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How do you deal with people who bully Tintin fans?

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tintinophile691
Member
#11 · Posted: 27 Apr 2010 10:09
jock123:
I think you need to distinguish more between what is bullying, and what are just people with different tastes or opinions.

The point is the people that have different tastes do tend to bully people who do not conform.
jock123
Moderator
#12 · Posted: 27 Apr 2010 12:48
tintinophile691:
The point is the people that have different tastes do tend to bully people who do not conform.

That's too much of a generalization for me: everybody has differing tastes, because everyone is unique, but it does not follow that that leads to bullying.
You might like peanut butter, I hate peanut butter, but that doesn't mean that you'd bully me about it, does it?
Mostly you'd probably be indifferent about it ("He doesn't like peanut butter - so what?"); perhaps you'd even be pleased ("More peanut butter for me!"). That's not bullying.
You might pull my leg about, make a joke of it, or even be downright rude (talking hypothetically, of course!), but that isn't bullying either.
Bullying me would be taking my peanut butter away from me by force, or by making it seem to others and myself that by not liking peanut butter I was inferior to everyone.

All I am counseling here is not to put yourself in the state of mind that just because someone doesn't like the same things as you, that you are being bullied, or that they might bully you, or that by having a different opinion to you someone is automatically a bully. When one does, it is like you are doing the bullies work for them - applying mental pressure, and worrying about your likes and dislikes, running yourself down. Everybody does that from time to time, but it isn't productive.

I know for a fact that Cigars of the Beeper loves Tolkien books, and I dislike them: he isn't bullying me by having that opinion, nor I him by not agreeing with him.

I really liked the Peter Jackson movies of the Tolkien books, and he didn't, but we just agree amicably to disagree on that fact, and have enjoyed some good discussions on both our views. No bullying, no fuss, no harm done.
cigars of the beeper
Member
#13 · Posted: 28 Apr 2010 13:14
I don't hate the Peter Jackson movies, per se, I just have to disagree with them on several points because I like the books.
jock123
Moderator
#14 · Posted: 28 Apr 2010 13:27 · Edited by: jock123
cigars of the beeper:
I don't hate the Peter Jackson movies, per se, I just have to disagree with them on several points because I like the books.

Quite so. I wasn't saying that you hated them exactly, but apologize if I mis-represented you; I was just using the general point for illustrative purposes, and not as an absolute depiction of your personal opinion.
Put it this way: I have no reservations that the films are better than the books; you have reservations about the book to movie transfer - is that a better reflection on the situation?
cigars of the beeper
Member
#15 · Posted: 28 Apr 2010 22:28
Yes, pretty much.
mct16
Member
#16 · Posted: 29 Apr 2010 19:50
jock123:
everybody has differing tastes, because everyone is unique, but it does not follow that that leads to bullying

Actually I think that it tends to depend on age and maturity. When I was at school I shared few of the interests of the other pupils: they were into football, I was into motor racing; they would play during break time, I would go to the library; picking on others and making their life difficult was a pleasure to most, I found it cruel.

As a result I tended to be teased and bullied by the others because I just could not fit in. This has eased a bit in adulthood: people are more tolerant of the fact that I do not share their interests, though actually making friends on a social basis is still not easy. (I have Asperger Syndrome which goes some way to explaining my problems.)

The thing is that tolerating others is a matter of maturity. I don't agree with much of what Islam or the Catholic Church preaches but I put up with. I am not prepared to ban or exile them like certain so-called adults would - and whom I consider as two short of the required dozen.
tintinophile691
Member
#17 · Posted: 6 May 2010 10:01 · Edited by: tintinophile691
tintinophile691:
The point is the people that have different tastes do tend to bully people who do not conform.

I realise I'm being bullied now. I was a bit naive, believing my teacher when she said nothing was happening. Nobody wants to sit next to me in class. When I do try, they move immediately. When I tried talking about Tintin, they ostracise me. Why? Obviously because I'm a Tintinophile, and at the same time, I practise neurodiversity*.

*The definition of this word isn't as simple as you may find on Wikipedia. It's the belief in tolerating autistics and targeting real problems like self-mutilation and being intolerant to senses, not behaviour modification. Those kinds of things get in the way of happiness to both autistic and the neurologically typical.

---

I also request that this thread be locked, since it is getting nowhere.
number1fan
Member
#18 · Posted: 6 May 2010 10:08
tintinophile691:
I also request that this thread be locked, since it is getting nowhere.

Yea really is going nowhere and seems pointless
jock123
Moderator
#19 · Posted: 6 May 2010 11:04
tintinophile691:
Nobody wants to sit next to me in class. When I do try, they move immediately. When I tried talking about Tintin, they ostracise me. Why? Obviously because I'm a Tintinophile, and at the same time, I practise neurodiversity*.

I am truly sorry if you are having a problem; but have you considered that if you insist on talking to people about subjects about which they have no interest, that that could also be a form of bullying?

You are trying to force them to do something that they don't wish to do (talk about Tintin), and make them conform to your way of thinking.

I don't watch or like soap-operas, for example, so if someone talked to me once about soap-operas, I might listen politely, and hope that the conversation turned to another topic; if they brought it up again, I might mention that I don't watch soap operas, and change the topic. If every time I met that person all they ever did was talk to me about soap-operas, then I might start to avoid that person if I could.

Think of any subject which you would find irritating or boring for you to be subjected to by someone else, and put yourself in their position. Would you want someone next to you to be always talking about a subject you don't enjoy.

So I'm afraid that I still don't see any evidence that you are being bullied because of your love of Tintin; while it is not nice to be ostracized from any group, perhaps try widening the subject: if you tell someone how much you enjoy Tintin, ask them if they like any other comics or cartoons, and listen to them about their interests. If they don't like comics, try and find out what their interest is.

tintinophile691:
I also request that this thread be locked, since it is getting nowhere.

I'm sorry, why do you think that?

number1fan:
Yea really is going nowhere and seems pointless

Then simply ignore it; it isn't compulsory to follow every thread.
Balthazar
Moderator
#20 · Posted: 6 May 2010 14:02 · Edited by: Balthazar
I disagree with Jock a wee bit, and I think that we may have failed to get to the root of this problem.

From your last post, Tintinophile, it seems clear that you really are being bullied and that it's making you very unhappy. Some people (such as your teacher, maybe) often think of bullying only in terms of someone using physical violence or intimidation, eg: attacking a smaller child in the playground to steal their lunch money. But what your class peers are doing — systematically shunning you and refusing to sit with you — is just as hurtful a form of bullying as violence. And it's more pernicious, since unlike with violent bullying, the perpetrators aren't doing anything they can be easily punished for, and your teacher is more easily able to kid herself that no bullying is taking place.

I think what you're experiencing is quite common (clearly mct16 experienced something similar), especially in schools and cultures where conforming with the "herd" is actively promoted as a good thing, rather than being seen for the unpleasant human trait that it nearly always is. Given how common this form of group bullying is, and given how obvious it is that everyone refusing to sit with you will be making you miserable, I'm disappointed to hear that your teacher can't (or won't) recognise there's a problem.

If we've failed to get anywhere much in this thread, I think it may be because the Tintin angle may be a slight distraction from the root problem. Don't get me wrong; I'm sure you're correct when you say that these people in your class bully you for liking Tintin. But it sounds as if they're really bullying you because they perceive you as being different from what they narrowly think of as "the norm", and that your love of a European comic series is merely one symptom of your difference. If you happened to like anything else outside their narrow field of cultural knowledge rather than Tintin, they'd be ostracising you for that in just the same way.

And conversely, if these were normal, broad-minded friends, rather than narrow-minded bullies, then even if they didn't share your love of Tintin, you'd be able to simply agree to disagree, or even enjoy some light-hearted argument on the subject.

With the bullies in your class, it sounds like they'll pick on you, or ostracise you, for anything. From your brief explanation, neurodiversity sounds perfectly reasonable to me. If I've understood you right, I can see that your belief that autism is a valid way of being and one that should be tolerated, rather than being a problem in itself that one "suffers from" like an illness, would be exactly the sort of thing that would challenge the herd mentality of the class bullies. Basically, you're not only different in their eyes, but you're daring to be openly self-confident about being different, and they can't handle that. But why should you give up that self-belief to appease them? Giving up everything you like and believe in order to fit into a group isn't a very good basis for real friendship.

As Jock says, it wouldn't be a good idea to ram your views and tastes down you classmates' throats, but to be honest, I don't get the impression you've been doing that anyway. You're just being yourself. Jock's advice to take a conversational interest in things your classmates are interested in is obviously sensible, and maybe you've tried it, but if no-one will even sit next to you and give you a chance to make conversation, it's hard to see how you can make a start.

I think it's unlikely that every single one of your class mates really wants to be treating you as badly as they all are. Typically, in these kind of group bullying or group ostracising situations, many of the people are just joining in and going along with it because they don't want to be the one being bullied and are relieved that they're not. It seems unlikely that any of your classmates are as confident of their popularity and their place in the group as they like to appear. In fact, it's probably their lack of confidence that is making them feel the need to bully you, and this may be even more true of the apparent leaders of the class group than of the hangers-on. This can all be subconscious, of course, and many of your classmates may not even realise that they're bullying you or how unhappy their ostracisation of you is making you feel.

Obviously, at this distance and online, I'm simply guessing about all of this. But it strikes me that there may well be people within the class group who'd actually like to be friends with you, but daren't for fear of being bullied or ostracised by the others the way you're being. A good teacher might be able to arrange the seating and class activities to break up the current group dynamic and enable this to happen. But it doesn't sound as if your teacher really understands what's going on. If you can't get her to understand, is there another teacher in the school with whom you get on, or a student counsellor or somesuch person, who'd listen to you and talk to your teacher, or give you on-the ground practical and specific help? Maybe someone could at least help you find friends in other classes in the school, or in out-of-school groups of some kind.

If you are trying to explain your problem to your teacher or anyone else, I'd suggest that you explain it in terms of the core problem of being ostracised so badly, rather than the more symptomatic issue of being picked on for liking Tintin. As you've seen in this thread, describing this real bullying problem in terms of the Tintin angle tends to make people think you're taking about something more trivial than you actually are.

None of this is particularly well-informed advice, but I hope it helps a bit!

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