Power of a Bystander: It Only Takes a Little

This is slightly different from my normal posts or topics but it is so important. Bullying is a huge problem. Everywhere, in schools, the workplace, the street, on the internet. Anyone could be a bully and anyone can be bullied. It doesn’t matter what gender, sexual orientation, race, economic status, or education level a person comes from. This is something that affects all of us.

According to BullyingStatistics.org 35% of kids have been threatened online and 1 in 4 have been verbally attacked more than once.  About 77% of students admit to being the victim of some form of bullying.  One out of every 20 students have seen another student with a gun at school (2010).

70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools.  70.4% of school staff have seen bullying. 62% witnessed bullying two or more times in the last month and 41% witness bullying once a week or more (source).

When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time.

The video below shows not only the power of stepping in but what it looks like when someone doesn’t.

via YouTube

Related Articles




I love poetry.  I always have.  In the last couple of years I was introduced to slam poetry.  Poetry where words are spoken against injustices with passion?  I’m in.  My love of poetry has deepened.  The one in the video below was performed during the semi-finals at the 2013 National Poetry Slam.  It moved me to tears.  This guy gets it.

The following poem was written after he heard a man on the bus say to a woman, “You are too ugly to be raped.”

(It is kind of hard to hear, you may need to turn your speakers up)

For Your Eyes Only

No, I’m not talking about a James Bond movie.  In Spain an organization called Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk Foundation (ANAR) came up with the idea to create an ad that shows adults and children different messages.  Depending on the angle you look at the ad you either see a child’s face with the words “sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it,” or you see the same face with bruises on it and the message becomes, “if somebody hurts you, phone us and we’ll help you.”  It has to do with the height of the person looking at the ad.  Smaller people, ie children, are able to see the message if they are under a certain height.  The idea is that the child can see this message, along with the organizations help line number, even in the presence of their abuser, or aggressor.

I think this is an awesome idea.  In reading some of the comments on the video and other articles I’ve seen something that has come up for other readers/viewers is that this ad is exposing the “normal” or “innocent” children to abuse.  Disclaimer, I do not have children.  But if I did I would have no problem with them seeing this ad.  It is important for children to understand that bad things happen, and that bad things can happen to children.  I also believe in teaching children the correct and real names for their private parts.  Teaching children about abuse, letting them see this ad, is a form of empowering them to have a voice.  Even if that child is not being abused one of their friends might be.  We need to give children more credit sometimes.  They see and notice more than we think they do.  I’m not saying that you should go into graphic detail with a child about the types and forms of abuse but there is nothing wrong with teaching a child to recognize it.  Same thing with teaching them proper names for their genitalia.  First of all the words vagina and penis are not bad words.  They are part of our bodies.  Teaching that they are bad creates a culture of shame.  Second of all if a child is being abused and they do not have the language to express what is happening, or where someone is touching them, it is dangerous.  It keeps children in the dark, and their abusers in power.

So, without further ado here is the video.  What are your thoughts?  Do you think the ad has the potential to do any good?

Gender in Advertising: Objectification and Violence

I know that gender roles in advertising gets talked about a lot but I wanted to share this video anyway.  It is done by a group of students at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.  I especially appreciated the role reversals towards the end.  Enjoy and don’t forget to think about what your mind consumes on a daily basis.

Representations of Gender in Advertising

Dear Beloved: A Letter from Melissa Harris-Perry

Melissa Harris-Perry, a professor at Tulane University and the host of MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry,” writes a letter to the Steubenville survivor.  In it she states that the young woman’s name is not important but it is important for her to know that she is believed.  She thanks her for having the courage to speak out.

Check it out.  What do you think?

You Are a Survivor

I was preparing to do a new “Bees in my Bonnet” post and then I came across the following video on End Rape Culture.  This video was done by Project Unspoken at Emory University in Georgia.  They are working towards breaking the silence that surrounds sexual assault and rape culture.  I’ve shared one of their videos before called “I am tired of the silence.”

“Dear Viewer,
Project Unspoken was created as a summer intern project at Emory University’s Office of Health Promotion’s Respect Program (http://www.bewellexcel.org/respect). It was a reaction to the prominent silence surrounding the issues of rape, sexual assault, and relationship violence. Even though gender-based violence is widespread, it is often an issue surrounded by silence. Project Unspoken strives to educate the public by providing easy to access information on YouTube and other media forms. This project’s goal is to increase awareness and encourage society to challenge these injustices that exist in today’s world. This will be the first of many videos to come. Project Unspoken will continue to work towards ending rape, sexual assault, and relationship violence as long as these problems are present. Sexual assault and relationship violence should not be left unspoken. Thank you for viewing this video!
Project Unspoken Staff”

A Reminder to Give Yourself Some TLC…From a Hot Guy

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and I have been hanging onto this video for way too long.

I find this video highly refreshing compared to the usual barrage of sexist campaigns such as “save the ta-tas,” or the silly Facebook memes.  I’ve seen a couple in the past that were meant to be provacative, and dare I say, titilating.  The “I like it on the _____” comes to mind.  How are you bringing awareness to something when no one knows what you’re talking about or thinks you are way oversharing?

Back to the video.  Who wouldn’t want a gorgeous man reminding them to do a self-breast exam?  First of all the method is great.  It’s simple and easy to remember.  TLC – touch, look, check.  Got it.  Second of all, if you want to argue that it is going the opposite direction and objectifying men, it is totally obvious these guys are having fun in the video.  They are not being used, demeaned, or demoralized.  There are in on it.  I beleive whole-heartedly that men can be, and are objectified.  It is not just something that happens to women.  But, I would argue that it is not happening in this video.  So enjoy the visual, get a check up, and maybe take a cold shower.  😉

This campaign is done by Rethink Breast Cancer.

“Launched in 2001, Rethink is the first-ever, Canadian breast cancer charity to bring bold, relevant awareness to the under-40 crowd; foster a new generation of young and influential breast cancer supporters; infuse sass and style into the cause; and, most importantly, respond to the unique needs of young (or youngish) women going through it.”

I have a couple of things planned for this month and it is not all going to be light and fun.  Breast cancer is a tough reality for far too many women.  It is something that affects far too many families.  My own included.  I lost my grandmother to cancer when I was thirteen and there are still days it knocks me down, panting for breath.  I hope to balance my posts with not only stories and hardships, but hope as well.  If anyone has a story they’d like to share please feel free to contact me.  Also, I just found out the documentary Pink Ribbons, Inc. was on Netflix.  I plan to watch it and write a review.  I would love it if others wanted to watch it as well and join in on the discussion.