Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday


You only can push someone so far before they fight back. Carrie kept taking it and taking it until one night all bets were off—she retaliated. As part of Horror month, Women Who Wow Wednesday salutes Carrie White, Stephen King’s bullied hero.

Sissy Spacek as Carrie White
Sissy Spacek as Carrie White

I’ve spoken before about what goes on in the schoolyards in North America with my post Bully. It’s not fun. Kids picking on kids. Teens beating other teens. These bullies grow up to become superficial abusers of the system unaware the system will eventually catch up with them someday.

* spoilers ahead *

Carrie is an ordinary 17-year-old growing up discovering she no longer is a little girl anymore. She learns from the popular kids in class that her period is a natural phase in her development to womanhood. Although, they don’t really make her feel all that special given they throw sanitary napkins at her telling her to “plug it up” in the girl’s shower. When she returns home, her mother having received a call from school, she runs upstairs. But her mother has other ideas. A radical Christian, she punishes Carrie for reaching that stage in her life in order to remove any impurities introduced by the flow.

If you’re thinking her mother’s an oddball, you must have seen this 1976 feature.

Carrie White
Carrie White

What I find interesting about this movie is some of the actors playing the leads go on to become big stars after this film. John Travolta’s star shined bright in Saturday Night Fever, becoming an overnight sensation dancing disco. Sissy Spacek won an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Coal Miner’s Daughter. Virtual unknown, Amy Irving, starred in a bevy of small roles, then married Steven Spielberg only for the marriage to last a short time.

Carrie’s bullying started at home with her mother. A restrictive woman, her mother always dictated what Carrie could and couldn’t do. That is, until one night Carrie reveals a secret to her mother. Thing is, she’s never really told anyone about her secret, which leads her mother to fear her daughter’s doing the devil’s work.

Throughout the story, Carrie blossoms from a fragile teen with very little self-confidence to a beautiful young woman dating one of the hottest guys in school. To watch this wondrous transformation from ugly duckling to beautiful swan makes the story all the more enchanting to enjoy. Of course, when she’s crowned queen of the prom, things don’t go quite as expected.

And this is where I have to stop since I don’t want to give away the whole story.

Carrie White proves bullying doesn’t work. She also rises from her insecure stoop to dominate those who’d teased her over the course of the school year. Yes, her determination for retribution flies in the face of conventional justice. But who’s to say it doesn’t?

How does that saying go? Oh, yes, “Revenge is a dish best served cold.”


Have you seen the 1976 version of Carrie? What did you think of it?

Posted in Freedom Friday


Growing up in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Toronto does something to a kid. It made me never give up on my dreams, and it dared me to go beyond what I believed I could do. For Freedom Friday let me tell you about my experience with an epidemic plaguing the schools in today’s enlightened age.

Bullying in our schools.
Bullying in our schools.

If you learn anything from this post, learn one thing—kids don’t change. As we grow older, we think kids are getting worse when in fact we’re the ones noticing their behavior. Once we have kids of our own, our awareness of the evil surrounding us multiplies astronomically.

Kids don’t change. We change.

Someone may ask, why the surge of bullying in the schools? Bullying has existed long before you and I were born. Anyone remember Nazi Germany? But we hear more of it. Well, there are more people on this planet. Also, the internet makes bullying an instant news item with kids recording this stuff on their cell phones and posting it on YouTube.

It’s not the kids.

Bullying in the schoolyard.
Bullying in the schoolyard.

When I went to school in the 1970s, I had my own dilemma of sorts. At eight years old, a group of kids had determined in their little minds that I would suffice as their daily punching bag. Every afternoon I’d attempt to avoid the pack, escaping school by the side exit or waiting until everyone was gone so I could run home. Sometimes I’d make it. But sometimes, I’d get home covered in bruises.

I was afraid to tell my parents because I didn’t want to get in trouble. Most of the times I’d cover my injuries with long sleeves or pants. Once in a while I’d get home and my mother would notice. I’d lie and tell her I fell or something ridiculous like I ran into a baseball during gym class.

They were none the wiser for a long time.

That is, until I came home one day with the biggest shiner this side of the school district. Boy, oh boy, was my dad ever upset. He wanted to know the names of the culprits. He wanted to go down there and beat the crap out of them himself. My mom was calling the school to set up a meeting with the principal. In the meantime, all I wanted was for the whole thing to go away. I’m telling you, folks, my parents were proactive people.

Bullying on the playground.
Bullying on the playground.

I begged them not to get involved. I promised I’d handle it on my own. Well, my dad, being the practical man he was, gave me a piece of advice I’ve remembered to this day.

He said, “Hit back.”

I said, “I can’t.”

“They won’t expect it. If you don’t, they’ll keep hounding you.”

“I can’t.”

“Hit back and they’ll leave you alone. I promise.”

Somehow, those words, “I promise” made all the difference.

The next day after school, they came for me. I ran and they caught me on the sidewalk, surrounding me like the little zombies they were. Pushing and shoving. All I remember is decking the biggest guy square on the jaw. I don’t think I drew blood, but like my dad said, they left me, never to bother me again.

Would I recommend the same solution for today’s bullied? No, I’d recommend for those bullied to go to their parents. If not the parents, the guardians. Should that prove to be difficult, the school guidance counselor or principal. Failing that, the police. Whoever it is, they have to reach out to someone to get help. This is not a struggle for kids to go through alone.

There is no room for bullies in the schools or anywhere else.

Below is a list of helplines for your region:

Canada: Stop a Bully
UK: National Bullying Helpline

Have you had to deal with bullying? What would be your solution in today’s world?