i dream of being possible

so i just watched this video of jennifer

so i just watched this video of Jennifer Livingston’s response to someone’s concern trolling about her weight.

Didn’t want to comment on the thread since what I’m saying here isn’t about fat acceptance.

But rather her comments on bullying. Her comments are, for the most part, on point. The only thing I didn’t like is the (very common) presentation as bullying as something that has been getting worse. That has, in part, become worse because of the internet.

I hate this narrative.

It subtly embeds a golden age nostalgia that suggests that in the past (idk what point, pre internet?), bullying was better. And if bullying was better people were better.

Even as she notes that abusive behaviour can be learned. So. All these adults who grew up in pre-internet times who are passing on their shitty, abusive behaviour to their kids…

Were likely bullying and being abusive to their classmates in school. And even more likely continue to be abusive to their colleagues at work.

Which is the other misconception presented: that bullying is something that only happens in school and amongst children.

As any adult who continues to be trans, disabled, not white, fat, queer, etc. beyond school and as adults know: abuse doesn’t just stop at the arbitrary age of 18.

And it is critically important that we understand the ways that ‘bullying’ in school for reasons like ability, size, race, gender, sexuality, etc. is connected to larger institutional structures that we, as adults, become a part of. And that these attitudes we have as children feed into these oppressive regimes. And that dismantling this isn’t only the purview of the child’s own parents, but something we all need to work towards.

Because it may be parents who initially teach children to behave in abusive/oppressive ways, but it is the rest of society that tells them that not only will there rarely be consequences for behaving as such, but that they will often be rewarded for it.