Friday, November 1, 2013

Bullying Grooms Leaders of Hierarchies

Bullying is receiving well-deserved attention these days. We are pleased because bullying is one behavior that our children learn at an early age that can be used to build and maintain hierarchies. The excuse “boys will be boys” is dangerous because it trains the top group that they will be allowed to act as they please and be let off the hook when they dominate and destroy others.

CNN reports that in her latest book, "Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World," Rosalind Wiseman reveals the ways boys think, uncovers their complicated emotional lives and explores how the power of their social hierarchies influences their emerging identity.

The article describes a principal who dismissed a bullying charge and tried to convince a mother of a victim that the behavior wasn't bullying, but instead, it was simply boys being mean. Wiseman says that principals that act like this are literally telling boys they have the carte blanche to not only continue the behavior, but increase the abuse because they can get away with it.

These principals are training boys to build hierarchies and use harassment and violence to stay on top. In order to stop our hierarchies, we must stop grooming those on top beginning at an early age.