Sunday, February 26, 2012

fruitcake's mistake

Yesterday when I opened my Blogger Dashboard I found some comments awaiting moderation which I read and then deleted. I now wish I hadn’t.
One of them was a comment on my post about Magda Szubanski’s support for gay marriage legislation.

Firstly, the author referred to Magda’s comment that some gays are reluctant to come out while there is a risk young family members might be subject to abuse.

My reference to the abuse of youngsters because they are somehow associated with gays was not the tactical error the author implied it was. The reference to abuse was in no way a concession that gays are selfish for exposing those around them to potential harm. 

The bullying of young people by their peers is not okay.
Not ever.

Bullying is usually “justified” on one flimsy excuse or another. If a bully’s target were not somehow associated with gays, the bully would fabricate some other “reason” for his or her aggression. This aggression is not the responsibility of a victim’s gay relatives, it is behaviour for which the bully him/her self must take full responsibility.

The bullying of young people is a pastime of those who have not been shown, by the good example of the adults in their life, that all life deserves respect. For this reason I believe the author’s reference to the abuse of youngsters was not a tactical error on my part, but rather a tactical error on his/her part. Presumably the author identifies as heterosexual and has portrayed him/her self as someone who thinks bullying is normal, or okay, or inevitable in some circumstances.
This lack of a good example is something for which adults must take responsibility.

Secondly, what I hope is that scuze i is a forum for the considered exchange of ideas. I am not always right, but I am prepared to learn from others, and I believe adults should be able to agree to disagree.

The comment I deleted had a tone which put me in mind of question time in parliament, where the behaviour is appalling, and the points scored are points scored for their own sake, and totally lacking merit.

I do not plan to approve or publish comments which are rude, or seek to denigrate my blog-world friends.


  1. You seem very tolerant of those who have different opinions than you; so I imagine this particular comment was overly challenging.

    I agree about bullying. I hate hearing people being advised to change or hide something about themselves so they're not bullied. Bullying is the fault of the bully; not the victim.

    I like what you say about adults being able to agree to disagree. I wish more people understood and believed in this concept.

  2. Any rude, abusive or unwanted comments that bear no relation to a particular post will be deleted by me no matter who you are, i will allow for mistakes though, touch wood its not happened yet and hopefully it won't. I reckon the key to stop bullying is education :-).

  3. I have rarely done that but when commenters attack other commenters, then their post is deleted. It isn't hard to be nice and still argue a point.

  4. Bullying is a huge problem. I dis agree a little with Dina. I do not condone bullying in any form but sometimes the victim needs to change their behaviour as well as the bully. As Windsmoke says the answer lies in education.

  5. Hi Diane, I accept that you don't condone bullying, but I am curious. I'm trying to imagine an example of when a victim should change their behaviour. Could you help me, please?

  6. Victims should never feel they have to change to 'fit in' with others' expectations/views.
    Yes, most bullying is as a result of poor education, sadly many 'adult' role models feel gay bashing (verbal and physical) is still a free-for-all, especially in the realm of poor taste jokes - if a victim complains the bully gaslights them with "But it's only a joke, haven't you got a sense of humour?" to try to turn the whole thing back on the victim yet again.
    If it offends even one person then it's not a joke.
    And it's still bullying.

  7. Hi Jayne, the old "can't you take a joke?" excuse, eh. As in "you are defective because you don't share my sense of humour."
    Yes, bullying is not a joke.

    1. I couldn't agree more, ma'am.

  8. I don't agree that something can't be a joke if it offends someone. Almost ALL jokes are going to be offensive to at least one person out there.

    I think it becomes bullying when someone admits to being offended; and they're teased for this reaction and/or the joking continues.

    I do agree that it's highly annoying when you're offended by a joke (or simply not amused) and someone accuses you of not having a sense of humor.

    1. You know? It's not right for people to use jokes to offend others. Why you think that it's annoying that someone gets offended by a joke?

      Suppose somebody tells that an offensive joke in a workplace. He or she could fired for that.

      I'm tired of that "It's a joke" excuse that comes from bullies. Heck, I've experienced many times and I hate it.

      If the joke's on the bully, I don't think that he or she would like it.

      And if some jerk tells a mean joke to a bunch of big mean guys out in the street, he or she could get clobbered by them for it.

      What's worse than annoying is when a person accuses another for not having a sense of humor. Well, newsflash: No one can force anyone to not have a sense of humor or take a joke. I mean, how would a bully like it if someone else forced him to do what he or she doesn't want to do? Besides, all people are different from one another in a number of ways.

    2. Hi Anonymous, [thanks for joining in]

      I agree that it's not right for people to use jokes to offend others. It's not right to set out to offend whether jokes are used or not. But not all jokes are used with the intention of bullying.

      What I think Dina was saying [not that I have the right to speak for her] is quite right.
      Suppose I make a joke I think is inoffensive, for example as a child I thought "I have to go to the dentist at tooth-hurtie" was hilarious. I can't imagine why anyone would be offended, especially if it wasn't about them - it doesn't mention any particular person, race, religion, politics, gender etc, it only mentions teeth, time and an occupation. However, if they were offended the joke would still be hilarious to me - and I would be wary of telling any jokes near this person again.

      But yes, everyone is different, and to say something deliberately hurtful then pretend what we said was a joke, that is not an excuse at all.

  9. Hi Dina, So a joke is not a joke until/unless it strikes an individual as funny, whereas a horse is always a horse [of course]. And if someone finds it offensive [the joke, not the horse] it becomes an unjoke.

    But seriously, I'm with you on all of the above, including all jokes are going to be offensive to at least one person.

  10. It would have been interesting to see the response your regular commenters had to the commentee (?!) you deleted!!! I suspect they/we would have been more 'direct' than you were!!! But having said that, there's no reason to put up with rudeness, ignorance and 'direction' even in the name of debate. Because there's a fine line between debate and honest debate.

    1. Hi Red,
      I think the visitor stumbled across this blog by accident, seemingly enjoyed a few posts, then saw something favourable to gays - after which steam emanated from its ears, top of the skull opened up to let forth a spew of fire and lava, all leading to the inevitable 360 degree head rotation.
      Seriously, the two opening words were "You sick...".

      But it's always nice when a friend drops in !