Cruelty, what does it mean to you. Is it the conditions under which animals are treated at the zoo? Maybe it is not getting playing time on the soccer field. Or is it a rejection from a college, boy or family member? Cruel is a word generally used to describe the worst type of person. A word harsher than asshole, scumbag, and bitch. Only used when an action is totally unbelievable, severely hurtful and jarring. It’s not a synonym for jerk, nor a term to lightly throw around. A cruel person, act or being is among us always, sometimes we see it and other times it goes unnoticed due to the commonality of such actions.
What I find is the most cruel in this world is bullying. The torment, ridicule and hatred of which people endure when they are bullied is comparable to nothing else in this world. Bullying has evolved from kick me signs, swirlys, and stuffing kids in their lockers. In the world we live in now, bullying is lying about who you are online, spreading hurtful rumors, and making life unbearable. It’s become easier to bully someone in the digital world we live in. Less physical harm and more emotional harm.
I’ll be transparent, the bullies I’m referring to are none other than the girls whom walk the halls of the schools across the country. Mean girls, just like movies. Taunting, belittling, and scrutinizing those who they deem weaker, less attractive or simply different. This is cruel. Movies like Cyberbully, Mean Girls, and DUFF romanticize the idea that the victim eventually wins. Hollywood takes real life experiences, events that have ruined young girls lives, and gives the illusion that the little guy wins. Statistically, girls who are victims of bullying are 2 to 9 times more likely to attempt suicide (bullyingstatistics.org). While the movies play it off that the underdog eventually wins, science proves the opposite.
We like to pretend that men are the most cruel. And in certain circumstances they can be. But what women do to one another, the degree of manipulation and degradation that we inflict on one another is horrifying. Bullying strings from jealousy, greed, and envy. It is the desire for power that fuels a bully.
This is not a call to action. It’s simply and observation. We’ve all seen bullying first hand; purposeful exclusion or whispers that turn into loud, viscous rumors. Cruelty to some may be concentration camps or FGM, which I don’t disagree with, but cruelty doesn’t have to be the extermination of a group of people or the physical mutilation of young girls. It is verbal, physical, and virtual harassment.
Acceptance is the key to survival in a woman’s world. If we can’t accept each other then how can we accept ourselves. Unlike the changing of the leaves, lets accept those who are different, not throw them on the ground below. We all have it inside to be cruel, but it’s those who reject the cruelty embedded within that possess the real power. Elephants turning a trick for audience members, factory workers being subjected to polluted air and dangerous machinery, and even the inner workings of a girls mind that prompts her to ruin the life of another. Cruel by choice, not by nature.