Bullying: What It Is And Isn’t

Simply put: punching up is okay; punching down is not.

As a writer of social commentary who often addresses polarizing topics (like America’s complex, codependent relationship with the Second Amendment, or the scourge of toxic masculinity, gun violence, and how the two merge), I am well-accustomed to the criticism that comes with the territory. If you’re going to be a writer (moreover, a successful writer), you’ve got to have thick skin.

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  • Cisgender people (mostly cisgender, white males) post the majority of hateful comments when I write about gender identity — or anything LGBTQ related;
  • Adult parents (mostly cisgender, white parents — with no knowledge of the transgender community except for maybe their limited exposure to Caitlyn Jenner) post the majority of hateful comments when I write about the importance of protecting trans kids.
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This isn’t how bullying works.

Yet, plenty of misguided people seem to think this is exactly how bullying works. And in my opinion, this misinterpretation of how “bullying” works plays a small part in the much larger picture of what’s wrong with our country right now. In general, people are quick to shout “bully” when they don’t seem to understand in the first place what constitutes bullying and what does not.

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Dismantler of gender norms. Political news junkie. TikTok aficionado. Mom of 3. Work seen/heard @ HuffPost, Scary Mommy, NPR, SiriusXM, LTYM, TIFO podcast, etc.

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