Due to my extensive training and working with both bullies and the victims, I was asked to speak on a panel at Ninja-Con along with a clinical psychologist and professional cosplayers.
Original post found here.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ELIZABETH GLANZER, LA TEEN THERAPIST
At Ninja-Con, we also had an interview with Elizabeth Glanzer. During this time we asked her about the way bullying affects our youth and her experience with it. We also discussed how we could prevent it from happening in the future. If you are interesting in standing up and speaking out against bullying please check out nerdcivilwar.com.
What is a bully? Aren’t we all victims of some problem at one point in our lives?
Bullying is when someone is using some type of force in order to harm somebody else and are not in jeopardy themselves. Another way of saying it is when a person pushes someone else physically, emotionally or mentally in a direction they don’t want to go.
What is your experience with bullying?
In high school I had been family friends with a girl a year older than I was. She was queen bee of a huge clique. When I started to hang out with her group of friends, the sidekicks were insanely jealous. They started lying and sneaking around uninviting me to things and saying they didn’t like me and all these things wrong with me. They spread rumors about me being a slut and told the whole school not to ask me to prom so I would have no date. When I found out I was crying so hard I had to leave school. To this day I still gravitate towards mostly male friends.
What are common traits of victims of bullying?
Anxiety, fear, PTSD, afraid of everything, isolation, sense of loss, sense of intrusion, shame, embarrassment, self-disgust for not standing up to the bully, self-harm, low self-esteem, sense of worthlessness. Bullying became a well known issue in pop culture when gay people started committing suicide after being tortured in school by other kids. That’s why we created phone hotlines, emergency services, and the schools became somewhat trained and aware of it. Gay people were a easy target because they were isolated.
Is it rape culture or are we being irresponsible?
Adding rape to the topic of bullying it is like adding murder to it. Bullying is a painful enough topic on its own and is not particularly of the same nature. Rapists are all bullies, but not all bullies are rapists. I don’t really want to go off on rape, because bullying should be given enough attention in itself.
Why are Cosplayers being groped?
Anytime you differentiate yourself in a culture by changing the way you appear, by costumes, by makeup, by hair, anything to make you different from other people you’re setting yourself up in one degree or another to be a target of other people’s insecurities. You’re being brave by putting yourself in the limelight and there is no shortage of assholes on this planet.
Racism, Sexism, or Homophobia – where does this stem from?
It stems from internal insecurities and usually abuse in the family. It has nothing to do with the other race, gender, or sexual preference. A bully is just looking for a weakness. If it involves something serious like rape or murder, then they’re really sick. If it’s tripping someone, it’s a less serious version of the same concept which is 1) their insecurity and 2) because they can. They’re bigger or they’ve been abused at home, so they feel permission.
How can we help this problem? Do we do this alone or ask for help?
It is always best to get help as soon as possible. A bully’s power lies in your isolation. It’s very hard to bully a whole group. Build a team around you whether it’s friends or adults as fast as possible before they hurt you physically or get to you mentally. Don’t start to believe them and isolate yourself more due to shame. It only gives them more power. It’s a cycle that has to be stopped as soon as possible.
For more info on Elizabeth Glanzer, and to see how she can help you or anyone effected by bullying, visit: lateentherapist.com