who picked on another for some flaw, real or perceived. Physical handicaps, mental disabilities, race and gender were all fair game to these kids and they’d declare open season for anyone of which they disapproved. The victim (oh, how I hate that word in the modern context) would go home and his or her parents would console and instruct on how to deal with difficult people. Lessons were learned and, in all but the most severe cases, life went on.
Now, anything that makes someone else feel even slightly excluded or intimidated is considered bullying – for both adults and children. We seem to have forgotten that some people deserve negative attention and generally bring it on themselves. How you dress, what you do and what you say are all choices. A choice is something you consciously do. If you’re not ready to catch shit for going into work dressed like Gandalf the Grey, you might want to tighten your grip on reality. If people laugh at you for a choice you made, then it’s not bullying so much as real life.
On the other hand, if you’re picked on for things you can’t change immediately, you’re being bullied. The possible exception to this is weight. Some people can’t help it, I get that. But if you were 180 in high school, bro, there’s no excuse for the 200 extra pounds you’re carrying around now. Get motivated and lose it! But, I digress.
This distinction is being annihilated by these life-policing idiots who want to make sure our lives are as Nerf as they can possibly be. These charming folks are intent on convincing everyone that they’re a victim of something. Victim, I lament the impact you once had. Here’s the thing, if you dress like a Vegas whore and men stare at your breasts, you’re not a victim because you made that choice. If you get raped, then you’re a victim and you can claim all the rights a real one has, no matter how you’re dressed.
The best advice I have is to toughen up, America. Denis Leary said, “life sucks, get a helmet.” Truer words were never spoken. I’ll take it one step further and give you what I like to call “The Common Sense Prayer:”
God, grant me the confidence to fight what is unjust,
The will to change the things I should,
And the common sense to know the difference.