Bret Easton Ellis To Bullying Victims: ‘Man Up’

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Just one month after New Kids In The Hall‘s Scott Thompson told gay teens to “grow a pair,” American Psycho author Bret Easton Ellis has this to say via Twitter:

When I was bullied: you manned-up. You learned something. You realized: I’m not getting the gold star. You realized: you lose. Deal with it.

Charming, isn’t it?

Part of me hates to even write this post since it’s not exactly newsworthy that Ellis is a dick. Plus, this all seems like a giant publicity ploy. BUT… It annoys me to no end that there are people who look up to Ellis and this is what he’s preaching – that the answer to bullying is to simply “deal with it.”

Don’t get me wrong: we live in era where a one-off name-calling incident among 3-year-olds has suddenly become a forum for parents, educators, bloggers, psychiatrists, life coaches to throw around words like “bullying” and “victims.” In fact, a Boston school district is currently investigating a 7-year-old boy for “sexual harassment” after he kicked his alleged bully in the crotch in an act of self-defense. It’s stories like these that make me rolls my eyes and think, “C’mon, really?!”

At the same time, bullying is a huge issue and it sickens me that there are countless teens out there dropping out of school and, way worse, committing suicide, because they have nowhere to turn. Ellis’ comments come at the same time that this video by eighth-grader Jonah Mowry has gone viral; in it, Mowry expresses his extreme pain and sorrow over being bullied. Most people want to dive right in and give Mowry a big hug, tell him it’s going to be okay. To think of someone telling him instead to “man up” – or even to “deal with it” – is just cringe-worthy.

I think that parents have a responsibility to raise kids to face bullies and to fight back. That said, it’s not always so simple. You know things are bad when teens are taking their own lives over bullying and not just writing about it in their journals or confiding in a best friend, as so many of us did growing up. To just dismiss the whole issue as being blown out of proportion – trendy, even – is irresponsible.