On Being Called a Bitch

It’s happened twice.

The first time was at a playground. My youngest was three years old. She was playing on a mega jungle gym, the kind with a long ramp, multiple slides, and climbing walls, when a boy of about thirteen rode his bike up and down the ramp. There were small children all around. I told the older boy to stop and bike on the path. He got off the ramp and biked in front of me, back and forth, as if pacing. On his third round, he had worked up the gall to call me bitch in passing. I let it go. He was young and insolent. I wasn’t his mother. But then, he did it again. The boy was clearly showing off in front of his friends; a huddle stood off to the side snickering. I walked up to some women who were grilling hot dogs. I asked if any knew the boy on the bike. One raised her hand. There was some resemblance, the don’t-mess-with-me look in their eyes. I told her what had happened. She called her son over and scolded him in Spanish in front of me and in front of his friends. She was loud. She must’ve told him to apologize because the boy quietly told me he was sorry. I accepted, picked up my daughter, and left the playground.

The second time happened yesterday. I was driving down Rt 1, while a young man was trying to cross. With backpack over one shoulder and a styrofoam take-out container in his hands, he got to the double yellow lines and waited for a chance to get to the other side. He looked awfully close, so I slowed down but didn’t stop because I was in the midst of traffic, cars behind and beside me. As I passed him, he yelled, “Bitch!”

At first, the name-calling is startling. Once I get over the initial shock of it, I think about what actually happened. A stranger has verbally abused me because I took some action to protect myself, my child, and even perhaps him from potential harm. In that light, I don’t mind the name-calling so much. I invite it. Being called a bitch by the likes of young men with an inflated sense of entitlement indicates I must doing something right.

Published in: on November 29, 2011 at 12:13 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. You keep on keeping the world safe, and I’ll be the nice gal who’s glad you are in the world.

    • Anytime, PG. Anytime.

  2. Patti, you are the baddest B I know! I guess you can make that the 3rd time 😉

    • Bring it on, DM.

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