Boys, bullies and My Little Pony

Nine-year-old Grayson Bruce, bullied for wearing a “girly” bag, will be back in school with his My Little Pony backpack. Buncombe County Schools (North Carolina) administrators had banned the backpack because it “triggered bullying.”

His mother, Noreen Bruce had pulled her son out of school.

Seven-year-old Barnaby loves Rainbow Dash, a My Little Pony character, but he won’t wear his Rainbow Dash sweatshirt to school writes his father, Sean Williams, on Slate. He said, “I think it will make the other kids uncomfortable.”

It’s OK for girls to show masculine traits — “strong is the new skinny” — but “men and boys are mostly shamed for expressing anything outside of the macho ideal,” writes Williams. Barnaby

My Little Pony’s mythology is based on the six Elements of Harmony: “Kindness, generosity, honesty, laughter, loyalty, and magic” are the tools the heroine ponies use to solve problems, Williams writes. “What you don’t find is ambition, or aggression, or force of will.”

Barnaby wears his Rainbow Dash sweatshirt at home, writes Williams. “I’m sad that at 7, he already knows what wearing it” at school would mean.

Adult men who like My Little Pony are known as “bronies,” I’ve learned. There’s a documentary on the phenomenon.

About Joanne


  1. Not mentioned here is that the fb support group for Grayson mentioned threats to the school and so on. Not good stuff.

    I have a pair of middle school boys who went to BronyFest this year. It’s really no different from being a Trekkie, except the conventions aren’t as big. Thankfully my sons are into Discord, a more masculine character. Discord is played by John de Lancie, who you might remember as “Q” from Star Trek.

  2. Jerry Doctor says:

    I was absolutely shocked when I read this follow-up to learn that there is a father in the home. Obviously I was off base in suggesting the lack of a male role model,

  3. Michael E. Lopez says:

    Really, Mr. Williams… are you completely dense?

    Who needs “ambition, aggression, or force of will” when you have *MAGIC* ? ? ? ? ? ?

  4. Michael E. Lopez says:

    And just out of curiousity… when exactly did My Little Ponies stop being cute and become bug-eyed Anime Monsters?

  5. Richard Aubrey says:

    May have said this before: Who’s idea was this? Some folks have kids walking point in the culture wars. See Shannon Faulkner and the Citadel

  6. Miller Smith says:

    In order to save you bullies from yourselves the school system will now bully your intended victims for you. The new school system supported bullying program will be under the rubric of “Banning Bully Triggers.”

    Anything that will set a Bully off will be banned and the intended victims will have the school system in their faces to let them know that their qualities and behaviors are truly the real reason they are being bullied and they should stop upsetting the bullies.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Must be that bullies perform the same function in school that Kapos played in the concentration camps. Always wondered why it has been more than tolerated esp in elementary/middle school.