Friday, October 26, 2007

Responding to Fanatic Bullies

R. Yaakov Horowitz on how to respond to fanatics who act like bullies (link), as a follow-up to the discussion of the issues in Where are the Bans?:

I mention this because as I was reading the responses to Miriam Shear’s Enough is Enough!, column which I posted on my website, it struck me how many similarities there are between the phenomenon of school bullying and the actions of the criminal ‘tzniyus-patrol’ thugs who are assaulting our women. (For the record, I condemned their actions in the strongest terms in my essay They Don't Represent Us).

What is equally striking is how the reactions of many decent people to Mrs. Shear is similar to how well-meaning adults often mistakenly treat children who are victims of bullying – telling them to ‘just ignore it’ and questioning if their behavior provoked the attacker. (FYI; this is a also a classic response to victims of domestic abuse – implying that it is the fault of the victim and suggesting that they ‘ignore things’ and they will improve.)

Below, I share with you verbatim text from the excellent U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Stop Bullying Now website. I ask all decent, fair-minded people to read it carefully. Then; if you feel, as I do, that there are parallels, engage in a serious cheshbon hanefesh and think carefully if the time has come for ALL of us to say as Miriam Shear has said. “Enough is Enough!”
Read the whole article here.

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