The FullStop anti-bullying campaign is way too over the top

It’s really a massive whinefest


Harassment and bullying are serious issues, and they shouldn’t be treated lightly. This is why it’s such a shame some of the posters for Glasgow’s FullStop campaign make a mockery out of the great work harassment advisers are doing. While many of them highlight real problems, a handful exhibit the adverse symptoms of oversensitivity – that obnoxious disease which characterises our uni more than anything else.

FullStop periodically releases new microfictions illustrating situations where harassment and bullying are assumed to play a role.

Let’s take a look at some of the more peculiar scenarios.

1

Ah, yes. The follies of dating in the digital age. It’s totally shocking when one of the parties is not in complete control of their emotions at a time when anything can be communicated instantly. After all, why would you be the least bit responsible for people who you’ve entered into an intimate relationship with? No need to concern yourself with those losers who trusted you with their bodies and souls. Just chuck ‘em away, and if six months later they still pose a minor inconvenience to you, they are obviously criminals.

2

Do they organise collections for any weddings? And if so, why didn’t anyone send me an email when I married a fellow Glasgow student? At any rate, wedding collections for both straight and gay people are arguably not one of the university’s functions. It’s probably individuals who collect for weddings, so instead of being a drama queen you can simply tell Bill to GTFO.

With this in mind, I have my doubts about how this display does anything except express a desire to cater to the victims du jour. Gay folks are cool in my book, but they actually have more rights than straight people in Scotland.

3

The sad fact is that as long as people have sex drives you will never be able to escape conversations on looks. I’m not exactly sure how noting someone has a great behind to a third party in private is sexism. Most find certain features on actual people desirable, and that on its own is not evidence of prejudice.

If you don’t want people to comment on you to their friends, then don’t shove your stuff in their faces – and that goes for all sexes. Alternatively, maybe you could try hanging out with people who are not total assholes. But expecting people to silence their natural reactions because it’s considered “sexist” to say you’re attracted to someone is nothing short of thought policing.

There are great reasons for not commenting on people’s appearances. For example, being a decent person is one of them. The fear of being stigmatised is not.

4

Technically, an office manager is hired to assist the work of the director, but let’s not get derailed by logic. Legally speaking, one instance of questionable conduct is not harassment. Harassment is a “course of conduct”, meaning there have to be at least two separate incidents for them to qualify as such. This poster is literally baloney.

Then we have to deal with whether saying assistant instead of office manager is actually belittling, and whether such a form of belittling would be considered by a reasonable person to be harassment. I’d argue that if you get pissed about something like this you’re probably an insufferable narcissist, and I’d beg you to never talk to me.

5

I sincerely hope Mary didn’t suffer any burns due to that coffee spilling. At this point I can hardly blame Pam, because I myself am starting to feel a pressing desire to scream. Unfortunately, raising your voice and banging a desk – things even normal people do when driven to the point of exasperation – are now bullying.

Your only choice is to quietly submit to all those enemies of free speech who ran out of arguments and resorted to calling you a bully.

If people start looking at normal (though possibly unpleasant) interactions as harassment, then we’ll be conditioning people to be whiners and telling them it’s OK to cry wolf at every possible perceived wrong. Just as some need to learn how to be sensitive, others need to learn how to deal.