Wear a pink shirt attitude always, not just a pink shirt today

I read several articles in the paper this morning that got me thinking about the purpose of National Ant-Bullying Day, so I decided why not write about it? Today is an exciting blogging day for me because I have a guest blogger! My friend Alex and I have tag teamed this entry to give you the good, the bad and the ugly on National Anti-Bullying Day. You can check out Alex’s blog here at www.alexandradotjames.tumblr.com. She’s pretty cool. Anyways, here are our thoughts, enjoy!

Today in Canada it is National Anti-Bullying Day. My first thought: what the heck is that? Shouldn’t everyday be National Anti-Bullying Day? What’s this all about? National Anti-Bully Day is when everyone is supposed to wear a pink t-shirt to promote awareness and stop bullying.

Here is my million dollar question of the day. Does wearing a pink shirt for one out of the 365 days of the year help you from getting punched in the head? Does it help you from being tormented daily by handfuls of people or from being called a fag or a loser on the internet? I understand that some of you reading this probably want to kick me already. You think that National Anti- Bullying Day is a great thing, because it promotes awareness and you get to feel like you’re making a difference by joining in on a pink parade with the rest of the world. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for awareness and I in no way tolerate any form of bullying. I think a day like today can be a good think to create awareness, especially in regards to young children. This entry is intended more for us older folks.

I have eyes. I see when “Janet” or “Sam” is swearing up a storm on their face book page, telling off so and so, raging on so and so and just straight up being rude and disrespectful and then posts a status 2 hours later about how they are going to rock their pink shirt and that bullies are jerks! Cyber bullying is still bullying. It is not just on Facebook either. I know plenty of people who take some sort of bizarre pride in being a “bitch” or a “mean girl.” Don’t get me wrong, I know we all have our moments, but to be a person who is rude most of their life, and then posting about your pink shirt wearing shenanigans one solitary day a year, it seems pretty counterproductive. Bullying is something that has been going on for ages. We can scold children who bully, we can suspend them from school, we can make a martyr out of a person who was bullied into killing themselves, but at the end of the day, WHAT IS THAT DOING? Bulling is still rampant because there are children being raised in homes with abusive parents, there are children being raised in homes where their own parents can’t say a nice word to each other. There are kids in the foster system who are beaten, mentally and physically, by the people they live with and are supposed to be taking care of them. When you create a society of broken people, wearing pink isn’t going to fix the problem. What is the point of awareness if you aren’t actually doing anything about it?

My take on anti-bullying day is that wearing a pink shirt for one day a year does not help anything if you are an “asshole” for the remainder of the year. Wearing an article of clothing does not stop anything from happening if you choose to be silent every other day. For those of you thinking, well maybe she doesn’t know the history of wearing a pink shirt, I do. I know that it was started to prevent a case of bullying that was actually happening in the present. Does it matter if you wear a pink shirt? I don’t think so. In fact, I know some people who have been “bullied” or “harassed” for not wearing one, which is ridiculous. I wonder how much money went into the advertising and promotions of this day? I am guessing that money that could have been used to actually help these people that without help are going to end up bullies. Kids are not born bullies, bullies are created. And we cannot end something unless we fix the root of the problem. It’s all in how you choose to act, how you choose to respond and how you choose to treat others.

So raise awareness, but remember actions speak louder than words, and much louder than pink shirts. So this is my challenge for all of us: if you chose to wear a pink shirt today, don’t take it off because today is over. Choose to keep it on and prevent bullying ALWAYS and make everyday anti-bullying day.



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