PINK SHIRT DAY 2010


CLEAR SAYS:
I used to bully. When I was in high school, it was easy to be apart of the cool crowd by teasing other people. Though I was a little chubby in high school and I didn’t always have the latest things, it was easy to be picked on. Fortunately for me I was right in the middle of the social ladder. There were people I knew who used to get bullied far worse than I could have ever imagined. Some of them were my friends, and instead of standing up for them I stayed quiet.

I was also an online bully which is crazy to think about now. You know the type, the one who goes against everyone, the one who likes to be a drama whore, while stealing someone’s e-man, and talking shit about everyone to get to be the supreme bitch. That was me. I used to insult anyone online who didn’t benefit me. I was evil, spiteful, and a bitch no one really liked. I actually liked to be feared. This was in my early twenties/late teens when I didn’t know better.

What made me stop is the realization is I don’t have to put on a persona to get people to like me, especially online. What I’ve learned from my experience is that bullies are just people who don’t know how to be accepted and so they do all the wrong things. Is it right? No. For me, I had to grow up. I had to realize that it’s not ok to put people down. Sure I have my moments where I get ultra bitchy, who doesn’t? We’re all human, but I’d like to think as I move on to getting closer to thirty that I’ve actually grown. Bullying isn’t right, whether it’s online, offline, SL, anywhere. We’re people with real feelings and emotions. You may think you’re not hurting someone with your words, but can you be completely sure.

Now I’m not saying that a day is enough to get the world to change. It’s an on going process, but what’s wrong with taking a day out of your life and assessing where you are? Now a days people are committing suicide because of bullies and whatnot. Think before you speak. You don’t have to always like or agree with each other, but you can respect each other. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It isn’t hard, and it’s nice to have at least one day to be reminded that there’s only people in this world than you.

SHANE SAYS:
I was bullied throughout school. From Juniors through to Seniors and the first two weeks of college. I’ve been the girl curled up into her mother’s lap, trying to handle her heart breaking through the name calling and the stealing, the bruises for fun. I’ve been the one whose mother has said to her, “you know they’re just jealous.” No, they’re not. But what else can a mother say when their child is crying in emotional agony at the hands or words of someone else?

There were some days I didn’t think I’d get through. Reduced to tears in front of classmates, when the last thing I enjoyed was attention. One of the many things that come to mind was a drama class, in which we were all sat around an old television in a leaky room, with barrels on the floor to catch the water, and one wine bottle as a prop. What the video was, I don’t remember, I was preoccupied by the girl who bullied me from the first day I got there, and the three years to follow. At first, she started pointing at me and laughing. She’d already made my life hell, calling me fat, calling me a monster, but now it was my ears turn. Ears, I know. Ridiculous. But as a 13 year old, being told your ears are as ugly as you are, because the lobes don’t join your face, is pretty fucking discouraging.

After that, as our classmates sat in silent observation of her mockery, she took it a step further and pulled the toggle out of my hair. She taunted me with it, holding it where I couldn’t reach, and to be honest, I just didn’t have the strength to try anymore. People told her to stop, but they were giggling as they did, and all I could think was that my mother had bought me that, and I’d loved it so much. You see, I have this thing. I cling to possessions; material or otherwise, and I attach memories to them. When friends buried some of my toys when I was little, I cried because of the people they made me think of. My family. Eventually, she threw it into one of the barrels. I burst into tears right then and there, and eventually, the teacher said something. Eventually. It took him long enough, but he did. I’m not sure what happened next, but those 5-10 minutes haunt my conscience.

I’m now going to fast forward to Valentine’s Day, 2001. I’d never had a Valentine before. Not once. A few days after, I had a huge falling out with the group of extended friends I’d been with for the full year before it. Only two sat by me, using me to watch my TV, but hey, they stood by, right? My mother felt like I was always going to go back to them. She’s a doormat, I’m a doormat. Happens. To stop this, she went into the kitchen and brought out a card my grandad had found on our doorstep on the 14th. A Valentine’s card with a picture of a monster truck on the front, and something about me being a monster inside of it. Another heart-breaking, soul-crushing incident I could only hear the snickers of people creating as they did.

A friend of mine killed himself, through bullying and difficulties at home through discrimination. People have been shot and killed, over being different. When we get older, we’re supposed to embrace differences. I’ve heard people say that the older you are, and the more different you are, the happier you’ll be; I’d like to take this to Mythbusters and guest star. It’s not true. Bullying exists for all ages. It’s happened in my mother’s workplace, and still is. It’s a very real problem, with very dire consequences in most cases.

I’ve grown up a lot in the last 9 years, but there’s no way I can’t say that the years of endless bullying had no real cost to my life. I’ve been agoraphobic, I’ve had anxiety problems so tough, that run so deep, that I’ve hardly been able to breathe in public with the thought of people judging me, that are doing nothing more than walking to work. I obsess over the way I look. I need my hair perfect, if there’s one blemish on my face I want to rip it off. Sometimes, when I look in the mirror, I actually want to die. While these are all within me, all of those years led up to this, there’s no doubt in my mind. I honestly don’t know if we’ll ever find a way to stop bullying. It’ll be here as long as we’re alive, as far as the uncertain future goes, but we can raise awareness of it. We can get the word out there, and do everything we possibly can to save lives and save the future of billions of people. And that’s that.

Bullying happens when someone scares or hurts another person on purpose, physically, mentally, or emotionally. Usually, this happens on a repeat basis – the victim being attacked over and over, an unable – or afraid – to defend themselves.

Bullying can include physical violence, spreading bad rumors, purposefully excluding another person from a group or activity, teasing in a mean or inappropriate way, or even gathering others to “gang up” on others.

Cyberbullying happens electronically. This can include some of the categories of normal bullying, but can also include posting nasty rumors, pictures, or messages about others on blogs, forums, or other websites, or using another’s name to pose as them and spread rumors about them via the internet.

YOU can make a difference! If you see someone being bullied and do nothing about it, you are just as guilty as the bully themselves. Turning a blind eye to any kind of abuse is only enabling the abusers to continue harming others. Speak up! Stand up! The more people are willing to stand up for what they believe in, the less power the bullies will have to abuse and control others.

So, please, take a a stand against bullying, in your First and Second Life. Bullying is not something only felt by school-aged children, but by millions of people worldwide – of all ages, genders, races…it knows no limits.

Until now. WE can be that limit.

For more information on bullying and prevention, please visit:
http://www.bullying.org/
http://www.stopbullyingnow.com

The following is a list of creators who have volunteered to participate in the 2010 Pink Shirt Day event in Second Life. The store name and SLURL is provided along with the creator name to make finding them a little bit easier! Just click this link to get a list.

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April 14, 2010. Causes, MV-SL-Fashion.

7 Comments

  1. Nocturne Fashion Feed » Blog Archive » PINK SHIRT DAY 2010 replied:

    […] Les Girls! […]

  2. Dove Swanson replied:

  3. thebunnygirl replied:

    I went through a phase like that too Clear… the internet bullying. I disgusted myself, and I am so glad I recognized something poisonous in what I was becoming before I was too late. And so glad you did too. I am so happy to know you. =)

    Shane… *dogpile hugs and stuff* ❤

    • Shane Kirshner replied:

      I’m so shocked that two of the sweetest girls around used to be Internet bullies. You guys are adorable. I’m glad you recognized it and got away from it too. ❤

  4. Winter Jefferson replied:

    How very brave of you both to be so open about your experiences. That took guts. Thank you ladies, for sharing this post with us.

    • Shane Kirshner replied:

      I really love writing about experiences I’ve had, and I’m not sure why. I’m glad you read what we both had to say, and thank you so much for your comment. ❤

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