Misogyny and Bullying in North and South America

by Ayel Vivares, age 13
Misogyny and Bullying in North and South America

“There are many types of inflicted pain, like slavery, racism, mockery, bullying, violence, etc. but we are just going to focus on two of them: misogyny and bullying. Many of us have probably seen these two before, and most of us haven’t done anything to stop them, or walked away from the situation and tried to even forget it. This doesn’t stop the cycle.”

People inflict pain because it makes them feel good. It lets them inflict all the pain they have ever been inflicted. This has been happening for centuries now.  There are many types of inflicted pain, like slavery, racism, mockery, bullying, violence, etc. but we are just going to focus on two of them: misogyny and bullying. Many of us have probably seen these two before, and most of us haven’t done anything to stop them, or walked away from the situation and tried to even forget it. This doesn’t stop the cycle. This happens with not only children and teenagers, but with adults as well, and in other cases, we may not have been the bystanders but the victim or even the perpetrator.

Although, both of these social phenomena frequently occur and intersect all over the world, misogyny is more prevalent in South America, while bullying is more predominant in North America. This can be attributed to the machismo culture of South American society, whilst in North America bullying reflects the individualism inherent in rampant capitalism.

Misogyny is a problem that fits under the umbrella of bullying. For those who don’t know what misogyny is, here is the full meaning: dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. Misogyny is a problem that has been happening for centuries and is still happening to date. Although,  it’s not as bad as it used to be in the US, thanks to the help of the 1970’s second-wave feminist movement.

However, it isn’t much better in South and Central America because according to the UN and many other sources, a woman is assaulted every 15 seconds in Brazil’s biggest city, Sao Paulo. Further, in Mexico, it is estimated more than 120,000 women are raped a year — that is one every four minutes (Watson).  Similarly, sexist things happen not only on the streets but also in universities to women with PhDs and esteemed degrees get 25 to 60% less wages than in the US and Europe, and in most of the poorer Latin and Central American countries, women aren’t even allowed to be sent to school, Some 53% of Bolivian women aged 15-49 have reported physical or sexual violence in their lives, according to the Pan American Health Organization ( Watson). Misogyny is ingrained in the structure and culture of these societies, where it affects every strata of the female population. Misogyny has been a part of South and Central American cultures for centuries now. Let’s take an example from modern women in Ecuador. Lots of them are forced to stay with their abusive husbands because they provide most of the income, and the women are afraid of ending up on the streets. Lots of women experience sexism in school both in South and North America, and in this form of sexism, women aren’t allowed or recommended to participate in activities that mostly men play in because of the reason that it’s not considered ladylike. This has caused many women to not pursue careers in lady-like sports and sometimes some coaches won’t even let women do certain types of sports, which is absurd because everyone deserves a chance to pursue and play in any sport they want. Although women aren’t seen as strong as men, men aren’t necessarily better athletes, and this is considered a type of bullying. But bullying doesn’t necessarily only happen to women. It also happens to men and women alike, and a lot of victims of bullying in the United States ask themselves whether it’s better in other schools.

We’ve all seen, heard, or been apart of some sort of bullying before, but what we don’t know is that over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year, and approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying. Only 1 in 4 teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4% of the time. Many people have asked themselves if it’s better in other schools. Unless you’re not in a private school, it isn’t much better in other public schools, thanks to various studies that show that homosexual and bisexual teens along with students with disabilities are more likely to be accepted by students in private schools. But don’t get me wrong, not all private schools are amazing, In some private and boarding schools, you can be bullied because of your wealth or because they consider you different from them, and this can give the victim various problems growing up.

What happens with bullies is that they usually have been the victim of violence or childhood traumas caused by family, etc. and they use bullying as a way of coping with the pain that they have been inflicted before. But what the bullies don’t realize is that by doing that, they’re not getting rid of the pain but temporarily easing and passing it onto their victims, and that either gives the person the same problems or causes serious problems when they grow older and can also cause depression and even sometimes suicide. As far back as 2010, of every student enrolled in a U.S. school from kindergarten to twelfth grade, one in seven of them have been bullied by a classmate. In a 2010 study, 61% of the participants reported that school bullying was driving kids to shoot other kids. The study also found that for every 20 kids enrolled in school, one kid has seen a classmate carrying a gun in school. It also found that 23% of high school freshmen in the US take a gun to school with them.

Although bullying and misogyny aren’t the same thing, and the misogyny in south America might not be as prominent as bullying in North America, bullying and misogyny are both problems that I have seen first-hand both in South and North America. I, together with millions of others, not only think it’s a disgrace, but an embarrassment for humankind and those who have done it knowingly being fully aware of their actions should be ashamed of actions they have committed. We might not all be the same, but we should all be respected and treated in the same way, and this is why bullying and misogyny in both North and South America has to be stopped. We can all make a difference just by asking a teacher or calling the police for help.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Works Cited

“11 Facts About Bullying.” DoSomething.org | Volunteer for Social Change. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 June 2017.

“Bullying In The USA.” NoBullying – Bullying & CyberBullying Resources. N.p., 22 Dec. 2015. Web. 30 June 2017.

Watson, Katy. “Struggling with Sexism in Latin America.” BBC News. BBC, 18 Aug. 2015. Web. 30 June 2017.

 

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