Monday, July 09, 2007

Putting on my Big girl shoes

*Deep Breath*

When I started TWC, I chose to maintain a certain "Distance". I felt that if this forum was to be what I intended, I needed to accept everything as it came. Confessions that concerned me. Confessions which may disturb me. Confessions which pissed me off. All of them.

I knew from alot of my work around female relational aggression that women - especially when they feel powerless in some areas of their lives - look to participate in Horizontal aggression. In other words, attacking people who are to the left and the right of them. Usually these people are other women.

You tend to see this in social groups, ergo the "queen bee and wannabe" phenomenon. I participated in this in high school. I viciously targeted some other girls, just as I had been targeted by others. I would love to tell you all the names of those girls who I feel were my tormentors, but that would be to leave out my part in the flip side. Yes, I was tormented by them - the mean notes in the lockers, the exclusion of me at the lunch table, the decisions to exclude me from social events. Yes, I remember their names.

I am, however, not blameless. I was active in the targeting of others. I led others to targets and set them upon them. I intentionally set out to hurt other women. For what, you may ask? For being female. For daring to look at my boyfriend. For perceived slights against my person. I called them the names. Slut. Whore. Skank. Tramp. Skeeze. Beast. Bitch.

When my boyfriend asked me to stop targeting the girl he had briefly dated before me, I tripled my efforts. How dare she seek his protection. I did not dare address the actions in which my boyfriend was engaging. The continuing to talk to the ex-girlfriend in a way that felt ( and later proved to be) not quite over. He was my giver of status. I was his girlfriend. He had the power. He did not need to modify his actions. I had to modify my actions.

That isn't what I want for TWC. We, as women, have to modify our actions ALL THE TIME. We second guess and worry about others feelings and how we are perceived. We hide and shield and change so that others are protected.

I will not censor TWC. I won't. I can't tell people what to feel or how to behave. However, the tone of some of the comments in the last several months have felt....vindictive. A Public Stoning. Burn the Witch!

That isn't what I wanted. I wanted women to feel safe here. If no where else, then here. Safe to say the things you can't say elsewhere. That doesn't mean I am saying that you or I have to agree with the confession. We simply exist to acknowledge it's presence. We don't need to tar and feather the confessor, do we?

I currently have run out of enough confessions to make a chapter, so I will wait until I have 10 to publish the next one. I wonder if the risk of being called a name has made some think twice about wanting to send ones in. If so, my purpose in this website is negated.

My last point is this. You don't know WHO is confessing. It could be your best friend. It could be your mother. It could be me.

Do you want to call them or me whores? Really?

Originally posted on TWC 1/2007


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