One of my pet peeves is bullying. I’m not talking about bullying amongst students, although I certainly don’t like that. I’m talking about the bullying from school districts and Progressive parents who work overtime to ensure that children are brainwashed into fearing self-defense so much that they would rather be led as lambs to the slaughter than stand up for themselves. The schools are dividing students into two classes: the bullies and their institutionally created helpless victims.
I’m fulminating about this because of a story I found in the San Jose Mercury News. There really was bullying going on — students attacked a 15-year-old classmate — but what makes me crazy is the fact that the mother ordered her child to take a beating, while the child celebrated the fact that it was better to get beaten up than to have problems with the school administrators (emphasis mine):
Ann Benediktsson, a 15-year-old Dougherty Valley High School student, was walking home on Thursday when a classmate approached her to say she would soon face a peer in a fight.
Ann’s mother, on the phone with her at the time, told her two things: Run home, and if a fight happens, do not fight back.
“It was the hardest thing I have ever had to say in my life,” Kate Benediktsson recalled. “I felt useless.”
Minutes after speaking to her mother, Ann ran into her peer in a park along with over two dozen other students, waiting to witness the event. While Ann attempted to keep her attacker from pulling her hair and socking her jaw, the bystanders pulled out their phones and filmed. In a video Benediktsson obtained of the fight that she later posted to YouTube, students can be heard egging on the fight, sometimes cheering when Ann’s attacker made contact.
Ann never threw a punch.
“I am proud of how I handled it,” Ann said. “I’m glad I didn’t hit back because the principal and teachers would have just said it was a spat between teenagers.”
I cannot believe that a mother told her child to be a punching bag for bullies. Moreover, I cannot believe that a mother told this to her girl child. One of the primary lessons women learn in every self-defense class is this: if you fight back against someone who is assaulting you, you are likely to suffer physical injuries, but you are also much less likely than the passive victim to be raped or killed.
In the African savannah, when lions stalk wildebeests or gazelles, the lions do not like to have to work hard for their meal. They want the lame and the weak stragglers, not the vigorous animals that put up a fight. Human predators are the same. A women who walks with an upright, energetic step, and who is aware of her surroundings, simply isn’t as appealing as the gal shuffling along with her head down. And if that shuffling gal, when attacked, suddenly finds some gumption and fights back, the predator will often back off in any event and look for an easier victim. (For more on the psychology of self-defense, I highly recommend Gavin de Becker’s The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence.)
The mother in the above news story essentially taught her daughter to be shark chum. Moreover, while the mother ordered the “principled” stand, it was her daughter who ended up taking a beating. The daughter was certainly an obedient child, but I do rather wonder if the mother would have stood there that passively if it was she, rather than her child, being attacked.
I wasn’t the only one thinking it’s a bad article that celebrates the next generation of victims. Although the article garnered only eight comments, one of them was right on the mark as far as I was concerned:
sorry but I rather take a suspension and stand my ground than to be hit upon, that is the problem with parents these days oh don’t fight back, I taught my son how to defend himself and in doing so he is respected because those who tried to fight him lost. I hate bullies. Everyone should know how to defend themselves.
Ever since my kids hit school, I’ve given them a single message: Never be the one to start a fight but, if someone else starts the fight, you make sure to end it. And don’t worry about the school’s subsequent response. If you had to use physical force to defend yourself, and if the school attempts to punish you, I will take the school on if I have to go all the way to the Supreme Court. I’ve never had to make good on this promise, since no one has ever physically attacked my kids. I suspect that, with my instruction ringing in their ears, they don’t walk around like shark bait.
By the way, I always back up this instruction to my kids by telling them that, had Jews not been conditioned by centuries of oppression to avoid arms, put their heads down, and try to appease authorities, its likely that the Holocaust wouldn’t have happened. Please understand that I’m not blaming those victims. First, no one could ever have imagined what the Germans intended to do. Second, the Jews’ behavior wasn’t a conscious decision. It was the result of a thousand years of conditioning. Israel, thankfully, while not blaming the victims, nevertheless learned the lesson. Like my children, Israel won’t start a fight, but she will finish it.
Incidentally, reading this news report about a school district’s institutional hostility to self-defense effectively bullying a child into victimhood, a behavior the child’s mother reinforced, reminded me of a post that America’s Sgt. Major wrote a couple of years ago at Castra Praetoria, explaining how to deal with bullies. I highly recommend it, because it’s both enjoyable and instructive.