In the article, “TV Bullies: Glee and the Perpetuation of Bullying,” the author Gerald Walton dives into the misrepresentations and lack of progress regarding bullying in schools and the misdirected efforts in attempting to destroy this awful act. One of Walton‘s main points that is emphasized throughout the article is the “homophobic” instances of bullying and how this is being categorized incorrectly. Walton stresses that by categorizing instances of homophobic behavior as “bullying“ whether it involves emotional or physical harassment, it surpasses the notion of bullying and is purely physical or emotional assault. Walton writes, “Referring to acts of homophobia as “bullying” hides the ways in which queer children and youth are subjected to unique forms of verbal and physical assaults related to their real or imagined sexual orientation”. He explains that with this umbrella statement of “bullying,” it tends to belittle the great importance of this other form of harassment by just categorizing it with the big issue.
Along with discussing the misrepresenting of issues surrounding bullying, Walton also emphasizes how yes there are efforts within the media, books, celebrity endorsements and so like Dan Savages’. It Gets Better campaign, in which they claim they are helping the cause to end bullying, but none of these platforms are actually exposing new ways in which to fix these problems. The article, “TV Bullies: Glee and the Perpetuation of Bullying,” uses the popular hit Television series Glee, to put forth some examples in the addressing of bullying, but not exactly suggesting ways in which to stop it. Glee primarily puts emphasis on the presence and impact that bullying has on schools, but simply expresses ways of dealing with the issues. One example that Walton uses from Glee to show this is one that came from an experience the openly gay character, Kurt Hummel. Kurt is being mentally and physically assaulted at school, and because the administration simply filled it away in the bullying category that was already ever so present at their school.
Kurt is faced with having to deal with the problem himself by confronting his own assaulter. Walton’s mention of this scene reiterates his point in how these separate and severe acts of violence surrounding homophobia get clumped together as simply “bullying, “ which separates and discounts the severity. He stresses that Glee did all of the initial good moves in beginning to deal with bullying, but in aspects just does it the wrong way. Walton states, “The show seems to suggest that bullying is a usual and normal pan of growing up- that it builds character,” One thing that I find I feel the need to counter is Walton‘s harsh criticism of areas that address bullying but not in the “effective way” he puts it. in my view, any attention on a controversial subject matter is good attention.
Whether it’s a method that lays out steps in ways to report an act of harassment, a simple hotline for individuals who have experienced bullying, or even if it is an individual that makes themselves present to be a subject of comfort, every act helpst One little wave in an ocean doesn’t usually do much damage, but when a whole lot of little waves come together, the impact is huge. Walton tends to over criticize these platforms of defiance against bullying and I don’t agree with that. I respect any individual or group who decides to speak up on the matter, and no deed should go unappreciated. He also criticizes some of the industries and businesses that benefit and make a profit off of the mediums they sell that suggest ways in which bullying can be stopped. I find myself in disagreement with this critique because I am simply looking realistically at, in and all around our world.
This world is designed, run and maintained off of money, While yes some individuals do obtain a harmful amount of greed, it is almost absurd to begin to criticize someone or something for receiving a profit when our world functions and operates on the idea of money. It is a natural thing to want, and I do not believe that should discredit one’s feeling toward an important and awful act, such as bullying. While Walton‘s points are clear and concise and I may not agree with them all, the important and crucial message that should be taken from this article is that ALL acts of violence in schools needs to be stopped. With the help of the media and various campaigns, the issue is out there, and now it is up to every platform to unite and solve the problem.