Everyone – parents, teachers, all adults, all teenagers, even younger kids – needs to read this book. Now.
Carrie Goldman came to the bullying issue when her first-grade daughter was bullied because she brought a Star Wars water bottle to school. Star Wars is for boys, apparently, not girls. Carrie wrote a blog post about the issue and the response was overwhelming. People wrote about their own experiences with bullying, women wrote about loving Star Wars, men wrote about being bullied because they were too girly. The massive influx of support inspired Carrie to look at the issue more deeply, and the result was this wonderful book.
Bullying is an incredibly complicated issue that involves not just relations between two children on the playground, but our entire society. Carrie does an amazing job of breaking down all of the different factors that play into a culture of bullying. She teases out all of the nuances and deals with complex ideas in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand way. And most importantly, she offers solutions.
There’s no quick fix to this problem, but there are many positive steps that we can all start taking right away. Many of the solutions she provides are addressed to schools, teachers, and parents. But many of them are addressed to our society as a whole. We need to stop the stereotyping. Stores need to stop segregating boy toys and girl toys. The media needs to stop emphasizing violence and homophobia. We all need to take responsibility for the way that we treat others.
As I read this book I found myself physically nodding along at times. Every point felt immediately right and true, and many were things that I already knew and believed but hadn’t quite synthesized into one coherent thought pattern. I’ve blogged about some of these issues before, and I’m sure I will in the future. Carrie’s book has inspired me to continue talking about this issue and to do it often.
I’ll have much more to say on the issue in the future, including, possibly, a post about my own experience with bullying. In the meantime, buy this book and read it. I promise you’ll love it.