Russell and Duenes

Bullying and Boyhood

with one comment

At school we’ve recently addressed the issue of bullying. We’re not alone in this; it has become a hot topic in schools everywhere. But I had a question as I thought about it more, particularly as I thought about bullying and boys. There can be no doubt that boys on their proper progress toward manhood require a certain amount of physicality, in a way that girls don’t. Boys horseplay because, well, they’re boys, and boys need that kind of rough-housing; first from their fathers and then with their peers. But I wonder if we are coming to a place where all such physical contact between boys (except when playing sports) is considered either of two things: bullying or homo-eroticism. I’m no advocate of bullying. In fact, I despise it. It makes my blood boil when I see some guy who thinks he’s tough or cool picking on some other boy he considers to be a weakling or a wuss. But where is the line between this kind of bullying and healthy physical and verbal banter between boys? I’m not saying I know the answer, but I think we’ve certainly swung to the side of shutting down masculinity, and that’s not good for anybody.

I’d love to have others weigh in.



Written by Michael Duenes

November 16, 2010 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

One Response

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  1. Great post.

    Joshua House

    November 17, 2010 at 8:21 am

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