*Warning: I use some offensive phrases to illustrate a point. I do not endorse the use of them in any way. Since they are phrases that make grown adults cringe, I would like to let you know they are there in advance.

When I was in first grade I already knew I wanted to be a doctor “when I grew up.” Needless to say I thrilled to death when my class took a field trip to one of the local hospitals. At the end the day, all of the kids were given toy medical kits. They were almost identical. Each had a toy thermometer, some bandages, and a cardboard stethoscope. But the boys received a cardboard head mirror that has been synonymous with physicians for ages. Meanwhile the girls were handed cardboard nursing caps. When I questioned it, an older nurse dismissively told me that, silly girl, boys grow up to be doctors.

Fast forward sixteen years later, and I was sitting in a histology (the study of cells–yes about as exciting as it sounds) in my first year of medical school. During the lab component of the class, we clustered around group microscopes where six students could simultaneously view the same slide. By chance, I had been assigned to a team where I was the only woman. No big deal. I’d worked in a lab where I was the only female lab tech. But it didn’t take long before one of my histology partners started uttering a word to me over and over again.

Coño .

Spanish for cunt, coyly uttered as though I didn’t understand the word. Over and over again throughout the twelve week course. I’ve never taken a Spanish class in my life, but I knew exactly what that word meant.

You don’t belong here .

The Puerto Rican guy at our microscope would occasionally giggle like a little kid who heard someone say the word “fart.” The other three young men either didn’t get it (I suspect the guy from Ghana didn’t understand that it was even a slur) or simply buried their collective heads in the sand since it wasn’t their problem. I never gave that pig the satisfaction of cowering or getting angry. I simply ignored him. Unfortunately I was also raised with the belief that “tattling” was a sign of weakness, that sticks and stones may break your bones but words could never hurt me. So I simply put up with harassment.

That is until I realized I didn’t have to put up with it. I had two choices. I could go to the Dean and file a formal complaint. Yeah, he would get his butt nailed to the wall, but it wasn’t something to get expelled over, so I would be stuck dealing with this jerk for the next three in a half years. So I did it my way. I decided this pig had no power over me. I told his toady friend that if he called me a coño again I would let the Dean know and you all could connect the dots from there. It took all of three days for the guy to call me at home, hat in hand. It was a misunderstanding. I didn’t hear him correctly. He was only joking… There were enough half-assed phrases you could play Excuse Bingo. Never received an apology, but never expected one. But you know what? He never came within about fifty feet of me for the rest of medical school. Suddenly I was the one who had the upper hand.

Funny how when you call someone on their BS, he quickly back tracks to the “I was just joking” excuse. Heck, my six-year-old has already learned that lame excuse to get off the hook after getting busted for doing something horrible to her sister. Since it doesn’t work with me when a kindergarten graduate pulls it out of her bag of tricks, why would a grown adult expect it to work this past week?

We made fun of the situation…

What if the referee slated to officiate the game this week wasn’t going to be Shannon Eastin as was just another guy. Would that writer be able to get off the hook with the “I was just making fun of the situation” if he has posted This Nigger Will Officiate Packers Game or something equally lovely such as This Faggot Will Officiate Packers Game ?

We have come far as a society where these types of perjoratives are not tolerated in mainstream circles. So why is it still acceptable to degrade a woman professional? Just as I had earned a place in my medical school class, Shannon Eastin earned a place in the referee corps (albeit the replacement corps) not because of a double-top secret quota that needed to be attained, not out of pity and certainly not to stick it to the establishment. Positions were earned on a history of proven performance.

Unfortunately there are some that are threatened by such accomplishments and feel the need to reduce us to whores, bitches, cunts and broads. Because when you’re stripped down to just your genitalia, it’s easier to degrade a caricature and forget there is a human being on the other end of such insults. And it is certainly easier to belittle those of us who question such shenanigans with comments such as, You’ll never get a man with that mouth/attitude, radical feminists. And then there was the eloquent poster that just cut to the chase and called us oversensitive cunts .

Seriously, what is with the fascination with my vagina? (Or should I say, my complete lack of a penis.) Enough already.

There was a time when Lawn Jockey statues were perfectly acceptable, quaint if not cute. My grandparents had one in their yard, and they lived nowhere near the deep south. Good luck not being labeled as insensitive racist if you decide to put one in your yard in this day and age. Hopefully we’ll grow enough some day when blatant declarations of sexism won’t get a pass either.

I was only joking can only get you so much mileage. It doesn’t do jack to hide the undercurrent of the issued joke: you don’t belong here.

It doesn’t make me oversensitive or a radical feminist when I don’t like that type of joking. Wait, let’s just call it what it is–intolerance. Because I sure as hell am not laughing.

I put up with enough sexist intolerance in my life. It doesn’t mean I am willing to turn a blind eye like my lab mates in histology. It doesn’t mean that I need to put up with it like the younger me did for some time. And I certainly don’t have to accept a half-assed apology that was issued only because someone called the This Broad author on his crap.

I have learned–and I’m pretty certain Shannon Eastin has as well–that when you cast light on someone lobbing insults of intolerance, they hold no power over you.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but I don’t have to sit silent and put up with your discriminatory bull crap.

 

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  • Colleen

    Amen, Doc. PS – I can’t see any guy being stupid enough to take you on. ;)

  • http://www.totalpackers.com/ Monty

    I honestly have to wonder how you can say we said or implied Shannon doesn’t belong. We said nothing of the sort. Nor do we believe anything of the sort. Everyone gets what they earn, as it should be. To suggest that we begrudge her for her success because she’s a woman is not only false, but a completely ignorant statement.
    I mean, did you talk to me and ask me to explain myself before comparing me to some asshat who called you a derogatory name? Nope. You made false assumptions.
    In that sense, this post is worth about as much as the crap we posted to begin with.

    • Kay

      If the shoe fits, wear it.

    • Harry Hood

      “It doesn’t make me oversensitive or a radical feminist when I don’t like that type of joking. Wait, let’s just call it what it is–intolerance. Because I sure as hell am not laughing.”
      ——–
      No, it makes you a radical feminist when you feel the need to remove it from THE INTERNET! The rest of us are laughing!

      I live in the middle of nowhere, maybe I should call all the country music radio stations and tell them to shut up because they suck. But I won’t, I’ll just change the channel.

      And sadly, Monty, you apologized for a JOKE! Yes, a JOKE!

      • Colleen

        It’s people like you that Kelly and I were writing about. Sad.

      • Kathy

        For something to be a joke, it has to be funny. And for you to debate this point means you have to stop using false equivalency.

        The way I understood this issue was that it wasn’t so much about the sexist post as who posted it: a person attached to the Packers Hall of Fame in an official capacity.

        If some idiotic schlub with a loud mouth posted that, he’d largely be ignored. But because Monty has some importance within the Packers, it is a big deal. His “joke” reflects badly on him and the organization.

      • Farah

        I feel its important for you to take note that Kelly didn’t have the post removed. Monty edited it himself to remove the part that was offending people. He didn’t have to take it down, but he chose to after he realized that some readers didn’t “get” the joke.

        Whether its funny or not is a matter of opinion. You have the right to think so, if you want. Other people thought it wasn’t, and they have the right to think so, if they want. That’s the great thing about blogs…people can have opinions about stuff. Kelly is merely pointing out that, to many women, it feels like there’s an undercurrent of sexism that accompanies someone (not Monty) telling me I’m a man-hating ____ or am going to die alone surrounded by cats because I didn’t think the “joke” was funny. I happen to agree with her, but its no skin off my back if they want to continue on that way.

    • Colleen

      Wait, I was wrong. There is one that silly.

    • expatcheesehead

      Are you saying that you aren’t like other guys? Because no woman’s ever heard that line before. :^P

    • Sunnie

      I’m sorry Monty, maybe I didn’t understand you because I was on the phone at the time. You know, because broads like me can’t get off it and do a job, right?

      • Kay

        LOL well played Sunnie!

  • http://www.dicksfavoriteblog.com Richard

    I’m with Monty.

    I usually don’t care what ‘lil hobby some broad takes up to pass the time while her husbands at work. Ladies want to learn how to garden or roll hand made pasta? Fine by me as long as she’s beautiful and only speaks when spoken to.

    But this NFL thing? I mean, c’mon. That’s too far. Has anyone even considered where she’s gonna shower? Or change into her clothes. I hope little miss princess’s husband owns an RV, or she plans on changing at home.

    What a disgrace.

    • Colleen

      Shut up, Chang. ;)

  • Corey

    Monty, the fact that you believe (apparently sincerely) that you didn’t imply that Shannon didn’t belong is evidence of the very misogyny that claim you don’t use. You edited the original post! Why?? If it was JUST A JOKE, why would ANY of it have to be edited? Huh? I’ll wait. The answer is—because you FUCKING KNEW it was ugly, and were trying to backtrack.

    Bottom line: You apparently like to think of yourself as a Packers version of Deadspin. But you’re actually neither that talented of a writer, nor as funny as your inflated ego has led you to believe. And again: If it was JUST A JOKE and you INTENDED nothing malicious, why are you apologizing? Why did you remove the post?? The only joke in this entire situation is YOU. Step off and go back to representing the stereotype of the redneck, stupid, backwater Packers fan that the media likes to portray us to be. It would be no surprise to me if you don’t have a clue as to how your post reinforced that stereotype or if you don’t even believe it exists. It’s because YOU are part of the problem.

    • http://throwbackweekend.com Kyle

      I was going to type up a response, but there is no possible way I could convey my thoughts like Corey did.

    • Annie

      *slow clap*

    • Kay

      Boom.

    • Harry Hood

      Implying she didn’t belong?? Intending something malicious??

      He took advantage of this golden opportunity to troll women. To astounding results, might I add. LOL

  • http://www.cheeseheadtv.com C.D. Angeli

    Here’s the reality of it all. There was a point in time where sports, and particularly NFL football, was the private domain of the guys. It was a part of the whole male psyche, and for many folks, it still is, as their personal realities haven’t changed much.

    But, it is changing. The NFL began marketing more and more to women, recognizing that they were becoming far more savvy about the game, not the “beer-fetchers” they once were. NFL apparel has also respected this paradigm shift, moving from “shrink it and pink it” to producing stylish clothes that rival what the guys wear.

    But the biggest challenge to folks that still want to maintain that all females in football should appear in the beer commercials (preferably in bikinis) need to take a closer look at some of the ladies that have stood up and made themselves heard in this situation. These aren’t some women’s liberation nazis, folks. These are incredibly knowledgeable Packer writers who have already demonstrated they know more than the average male fan.

    I’ve had the opportunity to work with several of these tremendous fans (who just happen to be female) over at Cheesehead Radio. Jayme is razor sharp with her analysis and isn’t afraid to mix it up with anyone who disagrees with her (and also those that agree with her, sometimes). I will be the first to admit that she keeps up more on day-to-day news than I do, and I don’t feel threatened by it in the least.

    But I will never forget doing our pre-Super Bowl show with some big-time blogger for the Steelers, and he started talking smack with all of us with some faux statistical mumbo-jumbo. Despite all our testosterone inciting us guys to rise to the challenge, it was Holly who shushed us, and proceeded to methodically dismantle the Pittsburgh guy, reducing him to an apologetic, stammering wreck. She didn’t get emotional or cry. Her voice didn’t get shrill, and she didn’t use some sort of female voodoo that makes guys back down. She knew exactly what she was talking about, used his own stats against him, and it didn’t matter that she was a girl.

    Except she was.

    What Monty perpetuated was the myth of continuing to present females as “broads”, the same way that beer companies continue to market to us during commercials. In the end, however, this young lady who is about to referee a game is doing something that every dissenter sitting on their arse in front of a computer screen couldn’t even dream of doing himself…she’s actually respected and knowledgeable enough to referee an NFL game, where most of us couldn’t even ref a junior high game and not mess something up. Shannon Eastin is superior in football knowledge to 99.9% of the rest of us clods sitting at home watching the game.

    Is that true of all female football fans? Of course not. There are still many of them who will dutifully fetch beers for their husbands/boyfriends and watch Titanic in the other room. The problem is, this is no longer the rule, and it is high time that we all realize that when we post anything on a Packer website, any females that are reading it do not fall into the “traditional” definition of the female fan. They know their stuff, probably better than you do.

    This has nothing to do with neo-nazi feminism. It’s reality. Jayme, Farah, Colleen, Kelly…you go right on fighting for what you know is right. Don’t fight because you want to be respected. Fight because you’ve already proven that you know more than most of the knuckleheads that are trying to belittle you. You are already respected by those that read your writing and accept you as incredibly knowledgeable fans and writers.

    Those that don’t respect you are probably too distracted by beer commercials.

    • Annie

      again….*slow clap*

      • http://www.dicksfavoriteblog.com Richard Chang

        Annie, How many slow claps does it take to raise the height of a girl’s
        volleyball net 4 inches?

    • Farah

      Thanks :)

    • Kay

      Thank you C.D!

    • Colleen

      CD, the next time I see you I am giving you a giant bear hug. And buying you a beverage of your choice.

  • BerryJS

    Congratulations! You Women did it. You sure showed Monte. I will never go to that site again. Take a step back from your crusade and look at the website you are complaining about. They have interviews from porn (ehh lets go with) stars that are Packer fans. If that is not the kind of website you want to look at then try one of the fifty other Packers sites. What a joke. You quoted me in your article, my comment was “you will never get a man with that mouth” great job picking one little part of what I had to say. Clearly I was saying that as a total scumbag (SARCASM) you took the one guy who went way out of line and used him to attack the entire website and its moderators.

    The important thing here is that we all go to extreme’s (SARCASM), either we are lesbians, or total bigots. There is no room for error anymore. If you are not tolerant to the point of making yourself unhappy then you are a terrible human being.

    The bottom line is that if you don’t like the content they are putting out then don’t go to the website. In the grand scheme of things there are a lot more offensive things online than this.

    • Farah

      To be fair, since I don’t know you I didn’t know you were being sarcastic when you made your comment in reply to mine. Now that I realize that, I don’t feel like I was being attacked. But at the time, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to take it. I feel like I have a good handle on sarcasm when the person is right in front of me, but writing I’m not so great at it. I think one of my biggest takeaways from this whole thing is that tone is really hard to discern online.

      I’m pretty sure the guy who called me a man-hating ____ wasn’t kidding though. If I gave a flip about his opinion, I might be slightly upset.

    • Colleen

      Don’t worry. I hadn’t been there before, and I’ll never go there again. And don’t tell me what’s offensive to me.

      • BerryJS

        Colleen, I am sorry that this article has made you so upset. Different strokes I guess. My point was not to try and make a blanket statement about what should or should not be offensive to someone rather, that if you don’t like what they are doing over at the website, then do go to it. Or go to it, its not my place to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do.

        Farah, I think you have a very important point about tone being hard to decipher online. I was trying to make the most ridiculous statement I could hoping it would come off as a joke, but I understand how it might have come off as mean spirited.

        IMHO Monte is a very good writer who depending on your view crossed a line. He was an adult and apologized after hearing some criticism counter to the joke he was trying to make. I for one will continue to check his site daily.

        • Colleen

          I don’t dispute Monty’s right to post it. And I certainly didn’t ask/expect him to take it down or apologize, for that matter. He chose to do so and good for him. He had a post, I had an opinion about what it represented, as did Kelly (more than just the post itself). Just wanted to make that clear. Sorry if my tone came off as angry. I haven’t been angry since I wrote my post about it.