I was just catching up on a tv show I watch, Hell's Kitchen. It's a cooking competition where there's a male and a female team, and they compete against each other until there's one winning chef.
In a previous episode, all the men ganged up against a female contestant, telling her that nobody liked her, and it got her so upset that she got eliminated almost right away, in spite of probably being a decent cook.
On the episode I was just watching, the male contestants were trying to decide "who to bully next." They picked a woman and all decided to target her. One of the guys bragged "this is what I do," and that he couldn't wait to make this woman cry. The brilliant insults they came up with to target the woman included telling her she had a rat face and calling her Splinter. (I'm not sure why Splinter was so bad... isn't he like some wise master of ninja?)
The whole thing made me so furious, I could hardly concentrate on the rest of the episode. I felt so awful that they were targeting this woman to bully, and even though it was within the confines of a stupid competition, that sort of thing does happen all the time in real life. And of course, then I started getting pissed off about the fact that a man can be a horrible misogynist and bully and still get elected President with lots of women on his side.
There were certainly kids who were mean to me when I was growing up, probably to the point of bullying. And I never knew how to deal with it... fortunately, it was always self-limited. But I realized that even as an adult, I don't entirely know how to deal with it. If someone tried to start bullying me, I think I'd be in trouble.
When my daughter was facing mild bullying at one point in school, we counseled her that they only keep doing it if it bothers you. So the right response is just to say, "Whatever!" And ignore them. We even practiced saying "whatever." But easier said than done.
Anyway, in watching Hell's Kitchen, I was really proud of the woman they were attempting to bully. When they called her "rat face," she actually just laughed and said, "I have a rat face? Whatever." (She actually had quite a pretty face.) And while she did get slightly worked up (it is reality TV), she basically called them on what they were trying to do and walked away with the more intelligent last word.