Is bullying inevitable? Or can kids learn how to make room for difference?

There’s this NBC Chicago post on Facebook about a kid who was bullied for having a My Little Pony lunch bag, for which the school’s response was to ban his lunch bag. The comments are a predictable mix of great (‘this is victim-blaming nonsense’) and awful (why are the parents letting their boy take a girl’s lunch bag to school?). And yes, I know, you’re not supposed to read internet comments. But it was interesting to see how the responses fell into two camps, which reveal two different assumptions about the world:

Assumption 1: bullying is inevitable, so the best thing you can do is teach kids how to avoid being targets. The role of teachers and parents is to help victims survive in a bully’s world.

Assumption 2: kids are capable of learning how to be decent to one another, so the best thing you can do is teach kids to respect other people. The role of teachers and parents is to protect all kids by helping bullies become better people in a world where good community matters.

I sure as hell know what world I’d rather leave behind to my children.

Seriously, what's going on here?

I noticed this last night, at several points during the debate.  I don’t know how to read this.  It seems a little…self-demeaning.  An attempt to substitute “feminine charm” for substance.  Perhaps a personal signal for God in which she acknowledges her false witness?

Could you imagine Hillary (or for that matter, Barack, John, or Joe) getting away with the same?  Yeah, me neither.

Spirit Air sells sex with your mom

Spirit Air, an airline company that I’m pretty sure I’ll be ignoring from here on, has a new marketing campaign: “M.I.L.F.” Ostensibly, it stands for “More Islands, Low Fares.” But ask anybody under the age of 40, and “M.I.L.F.” has another meaning: Mom I’d Like [to] F–k. See the picture to get a better view of what I’m talking about. The reclining woman below appears for less than a second before morphing into generic islands. Sexist Spirit Air Ad

But when people discovered this pathetic excuse for an ad and complained about it, Spirit Air’s response was to outright lie about it! From ABC:

[Spirit Air Director of Communications] Arbelaez said that Spirit’s senior vice president of pricing is a British citizen who was unfamiliar with the MILF terminology and that the airline is not trying to offend customers.

Riiiiight.

Okay, here’s the thing. It’s one thing to have disgusting, sexist, cheap, and tawdry advertising for your company or product. The point of this post is not to condemn that sort of advertising outright, though it should be condemned. The point here is to call Spirit Air out for having the audacity to actually lie about their efforts here. For some inexplicable reason, they are claiming that this clear, deliberately-sexist advertisement was entirely accidental.

Bullshit. Sorry, Spirit Air, you can’t have it both ways. Engage in the objectification of women for your advertising purposes, and be condemned rightly for it–but don’t try and insult the intelligence of the rest of us in the process.

To contact Spirit Air and tell them to ‘go MILF themselves’:

Spirit Airlines
2800 Executive Way
Miramar, FL 33025
ATTN: Corporate Consumer Affairs

Update: Commenter Charlie points out that the new ad campaign is “Barely Legal.”  Complete with a classy emphasis on 18 year old models cent fares.

Wow, that’s classy.   For a good sense of what Spirit Air is trying to associate themselves with, type “barely legal 18” into Google and see what happens…