If you went to school in Africa (Nigerian boarding schools to be precise) you undoubtedly have a completely different perception to what gets passed off as bullying in the West. The concept of cyber-bull where I’m from is more or less an oxymoron (ain’t no body got time for that!). From as early as nine or ten years old most kids (myself included) experience physical bullying in the form of belting and a range of corporal punishments I cannot begin to explain. The school systems are structured to permit this kind of treatment with an unspoken rule that arranges a power structure within students based on what year you are in. Teachers of course are allowed to smack you. While I will not promote or defend bullying in this way, I would point out that this ‘suck it up’ philosophy encourages a certain type of character building unseen in the West as far as bullying is concerned. I have been reading through comments about the victim of cyber bullying on Ask.fm that ended up hanging herself and it has really got me thinking. Of course this is not the first time such a case has arisen and if steps are not taken it wouldn’t be the last either.
Most comments seem to call for better monitoring of these sites, better parental monitoring of children’s internet activity, or blame the victims for not being mature enough to handle the situation. I think it is worth considering how children are socialized these days to figure out if society is not giving kids the tools essential to build strong characters. Could it be possible that in today’s society children are over-protected and under-monitored? I will give an example. In Nigeria it is very common for parents to physically hit their kids to deter them from repeating an offense. Because this happens to everyone there is no stigma attached to it. No Nigerian grows up feeling ‘abused’ because their parents hit them with a belt or shoe on a few occasions. In the West a parent hitting the child provides this child with a sob story for the rest of their life. I actually remember being teased with the term ‘ajebor’ (posh) in school because I said my parents never hit me. In fact I considered making up that they did just to feel normal!
Do you think old people suggest bringing back the cane because they want others to taste their pain or because they actually believe it is can help for character building?
I do not have kids therefore I feel rather unqualified to suggest a solution, but it is obvious that much needs to be done in regards to character building to reduce the need for social acceptance among the young. Perhaps some scheme rolled out to lecture kids on handling bullying after teaching them how to put condoms over cucumbers?
For an opinionated and overly honest asshole like myself it is rare to find an issue I cannot confidently take a side on but I have to say gay adoption got me sitting on the fence. I am hoping to use this post to present my thoughts on the issue and maybe one of you kind reader will be able to sway my vote. I have read a lot of opinions on this matter including comment section battles to rival the second world war online. I guess everything surrounding gay rights touches people at the base of their convictions. So what do you think of gay adoption? (interesting how even in homosexual terminology the male still represents both types, like how man represents male and female in literature).
The main argument against gay adoption lies in the potential impact on the child. The keyword here of course is ‘potential’. This means we don’t yet know for sure how the child will be affected. A lot of people have highlighted that other kids might make fun of the child in school, but what child is truly free from the terror of name calling? And do kids actually have the concept of same sex marriages in primary school. I didn’t even know about straight sexuality till my brother went to secondary school and came back to give me a science lesson to which I replied ‘That can’t be true, mummy would never let daddy do that to her’. Another argument is that you cannot force a child to accept an idea that isn’t yet accepted by the masses. People that argue from this point of view say it is best to let a child grow up to make up his or her own opinion on same sex relations. To this I say grow some balls and make a decision. Interracial marriages were only legalized fully in 1967 by USA. Are you saying prior to that it would have been wrong for interracial couples to adopt because it wasn’t yet accepted by the masses?
I have a lesbian friend with a happy partner and a baby she had in her straight days (guess that makes her bi), the kid seems happy and apparently there hasn’t been any case of bullying in school. Everyone has come across an irresponsible straight parent but we don’t seem to have a list of requirements for parenthood in straight relationships. And are we so paranoid about the gay lifestyle that we would rather have kids in orphanage homes or hopping from one foster parent to the other instead of providing a stable home with a gay family?
See what I did here?
Just some food for thought, bon apetite 🙂
P.S In Nigeria homosexuality can land you in prison for 14 years, I would write about this later.