Porterville, California (CNN) -- For anyone who has experienced the brutality of a bully, a blunt-talking mayor in California with a horseshoe mustache now weighs in with this bit of wisdom: "Grow a pair."
Looking and talking like an Old West figure, Mayor Cameron Hamilton made his declaration while on the dais of the Porterville City Council last week.
"I'm against bullying, but I'm getting damn tired of it being used as a mantra for everything and the ills of the world," Hamilton said during the City Council meeting. "(Most) people just have to grow a pair and stick up for them damn selves."
Hamilton imparted his advice while discussing a proposal to create an anti-bullying safe zone for students. His remark immediately ricocheted around the council chambers -- and, in subsequent days, around the country.
Councilwoman Virginia Gurrola immediately challenged the mayor.
"It's hard to just grow a pair when you're a 10-year-old girl," Gurrola shot back.
The councilwoman's retort was just the beginning of how the mayor's tough-talking comments have roiled many people nationwide, especially advocates of bullying prevention.
So are we just going to call Yosemite Sam here an asshole and ignore what he's saying or allow for the fact that he may have a bit of a point here. And by a bit of a point I mean no fuckin shit, dude, we all as a society need to grow a bit of sack these days.
Look, this is a society in which we're creating youth athletic leagues that don't keep score because we don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. We're firing coaches left and right because they're coming down on their teams after losses like every coach you ever had growing up did. I mean if you merely participate in any sort of group competition, wait no, scratch that, any sort of group "activity" then you are almost guaranteed to win a trophy regardless of your performance. It's stupid, it's embarrassing and it's downright un-American.
I'm not sitting here advocating bullying by any means. If Jimmy is being a big prick to Timmy just cus he's bigger and has a more volatile relationship with his parents then by all means, punish the shit out of him. I definitely agree with the principal of discouraging bullying to the point of making bullies not want to actually act on their immature instincts, but I also think we're going overboard with the idea that eliminating elements of competition is the way to do that.
We need to start teaching kids to stick up for themselves and start putting the onus on adults who are responsible for the well being of children, be it parents, teachers, coaches, etc., to be as perceptive as possible and able to step in when necessary to put bullying down. Giving everyone a trophy for participation is just opening up more targets for bullies, and telling kids to run and tattle tale any time a mean word is said is doing the same.
So he may look like Wyatt Hearp:
and he may have the phrasing of a village drunk, but Mayor Cam ain't saying nothin that we don't need to be hearin. Let's do our best to eradicate idiots who pick on and make miserable the lives of kids half their size, but let's start recognizing when we're going over the top with our coddling nonsense and grow a pair.