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Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

When Bullies Grow Up

The reason why there are so many instances of students harassing and persecuting other students and professors on college campuses these days is simple. This is bullying that has found a way to migrate from secondary schools to college. 

We all know bullying exists among kids and teenagers. But what happens to bullies after they graduate high school? Normally, they figure out that bullying is socially unacceptable in the world of adults and learn to channel their aggression into more legitimate pursuits. 

But what if bullies find a narrative that legitimizes adult bullying and makes it rewarding if done publicly and openly? Then, of course, they’d be happy to go on bullying. 

And that’s exactly what happens on all those campuses. If there is no societal consensus that it’s not ok to yell, spit at, insult and beat people, there’s nothing to stop the bullies. The consensus is every time that this particular victim deserved all s/he got. So the bullying gets worse because why not?

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4 thoughts on “When Bullies Grow Up

  1. Is this new, or does this explain the Brownshirts and Blackshirts of Hitler’s day?

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  2. Thought of you when I read this quote: “… I suggested that instead perhaps we should respond to the perpetrators like we would a bully, with strength and confidence and even defiance, to show them they didn’t have power over anyone. You would have thought I had suggested we start a chapter of the KKK. They made it clear I was a horrible person in denial of the harsh realities of racism for suggesting such a thing, and I learned to keep my mouth shut. It appears to me that what’s going on is that they’re playing roles in a perverse drama, in which everyone so enjoys their own role that they don’t want the drama to end. The Bullies enjoy seeing how others react to their bullying; the Victims enjoy having everyone rush to their side to reassure them of their worth; and the Saviors enjoy the moral high ground of condemning the Bullies and comforting the Victims. I was so glad to get away from all that.”

    Source: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/duke-divinity-crisis-griffiths-documents/
    See also here: http://www.chronicle.com/article/Why-I-Resigned-From-Duke/240420

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    • It’s an unbelievable story and I can’t believe Griffiths was forced to resign. And why? Bevause he expressed what everybody says in private, that these bored bureaucrats with nothi ng else to do are hassling professors with their stupid workshops and trainings. And the worst part is that nobody stands up to them except isolated fearless professors like Pfau. The rest are cowering in shameful silence. This is so wrong.

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