Today rattled me pretty badly. The attitudes expressed were not attitudes I was surprised by, I knew they existed, but I have never heard them on this scale. However, they are probably something you will be surprised by because even my husband was shocked to hear about it.
I’m a woman, and thus I have experienced both subtle sexism and overt sexism my entire life. I have dealt with microaggression and overt aggression, one on one and group comments and actions against women, and other sexist things my entire life. It’s inherent in having boobs and a vagina. Sorry for being crass about it, but it’s true, sadly. Thankfully, things are starting to change. Slowly, but they are.
This was not sexism.
I’m white. Most people think that because I’m white, I do not understand racism. You would be wrong to think that. I grew up in an area where white was a minority, actually, especially once I hit high school. While I admit that I haven’t experienced racism as often as other races have, and I haven’t experienced institutionalized racism, I have definitely experienced it. Racism in the form of microagression and overt aggression, actually. I’ve been called derogatory names, purely to get a rise out of me (I knew it though so I didn’t cave), and I’ve been threatened. It’s gotten bad enough I’ve feared for my safety a few times.
This was not racism.
I have been the victim of atrocious bullying. I have been bullied in pretty much every way you can imagine. I was never given a black eye, but I have been bruised (I just usually got hit on the torso or kicked in the shins). I was bullied to the point where I planned out every detail of my suicide, but then something happened that made me change my mind at the last minute (and now I’m very glad it did). I was bullied on every level of bullying, from people walking past me in the hall and “cough*ugly*cough” to chanting to exclusion to purposefully hitting me with playground balls to explicitly telling me to die to taking my things from me to vandalizing my possessions to threatening my life. The bullying didn’t stop until after high school, and I’ve even run into a few instances since then.
This was not bullying.
Today was different.