Category Archives: Uncategorized

Response to Miami Dolfin’s Incognito/Martin “Bullying” (umm, harassment anyone?) Case

The first thing that came to me when reading a blog post by my teacher and a CBS news article, each about the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin fiasco, was how the term “bulling” really should have been replaced with the word “harassment.”

It is easier to excuse bulling. Bullying is Suzy pushing Rebecca in the playground, or Tommy calling Jacob smelly. Bullying is what school children deal with. How could an adult not “man-up” enough to handle such a small thing?

Harassment, however, carries the proper weight that constant and unprofessional torment in the workplace deserves. Harassment is illegal. Harassment will get you fired. Arguably, bullying should carry this weight as well, but one must use the words that properly gather the feeling of a matter when the matter is at hand.

Now, when writing this article I quickly googled what people thought the differences were, but the arguments were weak. One article said harassment implies physical force, however, the legal definition does not specify that this is the only factor of harrasment.

Words are powerful. That’s why people are more willing to approve the “Affordable Care Act” than they are “Obamacare” despite the fact that these words mean the same thing.

It’s why the reproductive rights debate in the U.S. today use emotionally charged language like “pro-life” instead of “anti-choice,” and “child” or “baby” instead of “zygote,” “embryo,” or “fetus.”

In important issues, one must stake stock of the emotional weight, meaning, and nuances of language.

Creative Commons Attribution: winnifredxoxo, flicker http://www.flickr.com/photos/61056899@N06/

Creative Commons Attribution: winnifredxoxo, flicker
http://www.flickr.com/photos/61056899@N06/
Cue cliché picture of old fashioned weights. You know…for measuring the weight of words and such.

Then I got to the portion of the article that involved victim blaming and it was like a switch shut off in my head. How does one reason with such madness? With a person that is part of a culture being so repeatedly misguided.

I see no way that these people blaming Martin for the harassment have thought that out logically. Incognito was sending Martin death threats about his family, and was calling him racial slurs. What possess a person to spend so much of their time making anther human being’s life awful? There is literally no logical rational for that. There is no way that someone can say Martin was at fault without sounding like a horrible person.

Cases like this illuminate problems in other areas of life. It is a small step to take from blaming a man for his own suffering of racist and cruel harassment to blaming a girl for being sexually assaulted.

The Girl that was Raised by…BOOKS! Part 3 of 3

The final area of written word that I think was a contributor to my development as a feminist, was sex-ed books. I summoned the courage to check out such a book from my middle school library in 8th grade, and it was the first knowledge I ever received about the existence of the clitoris. The book—written for children going through puberty—enthusiastically included that it is the only organ on the male or female body that was created specifically for pleasure, and talked frankly about masturbation as an alternative to sex with other people.

I was outraged that I was never taught about this part of my own body (I had an entire marking period of sex-ed in 6th grade, but that part of female anatomy was mysteriously left out). I truly do not know when I would have learned about it if it weren’t for my slightly rebellious decision to check out that book. When I asked the girls in my 9th grade heath class if they knew what the clitoris was, and discovered that over half of them didn’t, I asked my female teacher to explain. She blushed and refused to speak about the subject. Now, I know perhaps that is because it went against curriculum (which is ridiculous in and of itself), but she didn’t even give the girls a reputable source from which to learn the information on their own.

I'm admittedly not one of those people that's all RahRah! about the "beauty" of female genitals--all genitals, female and male, are hopelessly disgusting. Buuut, this is so freaky and cool O.O

I’m admittedly not one of those people that’s all RahRah! about the “beauty” of female genitals–all genitals, female and male, are hopelessly disgusting. Buuut, this is so freaky and cool O.O

Since I wasn’t getting information about sex from the people that were supposed to be responsible for teaching me, I began to seek out information elsewhere. I read trashy magazines and websites whose reliability I questioned even then. Fortunately, I found a sex-ed education Youtuber whose name I can’t recall. She worked in an adult store, and her videos were incredibly straightforward and informative. She made fun of those trashy magazines and encouraged her viewers to actually talk to the person they are having sexual contact with. So, I stopped using said magazines as a resource and began to seek out more reputable sources.

I read through planned parenthood’s website for information about contraceptives, and with some Christmas money, I sneakily bought a book called “The Guide to Getting it On” (nice little hyperlink to the Barnes&Noble site guys, at the time of this blog publication, it’s on sale :P). It was pricy for me at the time, I was just a sophomore in high school, but the website and reviews said it was used to teach college sexuality courses. It is 981 pages of pure knowledge.

I believe a large part of feminism is taking control of your own sexuality, and these books gave me the power and knowledge to do that.