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National Day of Silence

On April 17th, Kate Harding of Salon.com wrote an article called “No One Will Miss You,” highlighting the 13th Annual National Day of Silence “to bring attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment and effective responses.” In the article, Harding mentions a few teens who took their lives after being repeatedly taunted and ridiculed by their peers and even school adminstrators.

Harding also quotes The New York Times blogger, Judith Warner and C.J. Pascoe, author of Dude, You’re a Fag: Masculinity and Sexuality in High School (UC Press, June 2007). Harding writes:

“Judith Warner wrote about both Carl Walker-Hoover and Eric Mohat, a 17-year-old who shot himself after a bully flat-out suggested he should, adding ‘no one will miss you.’ And once again, the tormenters were focused on the victim’s failure to conform to gender norms, so the bullying manifested as vicious homophobia. ‘Eric liked theater, played the piano and wore
bright clothing, a lawyer for his family told ABC news, and so had long been subject to taunts of “‘gay,’ ‘fag,’ ‘queer’ and ‘homo.’” As Warner puts it, ‘The message to the most vulnerable, to the victims of today’s poisonous boy culture, is being heard loud and clear: to be something
other than the narrowest, stupidest sort of guy’s guy, is to be unworthy of even being alive.’ She quotes one teenage boy who told author C.J. Pascoe, ‘ To call someone gay or fag is like the lowest thing you can call someone. Because that’s like saying that you’re nothing.’ Pascoe herself, who spent 18 months studying the culture in a Northern California high school, says that the boys there ‘have the sense that to be a man means something and is incredibly important … To not be a man is to not be fully human and that’s terrifying.’ To not
be a man is to not be fully human. To be gay is to be nothing. In case anyone was unclear on the connection between homophobia and misogyny, there you go.”

Read the article “No One Will Miss You” in it’s entirety.

Read the article “Dude You’ve Got Problems.”

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1 comment to National Day of Silence

  • I was bullied twice as a youngster and know the troubles it can cause. We need to encourage kids to talk with adults about it. Only by keeping it quiet does the situation not become resolved.