Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Patronus, Westboro Baptist, and Why I Don't Believe in Ignoring Bullies

I was a victim of bullying.

When I was eight a classmate told me she was going to break my neck, while other classmates laughed with her. A teacher kept all the girls in the entire class in from recess the next day to discuss all the reasons bullying is wrong. Considering that this was almost a decade before Bullying Awareness became a thing, this was pretty huge. I doubt it did much for those students, and the bullying sure didn't stop, but it changed everything for me because I could see that even though I couldn't escape the bullying it wasn't something I deserved.

In the seventh grade when a teacher, who had also taken to bullying me in his own way, yelled at me for something I hadn't done one of my closest friends called him out for it in front of the entire cafeteria. Thanks to her by high school I was - at least internally - a very different child.

J.K. Rowling, who always seems to make headlines when she gets on Twitter, summed it up perfectly today when a follower suggested that ignoring Westboro Baptist Church is the better answer. In one tweet she explained why ignoring bullies isn't the answer with this tweet:

I recently wrote a poem titled "Things You Could be Doing Instead of Sending Me Blow Job Photos On Twitter."

Someone asked me when I began writing this poem, "Isn't that just feeding the fire? Doesn't that just give them the attention they want?" No, I don't believe so. I highly doubt the various folks who have sent me rape threats, blow job photos, or called me names because of my rampant use of the F-word (that's Feminism, btw) will ever see the poem. And they don't need to because...

It isn't for them.

It's for me. This poem is my Patronus against internet trolls. It's my silly way of fighting the darkness.

A Dementor is a creature which sucks everything happy out of you. And a Patronus is the only defense against them.

When learning to cast a Patronus spell students are taught to look at their biggest fear as something silly. They learn to picture a spider wearing rollerblades, or put a scary person in silly clothes. (This is where Alan Rickman ends up in an oversized women's hat in the movie.) Or, in my case, give a few internet trolls a silly To Do list because, obviously, they are very bored people.

This poem made me feel better, because I was putting the spiders in roller-skates. I learned when I was a child that bullies should never be allowed to have the last laugh.

I would like to commend J.K. Rowling for her Patronus against those Dementors over at the WBC, and offer up my little Patronus against some of my less-deserving Twitter followers in:

Things You Could be Doing Instead of Sending Me Blowjob Photos on Twitter

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