by Izzy Kalman (December 2005)
At a recent seminar, one attendee was an expert in all the research on bullying. (She certainly spends more time reading the drivel than I do). She was fascinated by my point of view, but mostly dismissive because it is contrary to all she has learned from the published research. She acknowledged that my approach represents “a small part of the picture”.
Anyway, this expert declared that her definition of bullying is “dehumanizing people.” She includes the holocaust and slavery in her definition of bullying.
Want to know who is engaging in dehumanizing? Look at how bullies are portrayed in illustrations in magazines and book covers. You will see them as creatures with horns and tails, like a bull, or more accurately, a little devil. Other illustrations have them as big, dumb looking brutes picking on smaller children. In writings by the experts, they have been called “emotional vampires” and “psychological predators.”
If the definition of bullying is “dehumanizing”, then who are the real bullies?