Jocks and Status

A jock is someone with an interest in athletics. To get the "jock" label, however, the person is usually outgoing and gregarious. In high school, jocks often get stereotyped as people who aren't intelligent, bully others, and get special treatment.

Some people mistake the label "jock" for "bully." Yes, some jocks are bullies. Some of them carry this attitude for the rest of their lives. But I work around high school students, and I see a broader picture. For every jock who fits the neanderthal stereotype, I can name at least one who is intelligent, friendly to all kinds of people, (especially once they hit the higher grades), and not the least bit interested in harassing people who may not be as popular.

Some jocks get unfair special treatment because high school culture in North America puts an emphasis on sports. So they become teacher's pets. They attract attractive girls. But some just receive attention because many people like to be around outgoing, confident people.

For every group of nerds or geeks who get unfairly abused for being different, for every homosexual or alleged homosexual student who receives mistreatment from bullies, for every girl who gets rejected for not being a complete babe and ends up saying, "I am uglier than you imagine"(I sympathize, I really do), there is usually one socially maladjusted person who makes no attempt to get to know others, deliberately treats others as though they are beneath him, and then whines when he faces social isolation and rejection.

Sometimes what appears to be special status is unfair. And sometimes, it's you.