Bullying: Who Is at Fault?

May 24, 2012
The increasing awareness of bullying and the growing anti-bullying movement is undeniable evidence that bullying is an issue and must be dealt with quickly. To destroy bullying, we must root out the causes of bullying, but to proceed, we must know what starts bullying, and more importantly: Who is at fault?

Bullying is the fault of the bullies themselves; at least that is what the media says. Is it really their totally their fault though? Undoubtedly some, if not most of the blame should fall on them, the provokers of the situation. It is easy to try and find a convenient scapegoat in any major issue, especially with the rising sensationalism of the media, but is that the correct thing to do? The world is not black and white, and infinitely many possible strings of events can intertwine with each other to produce reality. Most bullies were once victims of bullying themselves. Bringing up that point, it isn’t as easy to differentiate between a bully and a victim, an ambiguous line that nobody can pinpoint.

Suicides have been flooding the news. Every single week it seems like there is another suicide due to bullying. Is this solely the work of the bullies? No, it isn’t. It might seem wrong to pin part of the suicide on the person who committed suicide, but it must be done because it is a fact. According to the Webster dictionary, suicide is “the act or an instance of taking one's own life voluntarily and intentionally”. It is a voluntary act. Although there might be outside sources that push the victim to commit suicide, physical or mental, it is a choice, an escape from reality.

The issue of bullying gets even more complex with the introduction of society, after all, who is a bigger bully than society? Society sets the decorum, the set of rules that the bullies themselves follow when selecting their next target, an outlier in a group. Bullying is bound to happen as long as society remains the way it is at the moment. In a society that has strict social norms, there are always going to be people who break away from these norms, the victims of bullying. Society needs to lose its rigidity and promote tolerance to eradicate bullying.

Bullying is a complicated issue and the blame falls on a collective group of individuals, the bully, victim, and society. The bully must be stopped with punishments with varying degrees. The victim must learn how to persevere, and be a stronger person. Society must reform itself into a more welcoming entity. I wish the issue of bullying were as simple as to pin all the blame on one piece of the triangle, but it isn’t. The solution requires that we all work together in a solution because we are all part of the problem.

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