This is an open letter to the stranger, a man, who called me a “loud-mouthed feminist bitch.” I wish to thank you. Not only is your insult one of the nicest I have ever received, but you have shown yourself to be a little bitty man in a much bigger world then you can comprehend. If you think your off-the-cuff, over-used, outdated insult would affect me or silence me, you are gravely mistaken and you are way out of your league.
Not only are you not the first person who has insulted me, you are not even the first person to insult me today. I have been insulted by much classier, wealthier, and more powerful men then you could ever hope to be. In a world full of bricks being thrown at me and so many other women, you are nothing but a bug bite on my arm. You are not even worthy of being considered a bug bite on my behind, because that might actually cause me to be upset, and your words were actually an awesome compliment.
There have been many wonderful and fantastic times I have received wonderful compliments from those who love me, but since you, a total stranger, tried to bring me down with your pitiful little insult, let me give you an insight into the person you are trying to tear apart and silence.
As a child of less than 9, I was called:
Poor dirt farmer’s daughter, ugly, fat, wild, loud, untalented, crazy, strange, weird, spacey, bratty, slow, too short, roach girl (because my home had roaches), and an “N-lover” (because I had a black friend in first grade and stood up for her on the playground). At 9 years old, I was called a slut and a whore by a female adult, because many of my friends were boys. These were not the only harsh words I faced, they are only a sampling of what created the person you tried to insult.
As a child in the fourth through sixth grades, I was sent to a “Christian” school to try to “fix me.” There, I was called by students and also teachers:
Dumb, wild, uncontrollable, loose, crazy, spacey (because I was shy and an introvert), weird (because I dreamed of being an astronaut, when women could not be astronauts), bratty, chatty, hyper, and a male student even called me a bitch because I would not allow him to kiss me and I slapped him (yep, standing up for yourself at 11 gets you called a bitch, but, guess what, he didn’t get to kiss me). See, your lazy insult of “bitch” has been used for many years against females, and we haven’t stopped winning yet.
From seventh grade through eighth grade, I was called:
Slut (because I would not allow a male to slap my butt), I was called strange and weird (again, because I told a teacher I wanted to be an astronaut), I was picked on, picked at, and bullied in middle school because I refused to conform to the “gangs” of little mean girls who only had each other as back up and would never make it alone in life. I was called an outcast, a Salvation Army baby, and because I refused to meet the boys in the eighth grade bathrooms for some “play time,” I was called slut, bitch, fat, and a whore. Yet, I still progressed, where others were slowly fading away to pre-teen pregnancy, drugs, gangs, and sadly, random deaths, and yes, even suicide.
As a teen, I was called:
Bitch, slut, whore, cunt, and pussy. See a pattern? Come on. Can’t people come up with more creative insults? I was harassed with words such as, “Baby you look fine, I wish to fuck you in the bathroom,” or my all time favorite, “I had your mom last night, I want a little of you today.” I have had bigger breasts since tenth grade, so that opened the door for more slang words, harassment, and “tear downs” of my spirit and my soul. I had teachers who told me to find more appropriate goals in life. I even had a teacher look at me when I entered her class for the first time, and say, “Oh, it’s you. I have already heard about you.” This is the same teacher who, in 1980-something, was having kids perform dissections on real cats. I tried to persuade her to hold a fundraiser to purchase fake cats instead. Her response was to joke about the cats being found behind the dumpsters and say they didn’t matter. Yet, she made me feel bad about being in her class.
I started a long distance track team, and teachers said I was too short to run. I ran anyway. I was told I was too fat to be a cheerleader. I cheered anyway. I was told I was too poor to be in band. I joined anyway. I wasn’t popular. I joined popular clubs anyway. I was bullied. I did not change my path to class. I walk down the same path everyday, anyway. So, you see, your insults don’t even bother me, they push me to do better and be much louder about it.
By students and teachers alike, I was made to feel bad about my body, my brains, and my outrageous goals in life. Yet, I still progressed forward, and the people who bullied and harassed me fell to the wayside in depths of drugs, drinking, and despair.
I was married a few times, and from those “kind gentlemen,” I received such “lovely” words as:
You are dumb. The house is a mess. You suck as a wife. You are nothing to me. You are looking fat. Why can’t you look like so-and-so? You can’t cook. Your thighs are fat. Your hair isn’t the right color. Oh, why did you change your hair. Gain weight. Lose weight. You don’t make me happy. You don’t deserve what you have. You will never amount to anything. I cheated on you because you work too hard (I made more money than my ex). You make me look bad when you talk about your degree, job, and income, but you will never be better than me. Of course, there are many more, but I am sure you get the gist of my wonderful time with my ex-husbands.
I spent over 20 years in the Army, and I was called and told by my male leadership and my co-workers:
That I was a bitch, slut, whore, cunt, and pussy. Constantly. I figured I would get those out of the way, since males have no imagination when it comes to insults.
I was busting my back fixing a tire, while a male soldier was sitting whining about how lazy women are in the Army. I have been touched, jeered at, harassed, physically hit by my own commander in the face with a book, physically hit in my injured back by a male PA trying to prove I was not injured, called stupid, insubordinate when standing up for myself, a liar, lazy, crazy, strange (that I had dreams of doing things females were not allowed to), weird, and a bitch, more times than I can count. I added bitch in there twice, because that is a running theme of females in the Army. If a female isn’t happy just taking orders from the “god like” males and succumbing to their ever wants and needs, then, those females are “bitches.”
I have also been called a dyke, lesbo, homo, twat waffle, pie muncher, and many homosexual slurs. I am not a homosexual, I just happen to be a very strong woman in the Army, who did her job very well. If they were referring to the take they believe a homosexual female is tough, smart, strong, and hard working, then I take their thinly veiled attempt at an insult, and I take it as a compliment.
I have been told to shut-up, sit-down, be quiet, don’t make waves, be more lady-like, be less lady-like, be this, be that, be something else all together. Yet. I am still here, progressing every day, while others fall in their own tracks of misery.
I have been told my huge accomplishments were only gained by sleeping my way to the top. I was told my awards were given to me only because it was determined by the government a certain amount of females receive certain awards. It could, in no way, be because I worked night and day to earn every recognition I was awarded. All of my accomplishments have been gravely diminished by the males in my life and my command. Not because I did not, in reality, truly earn them, but because the males were eaten up inside by jealousy, intimidation, and the hatred of anyone who out shined them (especially females). The only way for them to feel powerful wasn’t for them to work harder and meet the new standard a female had set, but to try to belittle and tear down the accomplishments of the females around them to make themselves feel better.
And yet, I still progressed. Day by day. Week by week. Pulling the hatred of men behind me like ankles weights on a prisoner sentenced to life. Every time I tried to escape the low standard men set, they would harass me, insult me, and try to tear me down by adding another weight to my ankles to keep me in my place. And yet, slowly, ever so slowly, I worked harder and became stronger than they ever could imagine and I continued to progress. One thing people forget: when you put weights on someone who is willing to work hard to get what they want, the weights do not hold that person back, but makes the person stronger, meaner, and more accomplished than the haters could ever imagine.
I am 47 years old and I have had many years and many late night crying sessions to contemplate ugly, pathetic, uneducated, underlings like yourself, and I have come up with a few rules for people like you:
- Come up with new and better insults. Your insults are tired, worn out, and old, like you. I have been insulted by Generals, physically hit by a combat Soldier, and even had a Senator send me an email to request I move out of his district. So, please, if I can survive the insults from those people, you are nothing to me but a pesky bug to smash.
- You bore me. Your old, outdated, stupid, idiotic, backward-thinking and raised-in-a-barn upbringing really bore me to death. I hate discussing serious topics with someone like you, who does not present any research to back your claims and relies solely on shoving their own personal agenda down people’s throats in a failed attempt to change the minds of those around them. I am bored with you and people like you. People of all sexes, races, and even dis/abilities have proven over and over they are worthy to occupy a seat at the “grown-up table of only men.” Please, you can’t hold those seats open for your friends forever. Your friends are not keeping up. Instead of insulting and putting down females, who are slowly taking those seats by storm, you need to talk to your male friends and tell them the world is changing, the rules are changing, the standards are higher, and they need to learn to keep up.
- Go to school. You sound like an idiot when you argue with me. If I am going to waste my time on people, like yourself, I really wish to have an equal brain to argue with. Trust me, a woman’s brain can multitask, find information quickly to bring to an argument, and immediately remember what you said after you yourself have long forgotten. You, on the other hand, must retreat in an argument, because you can’t keep up. So, please, go to school. At least the information you learn in school might make up for your old, broken record arguments toward females. At that point, I will gladly have an intelligent discussion with you concerning your issues of women working in “male only” positions.
So, let’s re-cap: I have been insulted, harassed, abused, stepped on, pulled apart, kept down by men around me, and so many other things you will never understand, and you expect me to “shut-up” my feminist talk, all just because you called me a “loud-mouthed feminist bitch?” Oh honey, you have a lot to learn about who I am. I don’t shut up, I don’t sit down, I don’t take crap from anyone, especially not the likes of you. I am better, stronger, faster, smarter, and more determined than you will ever fathom.
Again, thank you. I take your insult and accept it as a compliment, because, honey, that’s how I fucking roll.
Sometimes you just have to hang your head and survive the storm, even when the storm is in your own head. — Amanda Blount