The name of our Non Profit Society, Group and Page: Justice for Bullies was selected for many reasons. I wanted to create a name that would not only be familiar, but one that would also create confusion, and one that people could associate to. I needed to find a name that would have a balance of positive (Justice) and negative (Bullies).
I played on the words to spark interest, curiosity and to open up dialog. I was fully aware of the stigma, the negativity and the feelings that the word “Bullies” brought forward, and this is exactly why I moved forward with this title. Controversy creates debate, and disagreements which usually ends up in someone walking away learning something they did not know. Having controversy in our group through means of debate fulfilled my wishes, to educate.
The term Bully/bullies creates a sense of terror, it represents the image of something which uses fear or intimidation to get what one wants. So knowing this and what this word means, why would anyone want Justice for Bullies?
Curiosity would bring people into this group that we normally could not reach. In the eyes of society “Bullies” do not deserve justice, and people would be appalled to learn that 1000’s of us were seeking it.
Let us now look at the title from another perspective, a perspective that is sadly shared with many including the media and groups who support the Pro-BSL movement. As owners of dogs with certain physical characteristics we are constantly labelled as humans who use our dogs as a means of force, or intimidation which is essentially the definition of a bully. Sadly our dogs also face this same label regardless of individual actions and behavior and are commonly labelled as dogs who assert dominance, use intimidation and are a threat to society. These feelings that are expressed by many have unfortunately now made dogs of certain physical characteristics the bullies of the dog world.
Now let us take one more step and look at the title from the perspective that most of you are looking at it from, one that makes a direct association to dogs.
Justice for Bullies in the context of the umbrella term “Bully Breeds”. Now although many people use the term Bully Breed, it is strictly just an umbrella term that describes several breeds of dogs that have branched off from the Molosser breeds. Generally speaking these dogs are described as solid, large boned dogs with muscular necks. The term Bully breeds is getting more and more common, and unfortunately also carries an immediate negative stigma with it. Most people, when they hear this associate this term with “bull baiting” or with the definition of “bullies", both of which are negative. Others use this term as a short form or slang for the American Bully, which as of 2013 became a recognized breed by the UKC.
Due to mislabeling, assumptions, a lack of proper information and education, dogs that fit a very broad spectrum of physical appearances are now labelled as “bullies”, and this label is passed on to the owners of these dogs.
Who would have thought that the word “bullies” could have been applied in so many different ways?
It is time for us to seek Justice for Bullies, regardless of how you interpret the title.