QUESTION OF THE WEEK – WEEK 7

15 Oct

We’ve either seen it or experienced it ourselves before — bullying. It’s been documented, cinema verite-style; it’s been dramatized and made humorous in movies. It’s been written about in books and articles. Musicians have written ballads and hard-rock anthems about it. And it’s an incredibly serious issue, as we’ve seen with things like the Columbine High School massacre and, more recently, the suicide of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi last year when he jumped off a bridge after his roommate videotaped him in a sexual situation with another man.

So here’s the question: Explain how, if at all, the media has affected the way bullying is portrayed or, conversely, our understanding or perception of it. You may, but don’t have to, use specific movies/books/songs to demonstrate your perspective or argument about this particular issue.

Your 150-200 word response needs to be posted by class time on Friday, Oct. 21.

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16 Responses to “QUESTION OF THE WEEK – WEEK 7”

  1. Norm Vernier October 15, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Biff Tannen in Back To the Future ( played by Thomas Wilson )
    Here is the ultimate bully of all bullies. The whole franchise or trilogy presents as the kind of bully who remains a bully no matter what era he’s in. He can be a young high school bully, old bully, futuristic bully, 1950’s bully, rich bully, you name it.
    Bullys come in all sizes and packages. Judd Nelson the bully in ( The Breakfast Club ). College bullys in ( Animal House ) played by Mark Metcalf.
    Adult bullys in the workplace. The movie Disclosure, Demi Moore sexually harasses Michael Douglas who then has a hard time proving his innocence. Nice idea to make the harasser a female…bullying is not a gender issue.
    Bullying is a very serious issue, President Obama and Mrs obama posted a video on facebook about anti-bullying. They want to show that they too are taking this seriously. I’ve noticed that in the media recently, bullying is getting quite a bit of attention, with a focus on suicides, suicide attempts, and the use of the internet, cyberbullying, which got widespread media attention with the Megan Meijer suicide.
    Watching how the media portrays these cases, often focusing on white and/or middle-class incidents, which is part of the ” shock and awe ” of the story.

  2. Alex Duenas October 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

    Bullying in movies over the past decade has depicted bullies as big “burly” boys who are a member of the wrestling or football team. Picking on the smaller “weaker” kid who can’t defend himself. In many teenage oriented movies with girls as the main sex/characters. The bully is the popular girl. She has control over her peers with her status, getting everyone to hate the weaker characters through rumors and lies. Today this bullying still occurs much more towards the latter of the two movie concepts. Children and even some adults today still use bullying as a means of ego boosts, position boosts, or for some other type of personal gains. Many use the unconfident minds of others as a stepping stone to their achievements. Unfortunately this type of bullying (unless verbally threatening such as death threats) is not illegal and many times goes unpunished in schools. Unlike the movies where the bully is “defeated” in the end, in most scenarios in reality, the bully gets away with his/her bullying.

  3. Chad Koenig October 16, 2011 at 11:37 pm #

    I personally don’t think that television, movies, or music play a big part in bullying. Most of the kids shows that I have seen clearly imply that bullying is wrong and I believe that most kids understand that. It seems like the bully is always portrayed as a lonely individual or someone who has problems at home. I think the social networking sites and websites like youtube play a much bigger role in how people deal with bullying. Kids that are picked on at school have to go home and read more insults about them on the internet. I know adults that are hooked on facebook, I can’t imagine what it’s like for a teenager. Kids are always going to pick on other kids and some people unfortunately never grow up. It’s up to parents to make their children understand that teasing others may have serious consequences. I have picked on others and have been picked on as well. I feel bad for some of the things I have done and I hope that most people grow up and feel the same way. Not everybody has empathy, some people are just rude and have no respect, it will always be like this. Children or adults that feel like they have no escape from ridicule is a terrible thing.

  4. Mary Collier October 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm #

    I think the media does play a big part in bullying in America. Just look back there making movies and shows left and right about bullying. One of the most recent movies that came out on ABC Family was cyber bully it was straight to the point and broke down play by play of what goes on when it comes to internet bullying which is one of the most common ways kids these days are actually bullying. It used to be name calling or texts now its facebook,myspace,twitter and you tube. The more the technology grows the easier it is getting to bully its just a simple sentence and the whole world see’s it. Bullying has definitly became more public. You see a bully in almost every T.V. show you watch, you hear it all over the radio on your favorite stations. The more the media makes a big deal on the negative affects of bullying I think it will help bring awarness to the public that it is still out there stronger than ever and its increased by taking more and more lives the more high tech it gets! I beleive that the media can make a difference in bullying instead of making it seem like the “cool” thing to do, they could really put out awarness on the consquences of their simple actions.

  5. Briana Lack October 20, 2011 at 11:21 pm #

    I dont really think the media has had that much affect on bullying. Media is showing how much it occurs and why we need to stop it. If anything its helping the situation and giving us the knowledge about to help prevent it. Bullying has been going for years and years, but only recently has it became a public event. Bullying is portrayed as someone who is physically more powerful or even mentally has power over someone. They beat that down into someone to cause them so much pain, they only have one option. The media is making a big deal about bullying because it is a problem, and people have noticed that its not stopping, and it actually getting bigger, and were realizing we need to do something about it. Whether or not the media has been strongly speaking on this subject bullying would still be through cell phones, and the internet. Media isn’t the problem, it’s the bullys.

  6. Ginger Minock October 21, 2011 at 2:07 am #

    I believe that the media affects bullying in many ways. First and formost they always protray the popular kids or athletes as the ones doing the bullying which is not always the case you do not have to be the school hero to torment others. Movies also depict bullying as being funny and the cool thing to do, failing to show the affect it has on the person who is being bullied. Movies portay bullying as something that just blows over and all is well, when in reality people who are bullied carry that with them for the rest of their life. For instance in the Columbine everyone in the school knew the killers where bullied and harrased everday. Yet no one did anything because you learn in movies it is not cool to step in and try to help the situation. Everyone wants to turn a blind eye, and when the bullied have had enough no one is ready to face the consequences. Movies have also glamourized the act of revenge. A whole generation of kids look up to the Columbine killers.That insident in its self was an eye opener things may have change for a few months but ultimately it goes back to the way it was.

  7. Amanda Rose Okonowski October 21, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    Humans are observational and social learners by seeing how the media reacts to celebs who have gained a pound or wore the wrong thing thats how we learn to act in our own lives. leaving us to demonstrate the same behavior as preze hiltion and tmz etc. we emitate what they do making us looks at others and judge. I don’t beleieve bullying has gotten any better or worse nor do I think in the future it will change because people love drama and gossip leaving bullying a permenet problem. I think the awarness of bullying is teaching kids to stand up for themselves and make the problem known though I don’t think there is any true way to solve bullying as long as we live in the society we live in…

  8. Sean Williams October 21, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    The media has had a mixed relationship with bullying. It addresses the issue in many different ways. The most obvious way is the anti-bullying programs that certain stations are involved in on TV where celebrities or representatives promote awareness about bullying and encourage everyone to work together to eliminate it. In fiction we can also observe that bullies are often portrayed as the “bad guys” for many stories taking place in regards to children, especially in school environments. Society has a whole believes, in the public eye at least, that bullying is wrong and should be stopped and punished. However, if we strip away the politically correctness and those who are speaking to like-minded individuals, we will find that there isn’t nearly the resistance to bullying that we hope for. In schools bullies are most often the “cool kids”, who make fun of other kids that they single out of the crowd in order to put them down to make themselves look better. In the media there are undertones that it is cool to be a mean girl, and its funny when girls are nasty to each other over disputes such as looks, etc. Men also sometimes perceived in this way as well. We can see certain men portrayed as attractive and cool because they are popular with other guys and the girls, forming clicks and other such groups while they put down the indiivduals whom they feel are too different from them. Despite the fact that there are efforts in society to get rid of it, the dark underbelly of social psychology seems to say that bullies are an acceptable part of or culture and can even be cool if they themselves are popular among their peers.

  9. Derek Delap October 21, 2011 at 6:20 pm #

    The media kind of sterotypically portrays bulleying, movies such as the whole revenge of the nerds series have always assumed that the most common type of bulleying occured with the “jocks” and the “nerd”. However in reality, i guess now a days the most common form of bulleying is what they call cyber-bulleying. People personally attacking people through electronical devices such as cell phones and computers. When people go out of their way to tamper with for example people’s facebook’s it can really get undereath a persons skin, and may become perosnal. However other forms of media such as music with inducive lyrics, could very well promote such behavior. All in all from personal expierence i haven’t seen a whole lot of bulleying, and i am supirsed to see that is has became such a problem

  10. Ben Fawcett October 21, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    I don’t remember specific bullies in movies, but in all seriousness there was only one bully (that I recall) that got his way, and that was Arnold Schwarzenegger as the terminator in T2. Don’t you dare say he wasn’t a bully, he walked into a bar and beat some guy up for his clothes and motorcycle. The movie and TV industry either uses bully-type people for comedic purposes or as an everyday antagonist in someone’s life. Funny or otherwise, they are all labeled “bad”, and recently many parents and even some celebrities are getting into this new anti-bully phase, I don’t support this, now don’t get mad at me, hear me out. People are encouraging us to “Take a stand against bullying” ,we’ve gone so far as to outlaw bullying. This will never work,(because their goal is trying to completely eradicate a certain type of person, that’s like trying to stop pessimists) and if by some impossible chance it does work, then every generation after will be weak kids that cant stand up for themselves, or anything else for that matter. A lot of kids (and adults apparently) are and have been bullied, its how they deal with it is what matters, you can either ignore it, do nothing and be pushed around, or stand up for themselves and stop it one way or another and become stronger as an individual. Teach people this and thats when change happens.

  11. Ashlie Detiege October 21, 2011 at 8:23 pm #

    It depends on which side of the media you are paying attention to. If you are watching Mean Girls you might think that it is cool to be a bully, even though in the end you may get hit by a bus. This particular side of the media (Hollywood) has portrayed bullying to be kind of a cool thing. Mean Girls made it seem like if you are dissing peoples outfits and setting them up to be made fun of, you are cool/ popular.

    However if you are watching the news, and a story comes on about a teen who just committed suicide because they could not stand to bullied anymore. You may have a different perspective on bullying. You see the parents being interviewed and saying if only we knew or if only someone had done something to stop it. You would probably sit there and think that maybe bullying isnt as cool as it looks in Mean Girls. Media can posistively or negatively portray all things. It really all depends on what side of the media caputures your attention the most.

  12. Misty Dowlan October 21, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    I feel that media does impact the way people view bullying. Many movies make bullying seem like the cool thing to do. It’s often the popular kids picking on the quiet, shy, unique individuals that just want to be left alone and make it through the day. You rarely ever see how it affects that individual.
    I saw a made for TV movie on Lifetime a few years ago, “Odd Girl Out”. This movie showed the other side of bullying and how it affected the girl. The girls making fun of her made a website dedicated to hating her and calling her names, threatening her and starting some pretty cruel rumors. The girl started skipping school to avoid the girls and eventually she tried to overdose on medication. Eventually she got the courage to stick up for herself, but it was a long road before she got the nerve to stand up to her friend and the group she was associating with.
    I think the media makes it easier to pick on someone either anonymously or out in the open by starting rumors on facebook, texting them directly or in the case of the movie I watched, a website.

  13. Julie Blattler October 21, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

    I think that the media has gotten much better with the issue of bullying. Many celebrities are talking out against it and the media is taking notice, rather than tossing it aside and making it unimportant. As far as movies and t.v. goes, I think it’s still portrayed the same. Most of the time it’s seen as a joke. There are few times where there’s physical bullying. It’s mostly verbal bullying being shown. Most of the time, however, it usually ends up being explained as the bully having self esteem issues and the bully makes friends with whoever is being bullied. The media is also going a step in the right direction by making t.v. movies to explain the severity of bullying. I definitely think the issue is being taken more seriously now than it was even ten years ago.

  14. Kevin Paredes October 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Media has managed to reinforce the idea that bullying is bad. From PSAs and pamphlets to after school specials, bullying is hammered in as negative for everyone. In recent years bullies have even been shown as sympathetic people. However, I think its depiction glosses over the fact that bullying is an issue that’ll last a person’s whole life. Everyone at some point will be bullied at school, work or anywhere else. It’s something we must learn to deal with in order to mature. Being bullied can teach someone how to properly deal with opposition. However, the victim aspect completely eclipses the growth one gets from standing up for yourself, or learning when to hold back. Of course, bullying can be physically and emotionally painful, but it must be countered by the bullied in some form. Not to say violence is right, but we gotta learn to not be afraid to stand up for ourselves.

  15. Matt Knedgen October 21, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

    Bullying shows up a lot in movies, it is actually a very common thing as most people know. And typically, the bully is usually bigger, stronger, or more intimidating than the victim. The victim usually will not stand up to the bully because they are too scared too. But by the end of the movie, even if it is not part of the main story, the bully will usually learn his or her lesson either by the victim or something else. This will usually happen in any kind of movie that has at least one of the characters in some kind of school setting. In my opinion though, bullying is kind of exaggerated in movies often, because its usually not as cruel or as common. So I do not really think the media affects bullying, except for the fact that it shows a possible way for someone to be bullied.

  16. Mark Ryan Beyer October 21, 2011 at 9:35 pm #

    This is a great topic that needs to be addressed everywhere more often. Bullying has really gotten out of hand in the last decade. This subject can be a real problem for kids growing up. I can’t stand bullying, I think its a horrible thing to do to someone. I have made efforts to stop it when I was growing up, and still do till this day. I think the media has actually helped to put a stop to bullying. This is because its being brought to everyone’s attention now days. I think now schools and community leaders along with parents can really get a better grip on bullying because of the media. Sometimes the media can be a bad thing, but in this case I believe the media has affected bullying in a positive way. The more the parents and teachers are aware of this helps identify the problem. Then they can put a stop to it before it happens over and over. Kids will be kids and they can be brutal to each other, however bullying can effect a person for the rest of their life. I’m really glad this has been brought to the media’s attention, because this will only help put a stop to it more effectively.

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