The other day, my 13-year-old asked me, “Dad, is bullying more common these days, or do we just hear more about it?”
The answer to that question is “Yes.” Bullying IS more common these days, AND we hear more about it.
Of course, bullying has been around at least since Cain and Abel. But a couple of things seem to have changed, even since I was a kid. These days we actually read about bullying in the newspaper — and I’m not just talking about the way state Republicans treated Casey Cagle — and many of those instances involve girls, which was pretty much unheard of when I was growing up.
In both cases — increases in bullying among boys AND girls — I think the root cause is the same: the forced androgynization (yes, I just made up that word) of our society, especially in the schools.
Consider, for example, that little boys in America are exposed almost exclusively to women in the classroom. My 16-year-old didn’t have a male teacher until sixth grade. My seventh-grader still hasn’t had one, if you don’t count health and P.E. Most of their administrators have also been women.
I’m not saying women don’t make great teachers and school administrators. They do. And it’s certainly not their fault that more men aren’t beating down the door to teach 7-year-olds.
But one result is that boys learn, in school, almost exclusively feminine values, such as that fighting is always bad. In fact, that’s probably an understatement: they actually have the aggression drilled out of them from an early age.
This has a direct influence on the increase in bullying. When I was a kid, my dad taught me never to start a fight but to finish one if necessary. That meant, at school, we took care of bullies ourselves. So bullying really wasn’t much of a problem, at least not for long.
Nowadays, though, boys can get themselves kicked out of school for taking such matters into their own hands, even if they’re just defending themselves and their friends from bullies. No wonder our country is constantly backing down from Iran and North Korea.
At the same time that our schools are trying to turn little boys into little girls, society is telling girls that they can be just like boys in every way. Not only can they pursue any career that a male can pursue, including professional wrestling and combat infantry, but they can also dress like boys, be sexually aggressive like boys — and fight like boys.
In other words, thanks to decades of feminism, American women (and girls) are now free to be every bit as antisocial as men. Hence the transformation from “mean girls” making catty remarks to full-fledged female bullies brandishing fists.
On the bright side, maybe one of them will grow up to be our next ambassador to North Korea.
Rob Jenkins is a freelance writer who lives in Lawrenceville. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.