The documentary made by The National Film Board of Canada, touches on social bullying and the emotional/mental abuse that girls inflict on each other. Fear, power, and contempt for another person play such a huge role in this.
Have you ever wondered why if Girl A doesn’t like Girl B, why she can’t simply not be friends with Girl B? Too often Girl A will not just ignore Girl B, whom she doesn’t like, but she will bring Girl B down so that others will also not like Girl B. This is done through lies, psychological games, mental torment, and emotional pain.
One thing that impressed me about the documentary was that the parents of a group of 10 year old girls were getting together to try to solve the bullying problems that their own children were creating and experiencing. No parent likes to hear that their child is not perfect, so there were a few disagreements among parental opinions on who the queen bees were and who the bullied were. I found that placing blame was a big part of getting to the root of the problem, but few parents wanted to accept responsibility or blame. However, the mother and father of one girl who was showing bully behavior, recognized their daughter’s behavior and attempted to correct it. This was so good to see because often times parents will blindly believe that their child cannot do wrong which results in behavioral problems not being addressed and therefore worsening/escalating. In order to be part of the solution, you can’t sit idly by. If my child were being bullied I would want the parents of the bully to be a part of the solution and work on correcting their child’s poor choices. As the parent of the bullied child there is only so much one can do to build their child’s self-esteem–it is up to the parent of the bully to also be working on that end of the problem if the issue is to really be resolved. If my child were a bully, I hope that I could have the clarity of mind to recognize it and take action like some of the parents that I saw in the documentary. It can’t be easy, so I commend them. It bothers me to see many people come to a parent of a bully and explain what the bully is doing to others when the parent is not around. Then the bully’s parent will talk with their child and when the child denies bullying the parent simply believes it and moves on. Blind faith in their child, even though multiple sources are expressing concern. I understand being in your child’s corner, but be there for them by correcting their behaviors so that they will function well in society for life. Ask constructive questions of others to figure out why so many people have expressed concern about your child’s behavior.
Rachel Simmons, author of “Odd Girl Out,” sat and talked with the young girls and learned about the different ways they hurt each other. The girls talked about being “spies” and two-timing their friends in order to help another get dirt on the unsuspecting friend. They spoke of making up rumors or pretending to whisper about someone who was close to them in proximity. Ms. Simmons made an important discovery which is that most girls will not stand up to bullies for themselves or for their friend, and that bullies exist all because young girls are not taught conflict resolution.
At this point, I am still trying to make sense of what I witnessed in the film. I have a jumble of opinions and thoughts after seeing it and I hope to develop them into clear points eventually. Right now, I just wanted to bring up the topic of bullying once again, because it is so prevalent and such a problem. And if you think bullying stops once you leave the school yard and enter into adulthood, think again. Where do you think children are learning how to bully?