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Reaching the bullies

Timothy Kincaid

November 4th, 2010

I am pretty certain that were I a 14 year old kid, I would have almost zero interest in watching professional wrestling. But there are certainly plenty of boys who do, and it’s probably a fair assumption that those who are inclined to physically harass their classmates are among those more likely to be drawn to such entertainment.

So it is encouraging that Total Nonstop Action Wrestling has begun an anti-bullying campaign.

“Everyone at TNA stands firmly behind this new anti-bullying campaign. The bullying must stop, and we want to take a stand,” said TNA Chief Marketing Officer, Al Ovadia, himself a father of two. “There’s no place in our schools for bullying, be it based on a student’s looks, race, sexual orientation or anything else.”

Such “yeah, us too” campaigns may not seem to be as professionally prepared as those planned by child advocates, but they are of tremendous importance. Bullies may dismiss the efforts of the goodie-goodies, but when presumed safe havens for bullies – such as tough-guy wrestling sports – make it clear that bullying is not accepted by them either, it places importance on the issue.

When we as adults make it clear that no one – not churches, not tough guys, not conservatives, no one at all – accepts the torment of others, including less masculine boys and less feminine girls, then we will finally reach these kids. Let’s hope that those few voices who still give shelter to bullies and wink at their behavior – or justify it – are soon shamed into joining

Comments

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tim
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

My brothers and my father spent countless hours watching wrestling on TV when I was a kid. I couldn’t stand it.

And I’m the one that turned out gay.

Priya Lynn
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

Well, as a child I loved watching wrestling. I didn’t end up being a bully and I still ended up transgender.

Tim Stewart
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

Another space that could use some scrutiny is the online gaming space. WoW, etc. It’s rampant there, and it is a big opportunity to reach a LOT of kids with the right messages.

Jim Burroway
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

When I was really little, my grandfather and I would sometimes watch wrestling on TV. And we’d laugh…. God how we’d laugh…

andrew
November 4th, 2010 | LINK

it’s not just about making it a “campaign”. it’s also about tacit disapproval every day. not just about “up with people” glad-handling, but about the person who says “WHAT did you just say? I can’t believe you just said that”. When I was growing up it was clear that there were certain words (N* word, other racial epithets) that were simply beyond the pale. We didn’t have to sing kum-by-ya, my mother just had to give me the look, and my grandmother just had to get the paddle. And my older relatives just had to register their disapproval.

It starts here, with events and campaigns, but it needs to go there if it’s going to stick.

BlackDog
November 5th, 2010 | LINK

Add this to the list of reasons why I prefer TNA to WWE. Somehow I don’t see Vince McMahon doing the same thing, I just…don’t.

@ Tim Stewart: Lots of idiots play World of Warcraft, but lots of intelligent and tolerant people do too. I’ve seen (and reported) some pretty vicious comments myself. Most of the time though, anti-gay or right-wing political comments tend to be heavily ridiculed…at least on the servers I’ve played on consistently. As for other MMO’s I don’t know, WoW is the only one I play.

Penguinsaur
November 5th, 2010 | LINK

Another space that could use some scrutiny is the online gaming space. WoW, etc. It’s rampant there, and it is a big opportunity to reach a LOT of kids with the right messages.

The idiots on Xbox Live who thinks it’s hilarious and cool to call someone homo, gay, fag, etc. piss me off to no end. It doesn’t offend as an LBGT person, it offends me as a comedian. It’s so damn annoying when I’m coming up with creative insults custom tailored to the person I’m arguing with and all they can do is shout “You suck cock!” and call me a homo in response. Pathetic how little effort today’s youth put into their shit talking.

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