Reporter was called "fat" and calls it bullying

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Registered: 12-31-1969
Reporter was called "fat" and calls it bullying
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Wed, 10-03-2012 - 10:44am

http://www.fashionfoiegras.com/2012/10/news-anchor-called-obese-fights-back.html


Anyone else read this story? First, let me say that I find the letter nasty, mean, inappropriate and unnecessary. However, I don't find it bullying. It was ONE email. One nasty comment. When did it become bullying when you're just rude and stupid?

The homosexual kid teased mercilessly for his preferences who then killed himself (and the list of others just like him) -- that is bullying.

The girl with the huge birthmark teased daily and wouldn't come out of the house again after years of verbal abuse -- that's bullying.

The overweight waitress teased by her supervisor day after day who finally quit and preferred being unemployed to the endless teasing -- that's bullying.

The disabled child teased daily by his classmates for the speech impediment -- that's bullying.

But one nasty comment? Nah. Not even close. It's wrong, and the guy is probably a bully..but was he bullying her?

What happens when we use the term 'bullying' for everything? Eventualy, the real cases, like the ones I've listed above -- the ones that result in death, financial strain, anguish -- no longer are seen as serious. They're just one of a long list of 'bullying' that we'll become insensitive to.

Let's save the term for the serious cases, not just where someone's rude and stupid. He made an inappropriate comment and was stupid enough to put it in writing, but unless he continues to do it, he's not bullying her -- he's sharing his opinion.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
I disagree to some extent, why do you have to have a nasty comment said to you more than once for it to be bullying? Do you think this was the first time that she's probably heard a comment about her weight? I'm sure that this isn't the first time this guy has made rude comments to someone, and it's time he was called out for being a bully.

From what I read, she only responded to his letter for the sake of her daughters, she was mature enough to realize that this guy is an idiot. But... at some point people need to make a stand and that's what she is doing. She is using this as a way to show her daughters and other young people that they don't need to put up with it. People need to learn that they will be held accountable for their actions.

Chelsea

"Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open."

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2012
I agree, Chelsea. As she pointed out in the video, no overweight person is oblivious to their size. They certainly do not need someone they don't know pointing that out in such a hurtful way. People can hide behind an email and say hurtful things, and to me, that is bully-like behavior. Would he have said that to her face? I doubt it. I give her a lot of credit for standing up and saying something. Even though she has a thick skin, deep down this hurts and no one has the right to make you feel that way.
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-24-2010
I do think the letter was bullying, but I'm not sure if I agree with how she or her husband handled it. Yes, they took a nasty and unnecessary e-mail and shared it with their viewers, but I don't think that this person is actually being held accountable for anything. I understand why his name would be withheld (I probably would have used his first name and last initial, though). I don't know. I just thought the whole thing was pretty anticlimactic. I saw this story all over the news and Facebook, and the headline is so much more interesting than the actual story. The couple has an entire morning show at their disposal, and this is the most creative way they could come up with to educate people on bullying?
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2012

I agree it was an email from a rude person.

I think the reporter used it well as a learning tool on how to not insult and/or bully others.

My husband was obese when we got married, he was 20 and over the past 27 years he has lost the weight and kept it off.  We never used the "F" (fat) word in our house, and our oldest was punished for calling her dad "fat".

This might not have been the first nasty comment, just the first one the reporter told her viewers about.  It might have been the straw that broke the camels back and she had had enough.

I think she handled the situation very well.

HF

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2008

I agree with you. The e-mail  was rude and insensitive but not bullying. If he continued to harrass her with anti-fat mail it would be another story but just because his opinion was not something she wanted to hear doesn't make it bullying.

Had he sent her an e-mail telling her she was hot would she have called it was sexual harrassment? I doubt it.

Brenda

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
I live in that reporters market and they did give the name of the email writer here. I agree that Thurs wasn't really bullying but I commend her for standing up and calling the guy out. If her stand helps one person have the courage to say enough is enough it will have been worth it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-26-2012

I see your point that it is not necessarily bullying. It was just one email. Everyone is just quick to label things as bullying. This person is ignorant and he should get a life. Why is he bothering this sucessful anchorwoman. Please leave her alone and mind your business. Are you her doctor or a family member? If not you have no right to question this ladies choices in her life.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-2011
My son is in Middle School and I have been involved since elementary with the PTA. I have yet to hear about any bullying in his schools I am not saying it's not happening but I do wonder, is it the media running wild, people being too sensitive to nearly everything, or is bullying truly a problem?
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-25-2004

I don't agree that people will stop considering "real" cases of bullying as bullying. (I think this was a case of bullying, but I'll get to that later.) We can call stubbing your toe or bumping your head an accident, yet we also might call a car crash that results in death an accident. It doesn't diminish the meaning of the word. No one is going to send me a card or flowers if I tell them I had an accident chopping carrots and needed stitches, yet hopefully if a family lost a child in a car accident people will show great care and concern and support the family. I trust that people understand the difference in the degree of bullying.

I'm glad this anchorwoman addressed this man in public. It is still okay in our society to make fun of oveweight people. And not only is it still okay, people laugh about it. There are websites out there showing overweight people at Walmart and photos of them on the internet for the ENTERTAINMENT of others. Sick. I've overheard conversations where women were talking about being at the pool and being very disgusted that overweight people would come to waterparks/pools. If these women had been talking about a certain race or sexual orientation, people would be outraged. I'd have spoken up to them.  Yet they publicly held this conversation in earshot of many people (including me) and no one stood up to them (no, not even me). I have lost a lot of weight this past year, but I'm still very sensitive to people talking about fat people as if they're nothing and not worthy of respect because of their weight. I admit to not saying anything for fear of having their hatred of fat people turned on  me. I wanted to not be noticed. There were people of healthy weight who had to have heard and people who were overweight who heard. They made this a loud and obvious conversation, in part, I think, to see if they'd be challenged by anyone. I failed the test as I was too embarrassed to say anything to them.

I think this anchor woman was courageous by calling this man a bully. Rude, stupid was he? Yes. But I think he went behind that. He did nothing to try to be helpful and encouraging. His approach was to try to shame her into not being an anchor woman, as if her weight makes her unworthy. He took one aspect of a woman he doesn't personally know and attacked her for something he can see, her weight, yet knows nothing about her health history. He had no information on whether she was trying to diet and exercise or working on her weight issues.

By standing up to this man, she did a positive thing by calling him a bully and essentially stating she won't take it. Kids get bullied because of their weight. They become targets of bullies. If they feel all the time as I did that one day when I heard that conversation, I'd guess they likely don't say anything as they feel ashamed of their weight. Being overweight isn't pleasant for anyone. Take a kid who is overweight due to poor diet because of the parents' lack of providing proper nutrition (I'm not suggesting all kids are overweight for that reason, yet I do think parents have a lot of he responsibility in providiing proper nutrition and seeing to it that a child is physically active) and he/she gets teased for it. Picture a kid at maybe age 6. or 8. or 10. The kid probably feels absolutely powerless to do anything about it and feels ashamed. I hope this woman helped some of these kids realize they don't have to take it either. They can report the bullying, they can hear her say she's working on losing weight and perhaps encourage them to go to parents/teacher/counselor and do the same. I think she did a great thing by naming this bullying.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2003

No, it's not bullying.

If I have this right, this was a private message sent to her? Because what I find odd, is although this letter is rude and tasteless, he is not bullying her, but, by releasing his name and letter to the public who is now attacking him, repeatedly, is bullying.

Just a thought.

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