Chapter 3: The Bully

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When he was very small, our Bully may have learned the lesson that it is acceptable to use violence when someone does something another person, in this case an adult, disliked. He may have been smacked for being ‘naughty’.

Some popular songs glorify violence to women. For example, songs with titles like ’Slap the Bitch’. There are other songs with more insidious messages. ‘Delilah’ tells of a man who saw himself as driven to kill his female partner because she was having an affair. The tone of the song is full of self-pity and he absolutely blames the victim. I understand that this song is the unofficial anthem of the Welsh rugby team and is sung with feeling by thousands of supporters on a regular basis. There is a very popular computer game where participants shoot prostitutes.

The Bully’s belief that women are inferior is supported by religious institutions, which insist that women cannot act as priests. The message is that we are not good enough. We are also paid less than men, which further reinforces this belief.

The behaviour of our Government reinforces the beliefs of the Bully every time MPs debate in the House of Commons. They shout, jeer and interrupt each other. Political commentators describe such encounters as giving the opponent a ‘bloody nose’. This is a description more suited to a prizefight. Commentators describe football, rugby and cricket matches in terms which could be used to describe a military battle. I heard the term ‘dug out’ used about the area where football managers watch the game.

Many presenters of current affairs and news programmes browbeat and interrupt interviewees. Viewers of so called ‘reality television’ watch avidly as contestants bully and abuse each other. This gives a powerful message that abusive behaviour is not only normal but also desirable.

Which of the beliefs of the Bully do many women share?

Many women have identified that, before they attended the programme they ‘craved’ a man who would behave abusively and avoided men who did not. They felt that Mr. Right was dull because he was ‘too nice’. They have told me that they saw the Bully as a strong man who can take charge. Many women have recognised that they assumed that men are superior because they are physically stronger. They, like the Bully, were conparing physical strength with superiority. Women have also recognized that they, too, believe that bullying works.