When I was a kid, I was always sticking up for the underdog. I don’t know why, that was just my deal. I’ve always been outspoken and, as “the pastor’s daughter” at a small private school, I had influence. People just didn’t mess with me. Or if they did, my ADD caused me to be too spacey to notice the mockers, so their bullshit was wasted on my dumb ass. I was often totally checked out, daydreaming…staring into space. And since my parents treated me like a normal kid, I didn’t quite develop all the bullshit baggage that pastor’s kids are known for. So, whenever someone was getting picked on by others, I’d get all up in the bully’s shit. I learned early that it doesn’t take much for me to get people to do what I want. Privilege aside, that was just my reality, and I was aware of it.
Today, I want to explain some aspects of bullying. Because what I learned was that bullies BRING OUT the bully in me. And in all honesty, I don’t LIKE how that feels. I don’t like BECOMING the bully. It feels shitty to me. And once I’m in the mode, I want to DEFEAT the bully. And I’ll stop at nothing to defeat. I become what I hate. Isn’t that how bullies are developed in the first place?
In everyday life, I don’t find myself encountering bullies in person very often. I think there have been three or four people in the past ten years of my life where I remember thinking “this person is a bully, and they are making me want to bully”, so I very intentionally separated myself from them. Otherwise I’d just sink to their level. I’d make sure that I could do what I could to help the underdog but, at the end of the day, those people will always be bullies. I can’t change that. Especially by treating them in a way that probably turned them into that in the first place. I’m sure they were bullied as kids or whatever, by their parents or someone else, and they have this chip on their shoulder. I can’t fix that chip. I have some empathy, but I also have sought out counseling to help me change the parts of me that are hurtful to myself and others. If you aren’t doing that…. now is the time to man the fuck up.
Every once in a while…. I am made to feel like shit by a man. It doesn’t happen to me as often as it might happen to other women… I often don’t give a shit about what people think anyway, and I surround myself by good men. And don’t get me wrong—women can be extremely hurtful to one another. So I’m not trying to be a man-hating femi-nazi here. But when it happens—when a man says something that leaves me feeling like trash simply because I have a beautiful ‘gine—I get Really. Fucking. Pissed.
Today I am done. I am fed up with people with penises who think that women live and breathe for men. I am so over that. I have learned that there is a certain population of men who literally think this. They think when I get dressed and do my hair and my makeup and put on cute clothes, that I am doing it to get THEIR attention. The fucking audacity of this is mind-blowing to me. I cannot imagine walking around this earth presuming that people are acting in such a way to get my attention—simply because I am a penis-bearing human. (If that were the case, which it is not. Mama has the lovely labias).
I was recently reminded of how fucking mental this makes me— a really cute picture was taken of a beautiful girl and posted on Facebook. There was nothing weird or inappropriate about the picture, she just happened to look crazy fucking hot, as per the usual. And it inspired a couple of male friends to say something about it. And it wasn’t “hey girl, you look great, have fun, you’re awesome.” The comments were more along the lines of “why are you dressed like that?” and how she clearly wants attention so why can’t they say whatever they want about it…. Bla bla bla. It saddens me that this even happens. A girl is left feeling so diminished by the comments about her looks, that she decides it may be better to hide. To not show her beauty. To not shine…
I am infuriated. I apparently have friends that are bullies. And I CAN’T FUCKING STAND THIS.
I am here today, friends, colleagues… to offer up some wisdom for you. And YES it is wisdom so listen real close. Because after this, bullies get deleted from my life.
She dressed that way because I asked her to. BECAUSE SHE LOOKED AMAZING in that outfit. So she did. She wore the outfit I liked. Now, ultimately I don’t really care what she wears. But she had a few options of clothes that fit her style, and I told her which one I liked the best. Lesson you should take away from this: NOBODY CARES WHAT YOU THINK. That night was all about us. Not you.
The second thing goes a little deeper for me. The idea that you can say whatever the fuck you want because someone, in your mind, is INVITING it. And this, ladies and gents, is part of the root philosophy of what has become known as “rape culture”. There is an inherent disrespect for women at the core of this way of thinking. Because, at the end of the day, if someone is “asking you” to treat them poorly… with less value than they really actually have as a person… so you’re going to do that shit??? And in this particular circumstance, how is looking nice for a night out with your girlfriends perceived as being asked to be treated poorly again?
What if we went ahead and reversed things. I mean… a moderately chubby guy who goes out dressed “nerdy”, wearing Airwalks from Wal-Mart or some shit like that MUST be just ASKING to get rude and degrading comments, right? Otherwise he’d obviously work out, eat well, and get a fashion consultant. At MINIMUM…. Shop at Target. He clearly wants to be treated like shit. Duh… It’s like this guy in a wheelchair who vandalized a church for loving gay people. IT DOESN’T MAKE ANY FUCKING SENSE.
So I will leave you with this:
- I’m sorry someone treated you poorly or disrespected you in life, inspiring you to do the same to others. That sucks for you and it sucks for the people around you.
- Deal with your shit, and start being a better person.