Bullying: Who Is Really Responsible?

Teen girl commits suicide to escape bullying.  This is the headline; over and over and over again.  Sometimes it involves a rape.  Sometimes it involves nudity on the internet.  Sometimes it involves nothing but a story.  Always though, it involves is a girl pushed so far beyond her emotional limits that she breaks.

We, of course, look to the bullies.  Who harassed the girl?  Who showed the video?  Who spread the words?  Who shared the pictures and made it all go viral?  Where were the authorities?  The school officials?  The parents?  Who is responsible?

 

And every single time we miss the point.

 

We are looking at the surface, concerned only about the symptoms, instead of looking at the underlying cause.  We are living in a world that believes it has a say over the bodies of women, of girls.

A young girl gets on a webcam.  Her sexuality is barely blooming.  Her understanding of sex takes place in words not yet through senses.  Maybe she’s kissed a boy, maybe she hasn’t.  But she knows lust and experimentation and joy.  She gets excited about things, she gets carried away, she is not yet sure of herself.  And suddenly, there is a boy or a man or a fiction of either on the internet.  He thinks she’s special, you’re so pretty he says, and a relationship forms.  She is ecstatic.  One day, she feels daring, and pulls up her shirt exposing her breasts.  Maybe she feels proud.  Maybe she feels quirky.  Maybe she thought it through.  Maybe she didn’t.  And here’s where it all gets so tricky.  Or not, really.

Her breasts are her breasts.  Tits.  Boobs.  Juggs.  They are hers and hers alone.  To do whatever she wants with.  Should I repeat that?  Her breasts are hers, the very moment that she had them, to do whatever she wants to do with them.  And if she felt that way, if society felt that way, the story would end there.  No matter what happened after.  If she regretted it, it would be a mistake, one of many in a lifetime, which she will inevitably make; but, the mistake would be hers and hers alone.  But that’s not how the story goes for these teen suicide victims.  And that’s what they are, victims (and we, the perpetrators).  Breasts become a tool to chastise, to control, to mock, to humiliate.  And for what?  For being human?  For having desires and needs?  For seeking attention and comfort and excitement?  What are we teaching children that make these things so wrong?  And why does it feel like so few people see the slippery slope that is our social-sexual attempts to control.

But you say, I’m not shaming her.  We’re not shaming her.  I would never, could never…

But whose children do you think are saying these things?  I know, I know, it’s always someone else’s kid, someone else’s problem.  Only, it’s not.  We are a society, a whole, indivisible by the very bounds of geography and similarity.  We are in this together, whether we want to be or not.

Whore.  Slut.  Promiscuous.  Easy.  No standards.  See how slippery the slope is?  One minute it’s whore and the next it’s just called “standards” and you’re still missing the point which is that you’re judging a thing you have no right to judge.  Her body is not public.  Her sexuality is not public.

I would never call a girl a whore, you say, but what about when you so proudly announce that you have standards; are you not aware of the insinuation that you are better than someone else, better than someone who doesn’t have standards?  And then you have to ask yourself, doesn’t everyone have some kind of standards?  And so what you’re really saying is that your standards are better than theirs, that you are better than her.  And suddenly you’re sliding down the slippery slope that is judging the sexuality of women and I wonder if your daughter hears every little thing you say.  Insidious.  It grips her, holds her, and becomes a part of who she is and how she sees the world (and the same holds true for your son).  And before you adopt that shitty stance that is, well better their kid than mine, ask yourself what if it’s your kid who is perceived as lacking these undefinable standards that are being used to control your child.  Can you see, can you understand the very possibility that it is you, as a part of a society that continues to allow the judgment of female sexuality like it is a public commodity, who permits the bullying of your child, their child, any child, all children?  Simply, because one day you weren’t so careful with your words and you let your bullshit judgment spill out because, because, because why exactly?

Why is society so afraid of women?  Why does it push us towards  less  pleasure,  less  joy, less freedom?

But, but, you say, I would never call a girl a whore.  You can blame the words all you want but it will still mean that you’re stopping short of discovering the source of the fire.  The words, while violent and harmful, are not the source of the epidemic.  The problem lies in why the words are used.  They are used to stifle female pleasure, to reappropriate feminine control; they say that the body is public and available for judgment, they say that our bodies are not our own.

The truth is mind-numbingly simple:  If our bodies weren’t shameful, if sexuality was allowed to be ours and ours alone, the bullying would end.  You cannot mock without shame.  You cannot shame without judgment.  You cannot control, that which you cannot make feel less than.

Dear Boys, Nobody Likes to Be a Sideshow

 

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]t’s come to my attention.  As of late.  That I’ve been dating idiots.  Now don’t get me wrong.  People are inherently beautiful and everybody has their talents and upsides.  But when it comes to dating.  These boys are fucking ridiculous.  And that could very well explain why they’re on Plenty of Fish.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.  But these aren’t boys that are looking for a discussion.  They’re not just dating.  They’re “looking” for something.  And so if a fella is open and willing.  You have to wonder.  Why.  At 36/37/39/etc. his not finding it.  And that brings me back to the idiocy.

And the thing of the thing is.  I kind of don’t mind.  Because while I know most people read this blog for the funny business.  I have some fucking wisdom.  I swear.  To bestow on those willing to read/hear it.  And possibly the friends of those people.  Because someone has to be friends with these ridiculous boys that I’m dating.  They’re not social rejects.  Just.  Boys with maps to dating.  That haven’t been completely drawn in yet.  And so they’re guessing.  When they should be pulling over and asking directions.  And so here I am.  Waiting in the service station.  Throwing nails on the road so they’re forced to pull in to fix a flat.  Ready to guide.

And that’s why I write these Dear Boys posts.  To share the wisdom.  The small amount I have to share.  Because that slogan I came up with awhile back isn’t just a funny catch-phrase.  It’s a bit of the truth.  Mixed in for good measure.  I really am hoping.  To leave a legacy.  Of boys that have become just a little bit better.  Equipped.  More able.  Stellar.  Master daters.  Something She Dated.

Dating Vancouver a Better Place…One “Something” at a Time.  

So that’s me.  Taking one for the team.  Jumping on a grenade for you.  Ladies of Vancouver, BC.  And possibly even more widespread.  Because after all.  Boys migrate.  So you never know.  Atlanta.  Paris.  Saskatoon.  Prague.  One day you just might owe me a thank you.  But remember.  I don’t take refunds.  And I don’t offer warrantees.

So let’s get down to it, boys.  Because you’re screwing it up.  And you’re grossing me out.  And honestly, it seems obvious enough to me, but I guess I’m going to have to say it, nobody wants to be a sideshow.    Because whether you mean it as a compliment or not.  Compartmentalizing me.  Physically.  Is really insulting. And insecuring.  And ick ick icking me to death.

For example.  When you say (as a dude so recently did on Match.com) you posted lovely photos (this is good) – you are simply beautiful (keep it coming!).  I truly appreciate a genuine curvy figure (umm…fuck off).  And now just to be clear.  Where the fault lies.  So that there is no doubt.  Is in the appreciation of a genuine curvy figure.  Now if he had said you’re a babe or you’re stunning or something equally clear about thinking I was attractive.  That’d be awesome.  Because I don’t want you to get the wrong idea.  I’m not a chick who can’t take compliments.  But the gross part, is three fold.

First.  I hate the curvy thing.  And I’ll explain why.  Because saying I’m curvy doesn’t convey attraction.  It conveys sideshow.  Nobody wants a chubby chaser.  Because the thing of the thing is.  I don’t want the dude who likes fat chicks.  I want the dude who likes me.  Huge difference.  And further to this.  The word curvy is a thorn in my side.  My not curvy but chubby bunny side.  Because I’ll tell you.  Every fat girl has taken enough shit from dudes (and chicks) who would criticize them for daring to call themselves curvy.  Curvy being a coke bottle shape.  Curvy being 36-24-36.  Curvy being Vida Guerra or These Models.  And I am not curvy.  I’m beautiful.  I’m adorable.  I have value and all that other stuff.  But I’m not cruvy.  I’m less Marilyn Monroe and more Beth Ditto.  But most of all, I’m just me.

Second.  The word appreciate.  Now I know I’m going to catch some flack from all of you.  Something like you’re being too critical or stop being such a word nazi or something akin to this.  But to me.  Saying he appreciates my curves is honestly a bit of a jellyfisher.  Because what he’s really saying is that he’s different.  He appreciates what I have…fill in the blank____when others do not____.  And so it becomes just another signpost that this fella wants to take a detour to chubby town.  Whether he regularly vacations there or just heard about this great special.  But either way.  It yet again.  Makes me feel like a sideshow.  Objectified.  And not in an awesome way.  But in a yellow-fever, jungle-fever, chubby chaser, freak show type of way.

And finally.  Just in a totally word-nerd kind of way.  What’s with the genuine?  Like as opposed to the other girls.  Who are fake curvy?  What the fuck does that even mean.  So my dear boys, my dear dear boys.  This is my advice to you.

 

Dear boys,

Ick.  To every dude who likes a chick with some meat on her bones.  Or finds himself attracted to some ethnicities over others.  Nobody Likes To Be a Sideshow.  The way to your woman’s heart.  The key to your ladies panties.  Is not by making her feel like a freak.  It’s not by making her feel like if she were a hamburger that you only ever like her beef.  She is a whole dish.  A WHOLE dish.  And if you can’t appreciate her for that.  You should damn well keep it to yourself.  And honestly for her sake and yours move on.  But don’t tell her.  Don’t fucking make it clear that you just want her for something arbitrary and out of her control.  Because she’s not a circus act.  And you won’t win her over by talking about her tightrope.  Just Sayin’ boys.  Step your game up.  She’ll appreciate you for it.

Yours Truly,
Judgey Wudgey
aka Something She Dated
aka Your boys favorite chubby bunny
aka That girl 2 treadmills over getting closer to curvy status
aka Helping boys woo their ladies one compliment at a time
aka Dating Vancouver a better place one “something” at a time

Vancouver Dating Blog: Dating Vancouver a Better Place, One “Something” at a Time