I was going to write a post on using tools, but I will leave that for later in the week. Right now there is another issue at hand that has me thoroughly disgusted.

Elan Gale's publicity stunt photo of "Diane"

Elan Gale’s publicity stunt photo of “Diane”

By now everyone’s had a good chuckle or cheered Gale’s antics over the Thanksgiving Holiday. We now know that Gale made up the entire story as a publicity stunt. So, if you hated what he did that should excuse him, right? If you cheered him this should give you a sense of self-righteousness about the need to stand up to rude people. Right?

Wrong. On both accounts.

I view Gale as a hairy little pimp. His show, “The Bachelor” is nothing more than legalized prostitution but that’s not my issue. My issue is with this entire publicity stunt. Let’s call it what it is, shall we? Public bullying.

Let’s take a look at the situation. He created a character, “Diane” and publically bullied her. Then subjected her to Internet humiliation that I view as no better than a public rape. This woman was obviously distraught and ill. Possibly suffering from anxiety and he thought it a fun idea to bully, harass and humiliate her.

And this was a publicity stunt.

Okay. He’s had his fame, let’s move on to the heart of the matter. The millions of people who saw Gale’s actions and cheered or laughed, congratulations. You’re a bully.

Let’s imagine this was a real situation for a moment. A woman who is sick (Gale described her as wearing a medical mask) is distraught at the idea of her flight being delayed. This is understandable. If I changed this scenario and said a woman who was a former Marine and suffered from PTSD was subjected to Gale’s antics, people would be outraged. Gale would be raked over the coals. Yet, because this woman wears “Mom pants” and a “medical mask”, it’s okay. She was rude, we say self-righteously. This means that Gale gets to tell this woman to “eat my dick”. Is there any decent person that is going to tell me there is EVER a situation where that’s acceptable?

A sick and distraught woman harassed and bullied by a Hollywood producer for yucks and giggles and that’s all right? Am I the only one that sees a problem here?

Now we can sigh a breath of relief. It was just a publicity stunt. We can all get a little red-faced as we realize someone put something over on us, give a nervous little giggle and forget everything.

No. We can’t.

Our reaction to this publicity stunt should have us thinking hard about our acceptance of bullying. We applauded and cheered Gale’s bullying. Let’s imagine your child was at school and a bully humiliated and harassed him. Now, imagine the teachers, principal and other students cheering the bully. This is no different and we should feel shame.

The fact that this is what Gale thinks is acceptable to put forward as a publicity stunt should have us all sickened. A publicity stunt is supposed to get someone seen in the public eye for a period of time. There was a time when these publicity stunts garnered a positive reaction. Now any reaction will do.

As someone who lived with bullying all her life, by family members and in social settings, let me say that it is never acceptable and we can’t afford to let down our guard. What Gale did has made bullying something to laugh at. Something to cheer. It isn’t. Bullying, whether it’s a child or an adult, is wrong and needs to stop.

For those who believe that bullying is a childhood disease, let me assure you it isn’t. Adults do it to adults all the time. So what’s the difference between standing up to someone who’s rude and bullying? When you stand up to someone, it’s because your hands are clean and they are guilty of behaviour that is unacceptable. The point of standing up is to make the behaviour stop in a way that is not stooping to their level. Bullying is simply a way of putting yourself in the alpha position by any means necessary. Humiliation, harassment, goading or passive aggressive behaviour. When you’re a bully you are determined to show the other person you’re better than they are.

You’re not.

So, the next time you’re going to speak out against someone ask yourself this; is what I’m about to do going to escalate or de-escalate the situation? And are you doing it just so you can be on top? If you need to put someone down to be on top, then you have to be pretty low to begin with.

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