In order to understand, the word discrimination and bullying you must understand how these behaviors affect the victim and in what situations.
According to Webster’s Dictionary, discrimination, takes place anywhere there are two or more people gather, including the workplace at school, online, in stores, banks, other financial institutions, on trains, buses, planes, on the road and many other places. Discrimination can cause physical harm, but in most cases, it causes emotional harm to the victim.
When a person acts out in a discriminatory way, the specific behavior can take on many forms. No matter why the discrimination the behavior includes an exclusion or rejection by others around the victim. Discrimination is a global problem that is not specific to any one country.
Discrimination in the workplace can take many different forms, such as:
• In age related issues, usually consisting of younger children, the pre-teen, teenagers and seniors
• If you are a person with a physical or mental disability and viewed as different, no matter what your age, this is discrimination
• People that do not meet a certain standard
• Discrimination can take the form of differing of race, gender identity, height, weight or culture
• Your military status can cause a form of discrimination, such as was found during Vietnam conflict
• If you are not earning an acceptable wage, it can be a cause for discrimination
• If people look at you differently due to a speech impediment, this is discrimination
• If you are associated with a specific ethnic group, and suffer ridicule it is discrimination
• Discrimination occurs when a person does not have the same values, feelings, standards as the majority of people around them
• Being a male can bring instances of discrimination against them from certain female populace and vice versa, or a part of the transgender populace
The two faces of discrimination
Discrimination can take on two varying forms, which are direct and indirect discrimination. One form of discrimination is easy to spot, and the other form is more difficult to notice. Sometimes you may feel discrimination is taking place, but because this is against the law and others know this such as the banking system or employers who decline to hire you, it is difficult to prove the discrimination.
In some ways, discrimination is more subtle than bullying. Discrimination and bullying are an unwanted, unpopular and needless behavior that can leave physical and emotional scars on the victims for the rest of their lives.
In some cases, discrimination by a person or group on their victim (s) can cross the line into the arena of bullying and the victim receives each treatment
Discrimination in the workplace : Why do bullies bully?
Bullies, bully other people who are of a weaker nature. A bully is a bully because they think they can and it gives them power to control other people. There is no doubt about the bully having serious emotional problems, and most bullies have been victims to a bully in the past.
Discrimination in the workplace : Bullies are aggressive and discrimination is subtle
Discrimination can happen anywhere and at any time and can be very subtle. The victim will know they are being discriminated. Others who are present may not pick up on the discrimination due to the person who is discriminating against the victim using a great degree of subtleness so that no one around is catching on right away, except for the victim.
Many times the person who is using discrimination will act upon their victim in private so that it is one person’s word against the discriminator’s word. If the discriminator is well thought of and popular, most co-workers probably will not believe the victim over the person doing the discrimination. About the only way to catch discrimination is proof of discrimination in writing or on tape. Taping someone is illegal if the person does not know a tape is recording his or her conversations. The discriminator is not about to sign a form saying they are guilty of such a thing.
Discrimination in the workplace : Cyber Bullying
Cyber bullying is apparent through electronic means on the internet, Smartphone, iPad and computer system. Text messages, emails, chat rooms, websites, and all social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook are tools that a cyber bully can make use of to attack their victim (s). Bullies using these sources can spread harmful lies, embarrassing pictures and videos about their victim (s). The bully can also post fake photos of their victim.
Cyberbullies can control their victims 24 hours a day, seven days a week and remain strictly anonymous. The internet allows the bully to reach a larger audience in a quicker amount of time.
The cyberbully can also do harm to their victim (s) and remain completely anonymous. Cyberbullies are hard to stop and find when they hide behind the internet. When bullies, bully in person, the victim and their witness (s) knows their tormentor. It is nearly impossible to locate, and harder, if not impossible to erase the lies in writing of a bully on the internet.
Bullies, whether in person or cyber can cause their victim (s) to commit suicide or at the very least attempt suicide and self-harm, leaving lifetime scars.
Bullying and discrimination is against the law, anytime and anywhere
Bullying and acts of discrimination are against the law. If the private citizen or employer is caught they could be arrested, fined and or spend jail time. Employers have a responsibility to protect their employees from discrimination in the workplace. If an employer does not protect an employee against bullying and or discrimination this can greatly affect the business. These issues open the employer up for employee lawsuits, hefty fines and jail time.
Discrimination in the workplace : Answering a touchy question
To answer the question, “Is discrimination in the workplace considered bullying”? The answer would have to be no. Discrimination and bullying are two very different things.
However, given the right circumstances and situation, either discrimination or bullying can cross a very fine gray line where each of these behaviors can affect the other. The person becomes a victim to each of these behaviors at the same time.