Toward the end of 2010, I was stumbling around the web and came across the story of Katie, a young girl who'd been bullied by some of her classmates for carrying a Star Wars water bottle. Her mom's call for comments of support for Katie from female Star Wars fans was echoed by Epbot blogger Jen (where I first saw it) with a headline of "Geek girls, ACTIVATE!"
I composed a comment in my head about how Star Wars is awesome and not just for boys and how if my dad had seen it three weeks before I was born instead of three weeks after, I'd probably have been named after Leia (instead of Lord of the Rings' Arwen, my given middle name). But I got overwhelmed reading other geek girls' comments and never typed out my own. Epbot readers sent so many comments that Jen ended up putting together a book for Katie, and Katie got reassurance from all over the world when her story went viral.
The end result is that Katie's mom, Carrie Goldman, has now written a book (Bullied: What Every Parent, Teacher and Kid Needs to Know About Ending the Cycle of Fear) and started an international campaign called Team Bullied.
Team Bullied asks people to contribute videos or written stories of their own experiences being bullied to let kids know that they are not alone. Contributions are being accepted through the end of August. The idea, Goldman says, is that one of the most healing ways people can deal with bullying is sharing their stories. Click on the link above to share your own story or read others'.
- Learn more about Team Bullied.
- Follow Goldman's blog, Portrait of an Adoption, on Facebook.
- Check out Epbot, a repository of girly geekiness.