Monday, October 11, 2010

Bullied to Death?

Recently, the hot topic on the LGBT blogs has been the shocking number of teenagers who have committed suicide as a result of bullying.  Of course, the focus has been on attempting to portray this as something caused by the "right wing."  But there is a problem with that.  Bullying is nothing new.  I was bullied as a child, as I imagine almost every transsexual was.  And I have been bullied as an adult.  The biggest difference is that the bullies today are "cyber-bullies" and are easily ignored.  A kill file is a wonderful thing.  They continue to rant, and I never see them.  On the rare occasion someone responds to them, and quotes them, I have learned that they want to imagine that I am really still reading their hatred, which only shows just how disturbed they really are.  But I digress.

There is no denying that there has been a rash of suicides linked to bullying.  And as I said above, the LGBT blogs have been largely trying to make it sound like this is the fault of the Right...that nebulous bogey man that includes anyone who dares disagree with even the most radical of the LGBT.  But what is really going on?  

I will be the first to admit, I don't know the specific reason for all of this.  I will start by pointing out that it is not limited to LGBT youth.  Suicides related to bullying have increased overall.  It is not an LGBT problem.  And I don't believe it is caused by an increase in bullying.  Bullying has always existed, probably as long as humans have been around.  So, why is there this increase in suicides?

It is something that needs to be studied.  It is a well established fact that suicides often seem to happen in clusters.  It can become something of, dare I say it, a fad.  I remember reading of a rash of suicides in one institution that began with someone hanging their self on a certain coat hook.  After a number of men followed suit, the hook was removed, and the suicides stopped.  In a similar manner, as teenage suicides resulting from bullying become publicized, other teenagers will feel the need to follow suit.  And the more it happens, the more it is likely to happen.

And that is scary,  What is worse, is that the LGBT blogs will probably continue to fuel this phenomena, if only because they will see this as a means to attack those they oppose.  I fear that things will get far worse before they get better...and that is only if they get better.  There have been a few attempts to fight back, but they have been rather weak.  The scary thing is, the victims become martyrs for a cause, and this may even encourage others to see suicide as not only the answer, but as sort of honorable act.  It isn't.  The honorable act would be to stand up to the bullies and refuse to give in,  And worse, the bullies don't seem to be shamed by causing someone's death.  There have been cases where they even showed up at funerals to gloat.

Something very disturbing is going on.  The most extreme of the LGBT blogs are trying to use the deaths of teenagers by suicide as a club to beat up anyone who disagrees with them.  Somewhat predictably, Suzan Cooke has attempted to rewrite the past and claim that when she started her blog she "laid down the law to the 'HBS/Classic Transsexual; that their name calling wouldn’t be permitted on this blog."  Never mind that we started her blog she tried to identify with the "HBS/Classic Transsexual."  It was only after it became obvious that Cooke had become an apologist for the worst of the gender fascists that the "HBS/Classic Transsexual" began to reject her extremist positions and that she suddenly turned on those she used to align with.

Oh, and never mind that Cooke as been known to bully people quite a bit.  I recall her attacking one post-op as a "skin transvestite" because that person stayed with her wife.  That, apparently, was before Cooke took up with another post-op and was reborn as a long-time lesbian.  But again, I digress.

Bullying happens on both sides of the political spectrum.  And the term "bully" is often used as a club word.  If they don't like it when someone speaks the truth, they just call that person a "bully."  That way they can avoid dealing with facts.  And sometimes the people quickest to call another a bully are the true bullies.  I know of one well known net-kook, who has threatened me with being "outed," and who has even made actual attempts to cause me real harm off the Internet, who loves to scream bully when I stand up to him.  And this same kook has gone after a number of others.

No, something is going on.  And it is probably going to get worse.  Part of the reason it will get worse is because others will try to take advantage of it.  Part of the reason is because there are some real problems that need to be addressed. And part of the reason is simply that these things have to run their course.  

I don't really have the answer.  I do know it will have to involve teaching kids that suicide is not the answer.  I know it will have to do with changing values.    And I know that the answer, strange as it may seem, will not be to, to silence the bullies.  First off, that won't work...and any attempt might make things worse, and second, as I said, there have always been bullies.  Something else is going on.


Aria said...

"The most extreme of the LGBT blogs are trying to use the deaths of teenagers by suicide as a club to beat up anyone who disagrees with them."

This is a very, very good point. It's something that the extremist activists do over and over, just pick fodder for the day and run the playbook. I hope it comes to an end sooner rather than later. These types think nothing of the damage they do to others; they only care for themselves.

Anonymous said...

There are a number of proposed laws that would restrict first amendment rights by not allowing people to say "hurtful things" to or about other people. News about these laws has been in the background and covered over by the usual crap in the mainstream media, nonetheless they are there.

I believe these suicides we be used to push for those laws. If this happens people like Pam Spading will have to shut down her blog for saying hurtful things about their opponents. People like Lynn Conway will have to remove parts of TS Roadmap because of her childish attacks upon people she has a bone to pick with. Suzan Cooke will have to stop calling people nazies and fascists.

They will get their wish, and and they will be just as guilty as those they accuse.

How stupid can they possibly be?

Sophie said...

"There is no denying that there has been a rash of suicides linked to bullying."

"Suicides related to bullying have increased overall."

Other than because you say so, what do you have to support either of these statements? A growing awareness of the problem due to increased media coverage is not the same as an actual increase. Please do not get the idea that I am trying to downplay the significance of the problem. There is a major problem with regard to teen suicide and it is good that awareness of it is increasing. However, as far as I know the CDC is the only organization that accurately tracks suicide on a national level and their data only goes to 2007. And it shows an overall decrease in the rate of teen suicide.

Just Jennifer said...

Sophia, my point was that this appears to be, for want of a better term, a sort of suicide fad. It is a well established fact that publicizing a suicide can lead to copycats. I suspect that may be what is happening here.

Simply put, suicide is not an answer, but some fail to see this. If they see others taking that path, they may think it is the right choice. That cycle needs to be broken, and there do seem to be some efforts in that regard. I hope they work, and don't fuel the fire instead.

Just Jennifer said...

One reason I tend to oppose censorship is that it tends to backfire. Yes, it would be quite interesting to see some of the radical blogs hoist by their own petard.

I fear Cooke is spiraling out of control. She seems to be losing her grip on reality. Her blog is rapidly becoming a self-parody. Her abuse of the term "Nazi" becomes a textbook case of an argument for "Godwin's Law."

I remember a wise, but trite statement..."Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me." Sadly, today people are taught to be overly sensitive to insults.

Anonymous said...

Typical for Cooke, our favorite reactionary.

Kyle Albert said...

Ever consider that you're effectively bullying Autumn Sandeen by referring to her with incorrect pronouns?

Just Jennifer said...

Well Kyle, that is an interesting question. Is it bullying to tell someone the truth? Mr. Sandeen is a male, who seems very intent on keeping his penis. He claims to be a "pre-op" but instead of making actual plans to have SRS he makes excuses. So, no, I am not using incorrect pronouns. You see, concepts like sex and gender have real meanings. It is not just all a game like Mr. Sandeen and his ilk seem to presume. One does not automatically become a woman by putting on a dress, or by simply saying "I am a woman..." It is much more than that. Mr. Sandeen had a very long career in the Navy, showing no real signs of gender issues. He was happily a male, albeit probably a crossdressing male, until relatively late in life. Then he seems to have decided that he could up his status in the "transgender" community by seeking SRS. The sad fact is, there is no such hierarchy as he imagines.

Kyle Albert said...

It can in fact be bullying to tell someone the truth. Calling someone fat, brace-face, four eyes or tranny may be telling the truth, but it's still cruel and unnecessary.

However, in this case, you're not even telling the truth. Ms. Sandeen has undergone years of HRT, and is planning on undergoing SRS in time. I'm sure you realize that SRS is incredibly expensive, perhaps Ms. Sandeen doesn't have the means? Would you degender her for a lack of funds? I understand that gender and sex are real concepts, and if you've learned any gender theory, gender (unlike sex) resides in the head. That's why (as I'm sure you know) trans women transition, to rectify their bodies to match their gender. Ms. Sandeen was never a man, she was always a women, as gender is innate. Ms. Sandeen may have lived as a male, but maybe she has a deep case of denial, or was afraid? When do you draw the line for someone to be a trans women. Do they have to transition before puberty? As soon as they can? When they finally realize the denial they've been living? When they finally come to the conclusion after years of hiding who they were to finally live as they truly saw themselves? Would you consider calling a gay man who came out in his fifties, after a career in the military straight? I also find your fixation on sex and gender as "real" concepts a little strange, especially because so many bigots in the world use the exact argument to degender you.

Just Jennifer said...

"However, in this case, you're not even telling the truth. Ms. Sandeen has undergone years of HRT, and is planning on undergoing SRS in time. I'm sure you realize that SRS is incredibly expensive, perhaps Ms. Sandeen doesn't have the means?"

Sorry, but your facts are a bit off. First off, Mr. Sandeen has shown no real inclination towards having SRS. He was, for many years, an avowed non-op. He has changed to claiming a desire for surgery because, like many transgender types, he thinks this gives him a bit more credibility. Mr. Sandeen spends money quite a bit (travel is not that cheap). If he were serious about surgery, every spare penny would be going into savings. Yes, I know how expensive surgery is. I also know all to well the compulsion to get the money to cover it. I was lucky. I worked for two years at a half-time position, but my insurance covered it. It worked out, as if I had of been full time, without insurance, I would have saved half my income towards surgery. So, while I didn't make about $24,000 I could have made, it worked out the same.
Now, you speak of "gender theory." That is pretty much non-scientific clap-trap. Yes, what makes one a transsexual is what is between the ears, so to speak. But what most call gender is imaginary. What makes a difference is the "sexual differentiation of the brain." People like Mr. Sandeen, and I suspect you, treat gender as some sort of choice, subject to change.

Mr. Sandeen served 20 years in the U.S. Navy, a happy male, serving in a very male role, perhaps sneaking around crossdressing on the side. In another words, he is a classic case of a transvestite who, as a sort of mid-life crisis, decides to go a bit further.

How a person can claim, after a lifetime of successfully living as a male, that they are "suddenly" a transsexual is beyond me.

The issue is not when someone transitions, but instead is when they start having difficulty living in their birth sex. Mr, Sandeen was perfectly happy, and functional, in a male role for many years. Had he been truly a woman, he would have been so miserable in a male role in the Navy that he would have either failed, or have resigned.

As to gays, your comparison is worthless. Being gay has NOTHING to do with being transsexual. I know several friends who served in the military, and who are gay. One died a bit over a year ago, and I was invited to his memorial service at the American Legion. He may not have been out to the military, but he was gay the whole time he served as were others. There is no comparison there.

And yes, sex and the sexual differentiation of the brain are very real concepts. What you refer to as gender is bogus. It is an imaginary thing dreamed up by those seeking to deny reality. True transsexualism is extremely rare. Disturbed men like Mr, Sandeen are all too common. They seek to be seen as transgender. They have no real desire, or more importantly, the need, to be seen as women. They only want to force society to pander to their little games.