Nations have different ways to define bullying as in the UK they define it as repeated behaviour with the “intent to hurt someone either physically or emotionally” and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention defines bullying as: “any unwanted aggressive behaviour(s)…that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times.”
A very recognizable trait found in primates, primatologist Frans de Waal of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, calls the behavior, “scapegoating”. As with humans , as unfortunate monkey at the bottom of the hierarchy is repeatedly attacked and picked upon by those higher up in the group. They are sometimes beaten up every day, says de Waal. This in turn unites the rest of the group.
“It seems to release tensions among the higher-ups,” says de Waal. “That reinforces their bonds, as they have a common enemy.” He also pointed out that removing the ‘victim’ or ‘scapegoat’ doesn’t stop bullying, the bullies will just find another. De Waal continues “When you’re at the bottom, you’re at the bottom, you get beaten up, that’s how you live in that society.”
Well, that may be so for monkeys and apes but human ‘scapegoats’ more times than not find their way out of being bullied. I did. I was bullied for various reasons through middle school. But I got strong, I stood up and overcame my bullies. I can’t say that I slugged one in the stomach but I can say that I became stronger because of my bullies. I am grateful for them. And because I overcame them… those bullies probably learned their lesson and didn’t grow into bullies through adulthood.
We live in a society where children aren’t allowed to take care of their own social issues that are very natural in the society of children. An adult intervenes which rarely stops the bully and only weakens the resolve of the ‘scapegoat’. In this video a skinny girl just won’t back down when approached by a group of girls. She stood her ground and possible gained some respect. Check the VIDEO here: