Read Books By AWers!

Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

editing for authors ad

A publisher or agency using Google ads to solicit your novel probably isn't anyone you want to write for.


Go Back   Absolute Write Water Cooler > General Writing Interest > Young Adult
Register FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-06-2013, 04:45 PM   #1
A.P.M.
practical experience, FTW
 
A.P.M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 462
A.P.M. is well-respected
Bullying in MG?

Hey all,

I'm working on an MG/YA story that is still coalescing in my head. My MC is going to start the story as someone who is socially a bit awkward, and who isn't popular at school.

So...what do girls get made fun of for in middle school and early high school? I had it in my head that she would get made fun of for being physically weak and slow (first scene is a guy pushing her in the mud because she's last when running the mile) but after that I'm stuck.

Do I even need to have a specific trait that makes her the target of bullies? What kind of things do bullies do that would resonate with middle grade or high school readers these days? I don't want to go too intense-she's driven to seek an escape, but she's not suicidal or anything like that, just angry and confused.

I just realized this might belong better in Writing for Kids...Sorry mods.
__________________
Check out my blog

Newest Books:

Erotic shorts:
A.P.M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #2
Kewii
practical experience, FTW
 
Kewii's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Kuwait--It's hot!
Posts: 945
Kewii is a shiny, shiny jewelKewii is a shiny, shiny jewel
I have to say at first thought, I wouldn't think someone would be bullied for being slow.

Someone who was already not liked would probably be mocked for it, but if it was a popular child, no one would care if they were last. For middle school kids, often they'd be picked on for the way they look/body type. Basically, for being different.

They'd get a lot of name calling. You know, the 'fat cow', 'four eyes', 'pizza face' type comments. There might be nasty notes left in or on the locker, people refusing to work with the person or complaining about being partnered up.

I'm having some trouble putting everything I want to say in the right words...I'll leave it someone else who might be able to say it better than me.
__________________
“Destroying things is much easier than making them.”-Suzanne Collins

"You sort of start thinking anything's possible if you've got enough nerve."
-J.K Rowling

My New Blog

I'm (Gonna) NaNo


Last edited by Kewii; 02-06-2013 at 05:24 PM.
Kewii is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 05:24 PM   #3
lolchemist
Shooting stars.
 
lolchemist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: California
Posts: 1,334
lolchemist has earned our admirationlolchemist has earned our admirationlolchemist has earned our admirationlolchemist has earned our admiration
I agree about the slow thing, no one would care about that. When I was a kid it was about how they looked (if they were heavy or... sorry to sound like a cruel kid but...um...yeah... ugly... or if they walked weird.) We had one girl who SMELLED LIKE PEE. No one wanted to be her friend or sit next to her. I'm not sure if this actually happened or not but I remember hearing that one of our teachers even sent her mom a note abut the pee smell. Ughh!!!

Other things could be bad dandruff or stinky breath or having bad acne or if a girl grow boobs too quickly or she's the only girl in gym class who isn't allowed to shave her legs yet and she happens to be on the hairy side... or maybe she got her period and it leaked into her pants one day and no one will ever let it go...

You have a lot of options really. Good luck!
__________________

Current WIP (YA Contemporary) - Book 1: 32,958 of 90,000 X Book 2: 40,359 of 90,000
Current WIP (YA Fantasy) - Book 1: 68,055 of 75,000 x Book 2:
10,512 of 75,000
x Book 3:
09,962 of 75,000 x Book 4:
12,490 of 75,000
lolchemist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 06:21 PM   #4
ArachnePhobia
Eight Legs, All Holding Pens
 
ArachnePhobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Surrounded by bats and owls... really!
Posts: 937
ArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admiration
Please, for the sake of everyone who was bullied, don't clean up what bullies do.

They don't call you pizza face, they call you shitface.

They don't "beat you up and take your lunch money," they throw you off concrete stairs or hold you down and pelt you with rocks, pinecones, and other debris.

They will add a sexual element to the attack if you're somewhere teachers can't get. Stripping and groping the bully-ee in the locker room where they knew the teachers wouldn't go was a favored tactic at my school. They will exploit seizures, athsma attacks, broken limbs, and anything that debilitates you and gives them an advantage. They will wait until you are isolated and they will gang up on you. They will use weapons. Rocks. Broken metal and glass.

And if they want to do these things to you, they don't really need a reason. In my case and the case of two others, the given reason was weight... but there was a perfectly svelte kid who got treated just as foully because he had dry skin, and another guy who I guess they thought was too poor.

And lest you think I'm exaggerating, remember these things are being caught on flim these days. Remember that kid who got lured into a house and beaten so badly by a mob she had to go to the hospital. Remember the kid whose feet were taped together on the bus just lately. Those aren't one-offs. Those are what bullies really do. Bullying isn't an inconvenient but necessary part of childhood where you grow thick skin and then it doesn't bother you anymore and you're a better person. It's a nightmare you cannot escape, because you can only pretend to be sick so many days in a row without your parents getting suspicious.
__________________
~The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out~

Last edited by ArachnePhobia; 02-07-2013 at 05:09 AM.
ArachnePhobia is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 06:28 PM   #5
Violeta
All I Ever Wanted Was The World
 
Violeta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: In stories only hearts can tell
Posts: 760
Violeta is a shiny, shiny jewelVioleta is a shiny, shiny jewel
Seconding all of what they've said. But I'd also add shyness to the list. Picking on the shy kid is not that uncommon these days. Or any day, really.

The poor kid is there, minding their business, with not that many friends around -if any- and all it takes is just one bully to notice the kid's silence, mistake it for arrogance or freakish behaviour, and make her the new target in school.
__________________
|We are all works in progress.
____________|YA Sci-fi ~ Rewriting ||--|| -
Violeta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:08 PM   #6
Wilde_at_heart
Shameless attention-whore...
 
Wilde_at_heart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Southern Ontario
Posts: 3,167
Wilde_at_heart is better than ice cream with hot fudgeWilde_at_heart is better than ice cream with hot fudgeWilde_at_heart is better than ice cream with hot fudgeWilde_at_heart is better than ice cream with hot fudgeWilde_at_heart is better than ice cream with hot fudgeWilde_at_heart is better than ice cream with hot fudgeWilde_at_heart is better than ice cream with hot fudge
Quote:
Originally Posted by A.P.M. View Post
So...what do girls get made fun of for in middle school and early high school? I had it in my head that she would get made fun of for being physically weak and slow (first scene is a guy pushing her in the mud because she's last when running the mile) but after that I'm stuck.

Do I even need to have a specific trait that makes her the target of bullies?
Girls get picked on for different reasons than boys at first - more often than not it is for physical traits to do with attractiveness. A girl will get pushed in the mud by a guy either because most kids think she's ugly, or because he thinks she's beautiful and he wants to take her down a peg. The first one is more common though.

It's rare that a beauty queen ever gets bullied but a pretty girl who's unfashionable and with poor parents might get bullied a lot by other girls depending how how she reacts.

Or a girl who is either overweight, over-developed for her age, nerdy, socially awkward.

Now when it comes to being a target of repeated bullying, then it is pretty much the same as for boys: how she reacts to being bullied. Both boys and girls are targetted because they get upset easily, over-react and are therefore 'fun' for other kids to provoke.

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.P.M. View Post
What kind of things do bullies do that would resonate with middle grade or high school readers these days?
Same as ever, I'd imagine, just that technology throws in a much more vicious component with facebook and so on.
__________________
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. - Oscar Wilde

http://twitter.com/wilde_at_heart

WIPs:
Destination Wedding, 84K - Querying
Untitled Urban Fantasy 96K + NA prequel, 99K
Ashmi vs the Demoness 90K - polishing
Fantasy set in a desert... outlined, on first draft
Wilde_at_heart is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:22 PM   #7
ArachnePhobia
Eight Legs, All Holding Pens
 
ArachnePhobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Surrounded by bats and owls... really!
Posts: 937
ArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admiration
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilde_at_heart View Post
Now when it comes to being a target of repeated bullying, then it is pretty much the same as for boys: how she reacts to being bullied. Both boys and girls are targetted because they get upset easily, over-react and are therefore 'fun' for other kids to provoke.
Not always, and definitely not in my case. I've always been nonviolent and soft-spoken by nature. I was the idiot who'd try to reason, ignore, and respond to cruelty with kindness*; hardly "overreacting" to being stabbed in the leg, but it didn't work. They were always back the next day.

Have you ever read Odd Girl Out, by Rachel Simmons? It includes stories of bullying (it's specifically about girls bullying girls), and it didn't matter how the girls in the studies responded. If they tried to ignore it, the bullying continued. If they tried to fight back, the bullying continued. If they tried to apologize and suck up to the bullies, the bullying continued. The motive for the bullying was to make the bully feel superior to the person being bullied, and to make the bully feel like part of the group specifically by excluding the bully-ee; the excuses reasons given by the bullies for their actions, often downright stupid. Any entertaining reaction the bully-ee might have is incidental.

Actually, Odd Girl Out would be a good book to read if you wanted to write a story about a bullied girl.

*That kid who led the attack in the locker room? I actually tried to comfort that little shit when she was crying once. If I regret anything, it's that.
__________________
~The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out~
ArachnePhobia is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:41 PM   #8
Kitty Pryde
i luv you giant bear statue
AW Moderator
 
Kitty Pryde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lost Angeles
Posts: 9,093
Kitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I suggest the OP do some research into what is currently believed about what causes bullying to happen, like resources for teachers, parents, bullying prevention etc. Several things are required, like an imbalance in power, repeated incidents, and nothing occurring to break the cycle. A kid doesn't have to have anything "wrong" with them to be bullied. It could be nothing more than a meaner kid noticed that they are vulnerable and have lower social standing. Some good MG books with bullies include:

Loser by Jerry Spinelli
Crash by Jerry Spinelli
Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli (HEY I'M LIKE SEEING A PATTERN OR SOMETHING)
Warp Speed by Lisa Yee
Max Quigley, Technically Not A Bully

Kitty Pryde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2013, 07:50 PM   #9
Niiicola
Twitchy
 
Niiicola's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Boston
Posts: 1,174
Niiicola has earned our admirationNiiicola has earned our admirationNiiicola has earned our admirationNiiicola has earned our admiration
Also remember that there's a lot of bullying that happens on the internet these days. Your MC could have posted a picture deemed inappropriate or uncool, or she could have been the victim of some kind of hoax set up by bullies. There are a lot of stories about that in the news these days. Like Kitty said, look online, and also check out personal stories and news articles about bullying. It's all over the place and it's downright terrifying.
__________________
Twitter | Blog
Niiicola is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 03:05 AM   #10
eyeblink
New quinquagenarian
 
eyeblink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Aldershot, UK
Posts: 5,159
eyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
I've heard it suggested that bullying of boys is physical, while that of girls is psychological. While those may be tendencies, that's certainly not exclusively the case. I was an exception to that and from her account ArachnePhobia was another.

I was never physically bullied - possibly because up until my mid-teens I was the second-tallest in my year. But I do regard myself as having been bullied psychologically. By that I mean exclusion, belittling, being made fun of...especially if you're someone who won't or can't conform to the crowd. Both types can destroy your self-esteem and take years to recover from, if you ever do. Thirty years later, I can get very angry if I think about some of the things that happened, and I'm not normally an angry person.

One film on the subject of this type of bullying (of a girl, though the writer/director is a man) is Welcome to the Dollhouse - a very good film but one I find very hard to watch in places, and I've seen it twice, as you're watching the protagonist slowly being destroyed.

So I would second what ArachnePhobia says - don't whitewash what happens. I would ask those who know more about MG than I do how graphic you can be at that reading age. But there should be YA books on the subject. Maybe I should add one to my list of WIPs. Though I would need quite a bit of fortitude to do that.
__________________
"The afterlife is like Aldershot." (from Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel)

Works in progress:

Partings and Greetings (contemporary 14+ YA novel) - 75,254 words complete draft. Agent-hunting.

Conor and Me (working title, 14+ YA) 28,814 words and counting

"Mourning Becomes Me" (novella) 32,365 words. With betas.
eyeblink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:01 AM   #11
ArachnePhobia
Eight Legs, All Holding Pens
 
ArachnePhobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Surrounded by bats and owls... really!
Posts: 937
ArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admiration
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeblink View Post
I was never physically bullied - possibly because up until my mid-teens I was the second-tallest in my year. But I do regard myself as having been bullied psychologically. By that I mean exclusion, belittling, being made fun of...especially if you're someone who won't or can't conform to the crowd. Both types can destroy your self-esteem and take years to recover from, if you ever do. Thirty years later, I can get very angry if I think about some of the things that happened, and I'm not normally an angry person.
Here's another thing I was thinking about: whether the bullying is physical, psychological, or both, isolation is a key componant of it. There were several students mistreated, but we didn't find out about each other until high school; they had each and every one of us convinced we were the only disgusting freak who deserved that kind of abuse and that we were truly alone. Heck, I remember as late as college, I ran into a woman who'd sat a few rows away from me when we were kids. We fell into conversation, and I found out she'd suffered a lot of the same things I had. Neither of us had any idea the other was also being attacked. It was so disorienting they'd been able to keep us that isolated from one another. In Odd Girl Out, one of the bullies interviewed even confessed one of her goals was to make sure her target didn't have any friends, anyone she could go to for help.

Also, I agree on the anger. It's scary how it can boil up out of nowhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeblink
One film on the subject of this type of bullying (of a girl, though the writer/director is a man) is Welcome to the Dollhouse - a very good film but one I find very hard to watch in places, and I've seen it twice, as you're watching the protagonist slowly being destroyed.
I think I may have seen that movie. Well, some of it. I didn't know the title of it, but I flipped through the channels and landed on it one day a few years ago, watched about ten minutes, and then turned it off and ran to the bathroom to retch. If we're thinking of the same flick, then yeah... that one was... accurate.

EDIT: I googled it and looked at screencaps. OMG that was it. Maybe I should try to watch the whole thing one of these days.
__________________
~The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out~

Last edited by ArachnePhobia; 02-07-2013 at 05:00 AM.
ArachnePhobia is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 04:10 AM   #12
Tigerlilly79
Maybe I should see someone . . .
 
Tigerlilly79's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: A Very Sunny Place
Posts: 121
Tigerlilly79 is on a distinguished road
Usually it's looks, clothes, and shoes. Other times it's petty girl drama. At times the bully and the bullied had once been friends. Sometimes girls are even bullied if they're pretty or if lots of boys like them.
__________________
TWITTER

FACEBOOK


You are responsible for the talent you have been entrusted with. Go work with it.


Tigerlilly79 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 05:07 AM   #13
A.P.M.
practical experience, FTW
 
A.P.M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 462
A.P.M. is well-respected
Thanks guys, this is really informative. Seems I have a few books to check out, and I'm going to change my opening scene.

I think I will focus on the isolation aspect. I might have her develop more slowly than her friends, so while her old "BFFs" have moved on to clothes and boys, she is left behind, so to speak, with the same old awkward social gaffes that most kids have but without her usual support.

And while I don't think having her "defeat the bullies" is a reasonable ending, she does end up making a new friend in someone who is also bullied, which plays a large role in her building her confidence as the book goes on.
__________________
Check out my blog

Newest Books:

Erotic shorts:
A.P.M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 11:07 AM   #14
eyeblink
New quinquagenarian
 
eyeblink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Aldershot, UK
Posts: 5,159
eyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentseyeblink is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
[Welcome to the Dollhouse]

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArachnePhobia View Post
I think I may have seen that movie. Well, some of it. I didn't know the title of it, but I flipped through the channels and landed on it one day a few years ago, watched about ten minutes, and then turned it off and ran to the bathroom to retch. If we're thinking of the same flick, then yeah... that one was... accurate.

EDIT: I googled it and looked at screencaps. OMG that was it. Maybe I should try to watch the whole thing one of these days.
I saw it in the cinema when it came out in the UK. Several years later it came out on DVD and I decided to review it. I thought it better to face up to what I found painful to watch rather than to hide from it. That's purely a personal call on my part and I would say the same to others - you may or may not be able to do that and only you can say so.

I have to wonder if Todd Solondz, the writer/director of Welcome to the Dollhouse, went through similar things when he was at school and he transposed his experiences to a female protagonist. (Was he ever ordered to be at a certain place and time so that he could be raped...and he was at such a low point that he actually turned up? I do wonder. That's a scene in the film, by the way.)

One thing about psychological bullying is that there is no evidence - no marks or bruises to be seen. So people don't believe you or you get the "ignore them and they'll go away" which more often than not, they don't. Having said that, I'm sure that physical bullies make sure that their handiwork isn't too obvious, even after some of the things you describe.

Talking of MG examples, I've not read the book, only seen the film, but isn't Harriet in Harriet the Spy bullied? I'm thinking of what's the middle act of the film, after Harriet's spying activities are discovered? In the film there's also what I read as an impulse towards suicide - presented very obliquely to keep the film within PG levels. Incidentally, one review of the film described Harriet as "rightfully bullied" and I thought I wonder what that says about what you were like at school?
__________________
"The afterlife is like Aldershot." (from Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel)

Works in progress:

Partings and Greetings (contemporary 14+ YA novel) - 75,254 words complete draft. Agent-hunting.

Conor and Me (working title, 14+ YA) 28,814 words and counting

"Mourning Becomes Me" (novella) 32,365 words. With betas.
eyeblink is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 12:04 PM   #15
Becca C.
Recovering Canucks Fan
 
Becca C.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Google says 1 hour, 8 minutes north of Vancouver, BC
Posts: 3,621
Becca C. has a double-platinum reputationBecca C. has a double-platinum reputationBecca C. has a double-platinum reputationBecca C. has a double-platinum reputationBecca C. has a double-platinum reputationBecca C. has a double-platinum reputationBecca C. has a double-platinum reputation
The things I was bullied for when I was thirteen: dressing punk. Older kids (primarily boys) who considered themselves to be more hardcore than me tormented me for being a "poser," and mocked my taste in music (even though I liked all the same bands they did -- I was intruding upon their music, apparently).

This one big, huge, imposing group of older boys liked to throw sandwiches at me in the hallway and lunge at me (run or jump right at me and stop within inches of my face). It made me terrified of boys. I'm still wary when guys who set off a *cooler than me* alarm bell talk to me or show interested in me.

But the worst thing was acne. I had, and still have, chronic acne, and that was what the girls used against me.

So, yeah. Clothing style, music taste, acne... those are all very legit things to bully someone about.
__________________
MAYBE IN PARIS - YA contemporary - second round of agent revisions
& several other WIPs I'm playing around with

Now represented by Rebecca Podos of Rees Literary!
Becca C. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 01:04 PM   #16
little_e
Trust: that most precious coin.
 
little_e's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2,597
little_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputation
I think the bullying I faced as a kid had more to do with just not fitting in than with anything specific. I'm shy, quiet, socially incompetent, etc. I didn't have any friends, so I never had good access to all of the information the other kids had. I didn't know how to open conversations, and annoyed my peers when I did. I tended to live in my head and didn't pay attention to things like where I was walking, who was sitting next to me, if I was chewing with my mouth open or picking my nose, etc. My body, in general, was just a thing I lived in. Zero fashion sense. Sense of humor lacking. I liked things like books and academics and religion, none of which my peers appreciated, though adults loved me. Teacher's pet. Ethnic differences between me and my peers exacerbated things one year.

I was called 'fat' (I have always been extremely thin), 'retard' (pretty obviously not), 'crazy', 'weirdo', 'ugly', etc. I had to sit next to the troublemaker kids at lunch. They spent the whole time telling extremely violent, sexist jokes and using as many ethnic slurs as possible. They'd tell me I had poisonous spiders (brown recluses) on my back (I never believed them, thankfully,) or that I was so ugly, no one would ever have sex with me unless I paid them, and even then they would just take my money and run away. Once a classmate came up and hit me for sitting by myself in the classroom, reading a book. Once a group of classmates left a pile of dog shit on my porch, along with a nasty note.

That was all 4th, 5th, and 6th grade.
little_e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 01:47 PM   #17
little_e
Trust: that most precious coin.
 
little_e's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2,597
little_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputation
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeblink View Post
Talking of MG examples, I've not read the book, only seen the film, but isn't Harriet in Harriet the Spy bullied? I'm thinking of what's the middle act of the film, after Harriet's spying activities are discovered? In the film there's also what I read as an impulse towards suicide - presented very obliquely to keep the film within PG levels. Incidentally, one review of the film described Harriet as "rightfully bullied" and I thought I wonder what that says about what you were like at school?
Harriet had written tons of embarrassing secrets about other people in her notebooks, which were then discovered. Her classmates were reacting to that, not to, say, her glasses.
little_e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:08 PM   #18
Kitty Pryde
i luv you giant bear statue
AW Moderator
 
Kitty Pryde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lost Angeles
Posts: 9,093
Kitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeblink View Post

Talking of MG examples, I've not read the book, only seen the film, but isn't Harriet in Harriet the Spy bullied? I'm thinking of what's the middle act of the film, after Harriet's spying activities are discovered? In the film there's also what I read as an impulse towards suicide - presented very obliquely to keep the film within PG levels. Incidentally, one review of the film described Harriet as "rightfully bullied" and I thought I wonder what that says about what you were like at school?
I don't know the movie. I wouldn't say Harriet is bullied, because there isn't a power imbalance between Harriet and her friends, and they aren't trying to isolate her over the long term. They're just mad and want her to be nicer. It's more of being censured by the kid community for being such a bitchy friend and writing mean stuff about them. When they give her the cold shoulder, she despairs, realizes she needs to rethink her behavior, and as soon as she apologizes, she's back in with her best friends and accepted by the rest of her classmates.
Kitty Pryde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:33 PM   #19
thebloodfiend
Cory
 
thebloodfiend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 3,761
thebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Thank god I didn't go to high school.

The only time I've ever been bullied, if you can even call it that, pertained to race. It was fourth grade. At the time, it was a big deal, anyway. Some girl decided it would be fun to label me Chabo, the wolf-baby, from A Series of Unfortunate Events. And call my dad an animal. I don't even remember what she said about my mother. But that girl had a horrible habit of only picking on the black kids. Or the Mexican kids. And there was only one Mexican girl, and I was one of four black kids in the class, though I was the only one with any measure of popularity—though I got along with mostly everyone.

And the sad thing was, a really nice boy liked her. And she was best friends with a girl who was really fun whenever she wasn't around. That poisonous little snot was the only bad thing about my fourth grade experience. I can't tell you if she grew out of it, but did I hate her.

I will admit, in 6th grade, I joined in bullying two kids. Namecalling and the like. Daring the popular jock to go ask the girl who got boobs early on a date. And I regret it. Though, thinking back, I was trying pretty desperately to fit in. I didn't know anyone at that school (I had to transfer after Katrina) and I was the singular black kid.

It's pretty easy to join in when you're not much of a leader and desperately want to fit in—knowing you'd be an easy target if you didn't. But I was a pretty horrible kid to a few people when I was eleven. That I won't deny.
thebloodfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:36 PM   #20
thebloodfiend
Cory
 
thebloodfiend's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Albuquerque
Posts: 3,761
thebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsthebloodfiend is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
I don't know the movie. I wouldn't say Harriet is bullied, because there isn't a power imbalance between Harriet and her friends, and they aren't trying to isolate her over the long term. They're just mad and want her to be nicer. It's more of being censured by the kid community for being such a bitchy friend and writing mean stuff about them. When they give her the cold shoulder, she despairs, realizes she needs to rethink her behavior, and as soon as she apologizes, she's back in with her best friends and accepted by the rest of her classmates.
That was my favorite movie when I was a kid. I wanted to BE Harriet.

In the movie, the bullying is pretty intense, though. Way out of proportion, IMO. But then Harriet gets even and you, as the audience, are left feeling kind of weird (but damn good) as she gets them back one at a time.
thebloodfiend is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #21
ArachnePhobia
Eight Legs, All Holding Pens
 
ArachnePhobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Surrounded by bats and owls... really!
Posts: 937
ArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admiration
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeblink View Post
One thing about psychological bullying is that there is no evidence - no marks or bruises to be seen. So people don't believe you or you get the "ignore them and they'll go away" which more often than not, they don't. Having said that, I'm sure that physical bullies make sure that their handiwork isn't too obvious, even after some of the things you describe.
True. They were smart enough to aim for places usually covered by clothing or launch the attacks in crowds so it would be impossible to prove it wasn't "just an accident, Mr. Principal, I swear." They also rely quite a bit on shame and denial. The bullied kid is so convinced this is their fault they'll actively aid in covering up the attacks, and adults want so badly to believe children are innocent and incapable of being such a, well, adult kind of sadistic- that bullying is being "beat up" and having your lunch stolen, not being sexually assaulted and having your clothes stolen, then being forced to search for them while the bullies mock your "ugly fatass" nude body- they simply will not believe a kid, even if they do tell. I never told. A few others did. I know at least one of them was called a liar to her face.

Honestly, that's one of the reasons I'm so glad for the advent of the camera phone. While some adults' shrug-and-whatever reaction to seeing footage of a teenage girl being beaten to hospitalization by a mob of her peers is... disheartening, to put it in printable terms... at least they can no longer claim the nasty little liar just made it all up because she wants attention.

It always makes me think of that one line in IT, where Mike (I think it was Mike) is talking to his dad about being bullied by Henry, and somewhere in the middle of the conversation, realizes his dad just won't understand what Henry is capable of because he doesn't think someone that young can really be that remorseless and, well, evil. Or the part where the bullied kids get all the standard advice, "Just ignore them," "Fight back," etc., and glumly think about how all of it sounds so good in theory but makes the bullying worse in practice. Actually, a lot of the "younger half" of IT resonated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Becca C.
The things I was bullied for when I was thirteen: dressing punk. Older kids (primarily boys) who considered themselves to be more hardcore than me tormented me for being a "poser," and mocked my taste in music (even though I liked all the same bands they did -- I was intruding upon their music, apparently).
Ah, yes, the musical glass ceiling. Golding Middle School up there only went to middle school, so I was sent elsewhere to high school... the best damned day of my life, because it meant the end of the really cruel and nasty bullying. I was mostly left alone in high school. However, by that time, I'd also learned that when someone asked me what kind of music I liked, the correct answer was, "Oh, a little of this, a little of that." It was not "Black Sabbath" or "Depeche Mode," even though that's the kind of music I actually like, because teen girls who liked gothic or heavy metal bands "sullied the scene by trying to front their sparkly girly asses as goths or metalheads" constantly had to defend their "legitimacy." The guys did not.
__________________
~The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out~
ArachnePhobia is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 12:29 AM   #22
little_e
Trust: that most precious coin.
 
little_e's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 2,597
little_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputationlittle_e has a double-platinum reputation
In my case, new school for 6th grade made things worse; new school for 7-8th improved things dramatically. There was basically no bullying of anyone there (some of the kids were still terrible, but not the same.)
little_e is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 12:52 AM   #23
Kitty Pryde
i luv you giant bear statue
AW Moderator
 
Kitty Pryde's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Lost Angeles
Posts: 9,093
Kitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate complimentsKitty Pryde is so great that we've run out of appropriate compliments
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebloodfiend View Post
That was my favorite movie when I was a kid. I wanted to BE Harriet.

In the movie, the bullying is pretty intense, though. Way out of proportion, IMO. But then Harriet gets even and you, as the audience, are left feeling kind of weird (but damn good) as she gets them back one at a time.
Yeah, in the book she starts out as the antagonizer, writing mean stuff about her friends due to a total lack of empathy. Nobody treats her badly until her evil doings are discovered.
Kitty Pryde is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 01:32 AM   #24
ArachnePhobia
Eight Legs, All Holding Pens
 
ArachnePhobia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Surrounded by bats and owls... really!
Posts: 937
ArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admirationArachnePhobia has earned our admiration
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitty Pryde View Post
Yeah, in the book she starts out as the antagonizer, writing mean stuff about her friends due to a total lack of empathy. Nobody treats her badly until her evil doings are discovered.
I've neither seen the movie nor read the book, but I'm going to have to be honest; the idea that a kid could somehow "deserve" to be treated the way I was or that it's not really bullying if the bully "means well" both frightens me and breaks my heart. Another common thread in Odd Girl Out is how justified some of the bullies felt in their actions. I gave away my copy to a friend who was struggling with having been bullied herself, so I can't look up the exact quote anymore (I really need a new copy), but after a group of girls decided to ruin a former friend's reputation over... I think maybe she and one of the other girls had a crush on the same boy... they describe how elated they were that "the problem [meaning the bullied girl] was being taken care of." That's how the bullies described what they'd done. I'm not sure I could ever enjoy a book that supports that viewpoint, classic or not.
__________________
~The Worms Crawl In The Worms Crawl Out~

Last edited by ArachnePhobia; 02-08-2013 at 01:42 AM.
ArachnePhobia is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2013, 04:26 AM   #25
storiesinmyhead
New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
 
storiesinmyhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: East Coast, USA
Posts: 33
storiesinmyhead is on a distinguished road
I currently work in a middle so I've seen some things.

With girls it is definitely more psychological. They most like won't be tripped or shoved or punched. They will be called name after name, fat, if the girl is anything but a stick, slut if the girls has more than one boyfriend, bitch, psycho, and ugly for everyone. Ugly seems to really stick with these girls. It doesn't matter how they actually look but if they get called ugly enough they one hundred percent believe they are ugly. Even if the victim knows the girl is wrong and mean for calling her that, she'll thinks its true. There is also the "so and so said she doesn't want to be your friend anymore", that is the worst to kids. (although that might be more young middle school than upper middle/lower high school)

Cyberbullying is a problem for them. A lot of it is texting each other nasty things. They don't email and at least my kids are to young to see the interest in facebook, they're just kind of like yeah it's there. I think that gets worse when they get to high school.The biggest problem with cyber bullying is they can't escape it. They go home and still get treated like shit in a place they are supposed to be free of it all.

They tend to pick on the shy girl, the socially awkward girl, a lot of that is because they won't fight back. It's a lot a popular kids picking on those who aren't, which from an adult perspective is interesting because that isn't always based on looks and clothing, some very pretty girls are unpopular and some girls that are average or a little chubby are super popular. I have no idea why or how that just the way it is. Occasionally the mean popular clique is based around a sport.

I think what's really interesting is the cycle of bullying. The unpopular kids end up bullying each other to no end. One of them gets picked on by a preppy girl and that she'll turn around and do it to her friends. They just just be more snippy and nasty and than everybody is miserable.
storiesinmyhead is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Custom Search

If this site is helpful to you,
Please consider a voluntary subscription to defray ongoing expenses.

Buy Scrivener 2 for Mac OS X (Regular Licence)


All times are GMT +4.5. The time now is 06:21 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.