Thursday, October 29, 2015

I Resemble That Remark

I can't remember the last time anyone has called me a name.  Maybe it was all that chemo.  I've been called a great deal of things in my life.  Mostly variations of my maiden name, because of that "Itsy Bitsy Teeny-Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" song.  The superintendent of my old school district used to call me 'Teeny-Weeny" way back before all of his sexual harassment troubles, but it didn't bother me. 

I'm a bossy, opinionated, assertive sort of person.  I speak up for myself.  I argue if I think something isn't right.  I don't sit back and let things go, not if I can make them better.  I'm not rude, I just like to speak my mind.  And I like being this way.

If I were a man, people wouldn't even blink an eye at me.  But the world at large isn't as accepting of such behavior in women, especially in Texas.  Women in Texas are supposed to look pretty and keep their mouths shut, I found out when I went to college.  What a culture shock from the East Coast where I went to high school!  I wasn't willing to fit into the rigid mold that was the standard Texas Woman of the 80s, and so I started to hear the b-word quite a bit.  And it used to bother me.  How unfair to be called a name for being yourself, for being assertive! 

It bothered me right into my 30s.   Then I one day I noticed that the people who called me that particular name wanted something from me.  They wanted me to get defensive, to become angry to be distracted.  If they could push that button, then they were vindicated in their opinions, no matter what.  Also, some men in particular, would call me that with the expectation that I would become more pliable to their wishes in order to show that I was not the b-word.  Manipulation, pure and simple. That got me thinking--maybe the problem wasn't about me. 

After all, if I was okay with my assertive, independent self, why would I care what those people thought? I thought all of the smart, independent, assertive women out there who were called that same word.  If being called a b*tch was the price that I needed to pay to be myself, I would pay it.  I started to embrace the b-word as a badge of merit, and it lost it's power over me. 

Because I resemble that remark.

Mama's Losin' It

While I recuperate from my latest step in my efforts to be cancer-free(a hysterectomy/oophrectomy), I'm borrowing a prompt from Kat Bouska's Writer's Worshop.  Go check her out!!

2. The last time someone called you a name.


  1. It is called beating you down. I've been called a b.
    My favorite b story is a second grader told a friend of mind that another child called her the b word. Well she was going to wait a bit to deal with it and had the presence of mind to have the child tell her the b word. It was baby.
    Take care.

  2. The B word gets bantered about by a lot. Why I was just called that the guy in the oversized King Ranch edition pickup that gunned up out of no where and then pushed me out of my lane. (sigh)
    (And I just had to Google oophrectomy. Wishing you a quick recovery!)

  3. I get called that All. The. Time. I turn right around and say, "Yep." Like you, I believe in what's right and standing up for it. Good for you. Hope your recovery is quick and is as little pain as possible. Hugs! Comin' at ya from Mama's Losin' It!

  4. I love that you were/are this way. I grew up extremely shy and afraid to speak up (right here in Texas, too!), and I have spent 45 years trying to be more like you. Let them throw out the B word all they want...

  5. My grandmother told me that every woman has a little bit of mean in her - you just have to learn how to use it. I use mine very well, thank you very much.

  6. Love your post! I suppose it is a badge of honor if one wears it correctly as you have come to find out. I suppose I resemble that remark once in a while (just ask my hubby! No, wait... don't ask... it's probably more often than not! LOL) I suppose I should also learn to embrace my assertiveness rather than shrink from it. Thanks! Great post! Glad I stopped by from Mama's Losin' it!

  7. You know what? Nikki Minaj struggles with this exact thing. You've always reminded me of each other.

  8. Good for you for embracing it. I'm not called a bitch but I see the looks in the office when I tell someone a pay rank above me that I can't (or won't) do something. Just becasue they think they are right, does not mean that they are.


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