Last week on NewsWest we revisited the subject of bullying. In that article, I discussed bullying in general terms and listed Amateur Radio as one of many media through which bullying can happen.
I was a bit surprised at the swift reaction and feedback, so I decided to use this New Hams episode to say more about the subject.
Since last Sunday, NewsWest has been contacted by a couple of Amateurs who have experienced bullying on air. By Amateurs.
I also saw some examples on Facebook, on an Australian Amateur Radio group page.
I remember, many years ago, hearing Amateur Radio described as a “gentleman’s hobby”, and for the most part it’s true, especially with on air practice.
I don’t want to be too specific today about what happened to the local people by way of bullying, as this may identify them and exacerbate the problem.
This week, a French man posted to an Australian Amateur Radio Facebook page. He spoke about his activities on HF CB, and his desire to move into the Amateur Radio hobby. One would expect words of encouragement, and that is what he received, but not before a couple of our “gentlemen” berated him for being a CB operator.
I’ve heard and witnessed similar stories where an Amateur, on air, bullies someone.
Bullies are usually created as product of their childhood, and by time they resort to this kind of activity on air, the behaviour is entrenched
Enough about the bullies. We should pity them, however that won’t change them.
So how do we stop them? I’ve given this some thought, and I recommend that the best way to curb the bullying is for the rest of us to challenge the behaviour. Don’t engage in arguments. Just challenge the behaviour.
When you witness someone being bullied, you take away the bullie’s power by challenging the behaviour. Do it on the spot, and tell them that they are a bully. Tell them that what they said or did isn’t appropriate.
They could well retaliate by telling you to perform some anatomically difficult act, but hey - sticks and stones.
Make a report on the website at vk6 dot net. We’re not the police, however a name and shame is on the cards if they don’t curb their behaviour. Sort of an on-air yellow card. More’s the pity that we can’t do red cards.
So please do believe me. There are people, Amateurs, here in Perth, who have been bullied on air. It’s real, it hurts people, and we need to stop it.