Tag Archives: backpack

Blaming the Victim

2 May

The line that defines a victim from an instigator can be very hard to recognize, but figuring out if that line even matters might even be a harder task.

In the news not terribly long ago was a story about a boy who was getting bullied at school because of his My Little Pony backpack. When this child tried to get help and stop his bullies, he was instead reprimanded for contributing to bullying by choosing to wear said backpack.

In other words, he was asking for it.

Let’s say that this little boy just really, really liked his backpack and didn’t understand why he was being picked on. It’s absolutely horrible that school officials would punish him, and not the children bullying him.

But lets switch things up a bit. Let’s say this little boy doesn’t have any attachment to his My Little Pony backpack, and simply wore it because he knew these other kids would pick on him for it; he wanted to get them in trouble. Instead of being “the victim” in this case, he might more readily be considered an instigator.

To me, the most likely scenario falls in between: he liked his backpack, and when the other children picked on him, he didn’t want to give into peer pressure, and continued to wear it.

While these three scenarios are only slightly different, the view of this little boy with a backpack changes how we think he should be treated. Should it? I’m not convinced either way, but I do know that he shouldn’t have been punished. He has no control over how other children treat him – only they have control over their own actions. Even if he had no attachment to his backpack, these kids should still know better than to pick on another child.

If we think of this child as an “instigator”, should he have been reprimanded for contributing to bullying or should the other children have been disciplined? Does someone being a “victim” and an “instigator” at the same time change how we should handle the situation? Have you ever been picked on my kids for something silly like this – what was it? Have you ever purposely done something just because others thought it was weird?

Some Thoughts About Change [from an Expert]

6 Apr

Did I reel you in with my expert comment? Well, I hate to break it to you, but I’m no expert. I do have some experience with change, though, as you can probably figure out from the events of the last 6 months.

Remember in high school, when you got that senior yearbook, and half of the people who signed it wrote “Don’t ever change!”? I read an article recently (unfortunately I can’t seem to find what it was, or I’d link it) about how you need to change, and hopefully, you aren’t the same person you were in high school, because face it…you were just a little immature.

I understand what the author was getting at. We need to be adults and we need to adapt to our ever-changing priorities, but here’s where I disagree:

I don’t think you need to change, I think you need to grow.

I often hold to one principle: I don’t change. People will argue with me, based on the same reasoning as the author of that article. I’m obviously not the same shy girl who stuttered when boys talked to her in middle school (true story), right?

Well, sort of. I say that I did change in that middle to high school transition, but once I got to high school, it all stuck. Now the only thing left for me to do is grow. Some interests have expanded, and others have diminished, but they are all still interests.

Want to know some things that changed? Well, for starters, I used to be homophobic-ish. There was no hatred, but more of a fear of the unknown. I also used to be very shy, and now I’m not shy, just introverted.

The reason I write this, though, is that these last 6 months have been life changing. Not me changing, life changing.

Six years ago, when I was but a freshman in college, a girl named Kelsey told me about something called Chaco’s. She told me I should get a pair, and in that moment, I never, ever thought I’d buy something so…unattractive. Fast-forward some years, and I met a fellow with a really fun tan-line, that I couldn’t help but comment on. Even then, I still scoffed at the idea of owning a pair. And then fast-forward a few more months, and here I sit with a hydration pack in the mail, and frustration at how much a pair of sandals can cost.

What’s the moral of the story? Well, that it may sound like I changed, but I really just grew. I’ve always had a thirst for adventure and exploring, and believe you me…I love sandals. They finally all just grew enough to merge with one another, and came to a head when I realized I hate shoes, but flip-flops suck to hike in. 

And I kind of really want a cool tan-line.

I can’t really help it, can I? I live in the mountains, after all.

What do you think – change or growth? With my definition of both in mind, have you changed? Have you grown? How?