Here’s a story out of Michigan that shows that some schools and communities take bullying seriously enough to do something about it. Eventually. Obviously the community could have done a lot more, it could have stepped in when the abuse was happening, but this gesture did provide the victim with some healing.
This is the story: a student in Ogemaw, MI, Whitney Kropp, had been the butt of some really brutal bullying all through high school. Bullying hits kids in all genders, but naturally the bullying Whitney experienced was gendered – remarks about her hair, her looks, her height, the whole range – I don’t know, maybe boys get this particular kind of shit these days too, but this seems pretty gendered to me.
It was almost certainly mostly girls saying all this misogynist shit – boys making these remalrks would be too far out of gender role, so I don’t think it’s likely. And there is really no denying that this kind of gneder-policing and cruelty was specifically misogynist.
Well, Whitney was chosen to be the Homecoming Queen. For our non-US readers who don’t know that’s all about, this is what it’s about. High schools in the US usually have a Homecoming Game first thing in their football schedules in the fall with the special intention of inviting graduates from earlier classes back. Typically there is a big dance and they choose a Homecoming Queen for the dance, and typically the girl is chosen out of that mean girl mafia that produces all the cheerleaders and whatnot. So it’s a big deal.
In this case Whitney’s classmates nominated her as a prank. Pretty cruel, hnh? One last cruelty in a four-year run of cruelty. Except the student body elected her. Whoops. REVERSAL!!!
At first she had the natural reaction; “Fuck you people” but she reconsidered and decided to go with it. And the whole town pitched in to make it wonderful, with a hair appointment and a dress and all that. The outpouring from her community went a long way to making a lot of things right. She ended up glad she had decided to go along with all of it.
She had a wonderful time, the whole time.
So is your heart warmed yet? This may soften some scars, but it will make none of them disappear. We are so ready to make a grand gesture long after the time for real help is past.
- The Woman Card - May 2, 2016
- Frat boy bachelorettes and the invasion of gay bars - April 15, 2016
- “Not my kid….” - February 22, 2016