somebody

January 28th, 2020:

Once upon a time, when I was in middle school, a boy called me a bitch. I asked him to stop, but he just kept repeating it with a smile on his face. I, then, told him to stop in a more assertive tone, but that didn’t faze him.

So, I went to a teacher because, surely, she could say or do something that would stop him, right? I mean, after all, she was the strictest teacher at that school. The boy stood a few feet behind me as I told the teacher what he insisted on calling me. She looked me in my eyes, with a smile on her face and said, “Boys will be boys. He’s just trying to annoy you, so he probably likes you.” Then, she proceeded to look over my head, at the boy, and shake her head in a manner that read, “Don’t mind her.” Then, to placate me, she smiled at him and said, “Stop.” The teacher didn’t take my concerns seriously. She sided with him. She thought I was overreacting. She thought it was funny.

GIF courtesy of giphy.com

That night, I told my dad what happened and he said, “Next time he calls you that, say, “Stop. I don’t want to have to tell my dad about this.” I didn’t think it would work, but my dad seemed fairly confident, so I followed his advice.

The next day, the boy called me a bitch and I dropped the line my dad gave me. For the first time, his smirk immediately left his face and fear flooded his eyes. He said, “You would do that?” He sounded betrayed. “Yeah, I would,” I responded.

He never called me out of my name again.

I learned a valuable lesson that day. I learned that a woman has to have a man in her corner for another man to respect her at face value. That moment taught me that a woman, in our society’s eyes, does not have inherent value. A woman’s value is attached to who she seems to be a subordinate to or who she serves, who needs her or who cares about her.

And that sentiment echoes in society in great speeches and debate, famous monologues in shows and movies, and pseudo-empathetic brotherly advice. They always say, “Once my daughter was born, I started treating women better.”, “Imagine if it was your daughter, imagine if it was your wife, imagine if it was your mother, imagine if it was your sister” or “She’s somebody’s daughter, she’s somebody’s wife, she’s somebody’s mother, she’s somebody’s sister,” but she’s never somebody. 

She’s never you. 

Because she could never be you. She could never be a man. Because she is inherently inferior.

That. That is what I learned that day. I don’t remember what my teachers’ lesson plans were that day. That is the only lesson, the only memory, I attach to that day.

It’s a lesson most women learn sooner or later. 

I’m just grateful that was the way I learned it.

As sad as that sounds, every woman has their story and I’m grateful mine was as (relatively) mild as a 12 year old boy calling me a bitch.

GIF courtesy of giphy.com

Do you have a similar experience? What are your thoughts on this topic? Let me know in the comments!

With love,

M

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Published by Morgan Peace

Morgan Peace is the author of Piece by Peace: A Collection of Musings. She had created this blog to share the pebbles of wisdom that she picks up on her journey. https://morganpeace.com/

4 thoughts on “somebody

  1. When I hear these stories I seriously wonder how teachers can fail their students so epically. I would have sided with you, because no one gets to treat you as less than.
    But I’m also so damned proud of the woman you have become and the strength you own. Your voice is wonderful and I hope you never stop writing, I’ll be here reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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