Photo by Rex Features

We all remember those girls. You know, the ones who whispered behind our backs, or outright called us names. Individually, they were spiteful. In a pack, they were horrific.

Yesterday, Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a derogatory female slur. Personally, I found it disgusting that any women would use that horrible term for another women, regardless of reason. Ms. Bee did apologize, but when others chimed in their support for her, she walked back the apology.

Sorry, not sorry.

Ms. Bee may be in the spotlight now, but she reminds me of those girls in high school. Bullies are bullies whether they walk the school hallways or headline the media.

Women who tear down other women because they don’t agree with their politics hurt ALL women, because now we’re taking sides. If you agree with Ms. Bee’s politics, you agree the terminology is okay. If you disagree with the terminology, you must agree with Ms. Trump’s politics. It’s a lose-lose situation, and that’s why people who name call, like Samantha Bee, are so successful. The audience has to pick a side. They can defend vile speech to agree with Ms. Bee’s politics, or they can defend Ms. Trump out of disgust with the foul word.

Brilliant tactic, actually. And, leading to the decay of our society.

This is what my kids learn in school about bullies.  The ones noted as “KIDS” (from stopbullying.gov) are what we’re teaching our children. The ones noted as “MEDIA” are my similar take on the adults—and I use that term loosely.

  • KIDS: Get into physical or verbal fights

MEDIA: Verbally bash others in interviews or monologues.

  • KIDS: Have friends who bully others

MEDIA: Have colleagues and associates who bully others

  • KIDS: Are increasingly aggressive

MEDIA: Are increasingly angered/triggered and use foul language

  • KIDS: Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently

MEDIA: Get fired or reprimanded on the job

  • KIDS: Have unexplained extra money or new belongings

MEDIA: Offered new contracts or promotions by bullying the correct people

  • KIDS: Blame others for their problems

MEDIA: Blame the other side for their problems

  • KIDS: Don’t accept responsibility for their actions

MEDIA: Don’t accept responsibility for their actions

  • KIDS: Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity

MEDIA: Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity

So, that’s the irony. We teach our kids anti-bullying curriculum whilst we give our time and attention to the biggest bullies of all: those grabbing headlines.

For now, it’s Roseanne and Samantha Bee, and tomorrow the names will change but the venom will remain. So, what can we do?

Turn them off. Bullies only win when they have an audience or a victim. Don’t be either.