I got called a bitch tonight. Several times, in fact. Over and over with some limited variation. “You little bitch,” with a smile on his face. “You little lesbian bitch,” getting closer to me, almost under his breath. “You bitch.” Sneering. He wanted to put me in my place, but we had a profound difference of opinion over where that is, exactly, and I wasn’t budging.
I looked him dead in the eye, coolly, weighing my options. One of the side effects of having been teased mercilessly as a child is that I’ve developed a veeery thick skin. Capricorn. When I’m a bitch, and I can be, I’m a cold one. When I’m surprised by anything, good or bad I have an immediately cool reaction, everything goes numb and I don’t react. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna let someone have the satisfaction. I’ve found that this, combined with a lilting laugh really pisses people off.
Mind you, I’ve been pretty lucky, I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve ever been confronted by someone that I could see clearly was dangerous and angry, and the worse it’s been the more carefully I’ve reacted. With someone truly unhinged, the last thing I’ll do is laugh. Men fear a woman laughing at them pretty much more than anything else we can do to them. I don’t underestimate the power of it, and I’m not going to use it without being sure I’m safe.
Men may fear a woman laughing at them but I fear being cold cocked, raped, beaten, and left for dead. So with some men it pays to be careful.
When a man calls a woman a bitch, there is something very specific at stake. The term is meant to lower you by reducing you to your feminine parts which are CLEARLY inferior. It’s meant to put you in your place which is below them. This is distinctly different than any swearword which you might level at a man, unless you call him a “pussy” or some other word clearly linked to the feminine, which really just proves my point and I would never ever ever use those words as an epithet just on principle. It pisses me off that “pussy” or “bitch” or “cunt” are the worst things you can call a man.
Those words are positive to me, I think the things they refer to are elevated, are strong, are beautiful. You call me a bitch and whatever you want me to hear, I hear something else.
But this guy tonight, he wanted me to be afraid of him. I couldn’t show him any fear because I wasn’t afraid, we were in a public place and he was drunk and outnumbered and frankly, pathetic (I definitely used the laugh on him), but after he left I found myself thinking ahead to when I had to get to my car that night and planning to be sure to have a male friend accompany me. His hostility was strong and had been festering for a long time. I know better than to underestimate that particular combination. It pisses me off that I’ve got to spend any thoughts on him at all afterwards. It makes me mad that I’ve got to spare two seconds thinking about protecting myself from this low life, misogynist DICKHEAD.
But the truth is that having tits pretty much means wearing a large red target sign on your back for life. Don’t get me wrong, because I don’t fear men in general. I’m lucky, I was raised by feminists. My mum and dad taught me to question authority and stand up for myself, to respect my body and to expect others to do the same. But my dad also taught me that you never knew who a man was until you saw him lose his temper, and that advice has stuck with me. It’s true for women too, of course, but generally the consequences of a woman losing her temper are not violent or life threatening.
I love being a woman, but I gotta tell you there is a lot of shit that comes along with it that just fucking sucks.
…of course I looked up my transits the minute I got home and wouldn’t you know it? The Moon in Pisces was trining Mars in Libra conjunct my Moon last night. Thanks, Mars. I know you’re not through with me yet, this week you’ll be squaring my Mercury and for the next couple days the Moon will be in Aries adding weight to that Uranus/Pluto square hitting me squarely on my Sun. For all I know this was just a warning shot across the bow. So I’ll do my due diligence and get a guy to accompany me if I need to and I won’t laugh at anyone, just in case, and I’ll stand up proudly for the bitch that I know I am and can be, because she’s the only one I trust when my back’s up against the wall.