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Comment: The social dynamics of bullying

The internet is a pretty crazy place. Five weeks ago I posted “Son, as soon as someone puts their hands on you…” - it was a well enough received post, y'know, normal par for the course type stuff. Then a couple days ago it gets submitted to a few places around the internet, and over 20,000 people come and read it. There's over 120 new comments there, many of them really intelligent and insightful.

This one stands out to me by "A Psychologist" -

I've studied bullying for a number of years now. The social dynamics of bullying are very old, evolutionarily speaking. The references to dominance hierarchies and such are not ill-placed, teenagers are primates after all.

Coupled with that, they're grappling with all sorts of psycho-social issues ranging from hormones to newly placed pressures to define themselves and seek a future worthy of respect, etc.

Moreover, this is the first and last place (outside prison) where physical dominance really matters and can be exercised with relatively little consequence - so bullies milk it the best they can.

What's reading yourself getting quoted like? Strange. Very strange.

Jason Shen quoted me on his website -

"As soon as they put their hands on you… (quote)"

I’ve got some sets of names I’d name my sons as they’re born. They’re unconventional names – Cosimo Marshall or Aurelius Marshall if the boy’s mother was Italian, Zhuge Marshall if he was Chinese. The boy will likely get teased.

That’s fine, tease back.

But son, as soon as someone puts their hands on you, they’ve crossed a line. Fuck them up. It’s the only thing these vicious freaks understand. They’re wild animals. They make violence on you, you need to show them that you’re the stronger, bigger animal. When someone attacks you maliciously for no reason, you need to impose your will on them. -Sebastian Marshall – Blogger, Strategist

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