As much as I love my day-job, unfortunately it is in and deals with sectors with high amount of patriarchy and ageismI constantly encounter people who only understand the language of bullying and servility, without any notion of mutual respect

In an attempt to vent, I drew 4 types of bull-ies and the bullied. I posted these on my instagram and facebook pages. Compiling them together here, for those who still, like me, enjoy the blog-format.

{Note: Some of these depictions may appear as sexist to some, and I am sure women can bully too. However, I happen to have encountered only the male ones within the professional setting I work in.}

Bull-y #1

He walks with his preoccupied eyes, naturally expecting everyone around him to adjust to his needs and pace, and to wait with notebooks and pens to take notes as he drops gems in between slow mouthfuls of his meal- because you see, he is an expert on everything and everything he says needs to be recorded and listened to with careful attention. He has spent so much time expecting and receiving easy subservience and unquestioned obedience, he has grown used to listening to nothing but his own voice, the sound of pens scratching and a few diligent “Yes Sirs”. Last night when his wife refused the second helping of rice to their hosts, he looked up at her in surprise not recognizing the strange sound that her mouth made. 

Bull-y #2 

The charming bullies. They smile and order your dinner for you. They open the door for you when you enter the conference room, compliment you on your new hair cut and then smile down all your arguments at the meeting with a patronizing head shake: you’re not important enough to argue with. They’ll WhatsApp to make sure you reached home safely, but will promptly ignore any work emails you send them. They’ll laugh at you with the colleagues and expect you to smile along- “it’s just a joke”. They’ll buy you gifts on your birthday and forget to process your consultant invoice.

Bull-y #3

The self-conscious bully. He spends hours in the morning, perfecting his hair, his scowl. He is haunted by his own childhood bullying and his biggest fear is mockery. He does not make eye contact and is over-sensitive of how others refer to him. He is extravagant with both his insults and his rewards. He boasts of cruelty/indifference which he may or not have practiced. He loathes his own softness and inadequacies and spends his life in a constant effort to hide them. 

Bull-y #4

The little bully. More vicious than the big ones; over-compensating and over-appropriating the models he has grown up watching. Not yet trained in the art of subtlety, or psychological bullying, he attracts more hostility than fear, more hatred than submission. Conflicted and isolated, he is yet to be skilled in making lovers and followers out of his victims. 

The Bullied 

They come in different sizes and genders; often found hiding behind long bushes or taking circuitous routes to avoid crossing paths with the source of their misery. Some of them will spend their lives emulating the person that bully them, appropriating their way of speaking and tormenting. Some will fall in love and spend their days trying to please the temperamental airs of their tyrants. A handful will call it quits, change scenes, start fresh. We all cope in different ways, but more often than not, we continue the cycle. The bullied becomes the bully. 



2 Replies to “Bull-ying”

  1. I think your work is awesome. I have come across very few things in the artistic domain that has managed to stir my emotions as much as this has. Keep up the good work 🙂

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