K.C. and Michelle Woolf

Family blog

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Dan Savage, Hypocrisy, and the Bullying Cycle

When I was picked on by the cool kids in jr. high, it didn’t make me more compassionate or empathetic for those who were less cool than me. Instead, I became a bully myself. Hey, if I couldn’t be the alpha male, I sure as heck wasn’t going to be the omega male. Of all the things I’ve done in my life that I’m ashamed of (and there are plenty), what still wakes me up with guilt in the middle of the night are the memories of unkind things I said and did to other kids between the ages of 12 and 17. Apparently Dan Savage, head of the It Gets Better Project, is still stuck in this mean bullying cycle. Watch as he uses his position of authority, speaking to a group of teenagers about gay bullying, to mock the religious beliefs of members of his audience, and then refer demeaningly to those who dare take offense as “Bible people” and “pansy a**ed”, while a majority of the audience cheer him on. Who was the biggest bully in the room that day? There are a few things Dan Savage should remember. First, the young people in your audience aren’t the people who picked on you when you were a kid; they are people who came to hear you talk about bullying so they can hopefully avoid and prevent it. Secondly, kids don’t bully gays because of an overzealous study of Mosaic law or the Book of Romans; they do it for the same reason some people bully religious kids - because they are ignorant jerks (the bullies I mean, not the gay or religious kids). Bullying won’t end unless we can teach children to respect people who are different. I’m afraid Mr. Savage gave a very poor example of tolerance here, and actually perpetuated bullying instead of diminishing it. (Be sure to watch the video at the end of the following link - Dan Savage Makes Girls Cry.)

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