“Our Generation Has The Power To End It”

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Jamey Rodenmyer died last Sunday.

That was Lady Gaga, on Twitter, in reference to the death of Jamie Rodemeyer, who was 14 years old and will always be 14 years old. And what she is talking about is the concept that “it gets better” but at a larger scale than a few years in a single person’s life.

Jamie was harassed during middle school by insensitive bullies who felt the need to turn their own difficulties with gender orientation into someone else’s misery. You might even know him from his YouTube videos. Over the weekend, Jamie killed himself. At the moment, police are looking into pressing charges, and there seems to be a high likelihood of this happening. Lady Gaga is said to be meeting with Barack Obama, who was already involved along with dozens of other well known and powerful individuals, including Michele Obama, with the anti-bullying social change campaign that is currently very much under way and that has been going on around us for a few years now.

Would it be in poor taste at this point to note that Michele Bachmann has come out squarely against the anti-bullying campaign, and has made the statement that bullying is good for children? I wonder if she plans to meet Jamie’s parents. Maybe I’d better not even mention that at this juncture.

Thank you for that, Michele. OK, let’s move on from that sassy naturalistic fallacy..

The campaign is #MakALawForJamie.

"I will not stop fighting. This must end. Our generation has the power to end it. Trend it. #MakeALawForJamey."

That’s the twitter hashtag. That’s the concept. That’s the campaign that is going to bring this issue, with all it’s social baggage, all the queer bagage, all the gender baggage, right to the place where people who want to lead us will have to declare that they are in or out. Are they going to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Are they going to be hippies or teabaggers.

I’m not sure about anti-bullying laws, how they would work, how effective they would be, but the process itself would probably have benefits. Bullying is not protected, this is not a first amendment issue, though at some point there will be some first amendment question to settle. Also, keep in mind, much of this happens in school and in the domestic environment. The first amendment does not apply particularly well in those contexts when it comes to speech. The principal of your middle school can repress you, and it’s constitutionally OK!

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6 thoughts on ““Our Generation Has The Power To End It”

  1. It’s a very strange notion indeed that the laws which protect adults from harassment, stalking, and even physical assault somehow don’t and shouldn’t apply to children.

  2. Ibis3, I think it’s because a lot of people have the idea that when anyone under 18 is concerned, “it takes two to tango.”

    Somehow, they can accept the idea of an adult being jumped out of nowhere and beaten to a bloody pulp, but if the same thing happens to a kid, the kid must’ve provoked it somehow. “What did you do to make him slam your hand in the locker/hit you with the lid of the ball crate/stab you with a compass/etc?” is something I heard a lot as a kid. The idea that my mere existence was all the provocation the bullies needed was incomprehensible to them.

  3. At least we’re calling it by its name now. When I was a kid, it was called “teasing.” As in, 28 of every 30 kids would mock me every day in some capacity, calling me names, chasing me around the playground, occasionally shoving me in the halls, cornering me in the street, crank-calling my house (I shudder to think what they’d have done to me in the internet age), and they were “teasing” me.

  4. At least we’re calling it by its name now. When I was a kid, it was called “teasing.”

    Frankly, I’d like to see THAT made a felony.

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