Seeing almost every single woman on Facebook posting this as their status makes me feel sad and angry. I’m upset. I have let so many things slide and just shake them off like it’s no big deal. IT’S A FUCKING BIG DEAL. I think back to how many times in my life a dude has said something inappropriate to me, made me feel like I was less than him, over-sexualized a non-sexy situation, made me feel shame, or flat out assaulted me.
Up until last year, I had lived with pretty huge boobs my whole life. I was approved by OHIP for a Breast reduction that changed my life. Aside from the physical pain of huge boobs, I hated/hid them because of the negative attention I would get from men.
It made me feel disgusting. I was ‘blessed’ with a chest before I started grade 7. The next two years were really hard. Going through puberty, trying to figure out things with boys, get good grades, and fit in.
There was a group of boys in my grade 7-8 school who really made it their entertainment to torment a few of us. Tom, Nathan, Dan were notorious for unzipping the front of our shirts (zipper shirts were in style it was the 90s). That boy gang had no shame, they would walk home with us and tell us we had to flash them our boobs in the forest or they’d have Monique beat us up. We didn’t know any better. We wanted to be cool and liked.
I remember a specific incident where this guy Aaron had just gotten a cast removed on his leg and he was known for throwing water on you if we wore a white shirt. Why or how they thought this was ok beyond me. I had ENOUGH, he did it to me one last time and I kicked him HARD right in the cast-free leg. He fell to the floor and told me years later his leg never healed properly.
In grade 8 this guy James was razzing me to the point where I lost it. I dropped my books in the hallway and gave him a nasty right hook to the jaw. I had been in the Ontario Tae Kwon Do championships that weekend. My punch laid him flat out in the hallway. Mum was not happy I hit someone and said ‘you could get suspended‘ and my reply was ‘you think he’s going to tell anyone‘. Mum and I ran into him at a bar a few years ago and he said he still gets made fun of. That same asshole used to call me BBSB for ‘big boobs small body’.
I had a creepy geography teacher in grade 8 who used to massage the girls’ shoulders and look down their shirts. I feel like so many of us have had a man in a position of power, like a teacher, do something like this. It’s gross. I was 13.
In high school, I was on the youth city council working alongside city council to govern out issues. We opened a drop-in centre, skate park, and started a music festival. One of the city councillors sons at school kept calling me ‘fatty’ because I had ‘big’ fat tits. I hated it and him. One day at a basketball game I had ENOUGH. I punched him right in the face too. Violence is not the answer but I was young and it felt like it was the only thing I could do. Speaking out to a wasn’t going to help.
I’ll never forget my mum coming home from a high school parent-teacher interview and slamming the door hard behind her. She’d asked my counsellor to inform my teachers my dad had left recently and to keep an eye out of for a change in behaviour. When mum went to the interview, none of my teachers knew the situation, when she confronted the counsellor he replied ‘well I’ve been a bad bad boy haven’t I‘. SHE WAS LIVID.
I didn’t expect this post to be so long. It could be so much longer now that I’ve opened a few doors in my mind to things I’d been hiding back there or shaking off. Haven’t mentioned college, university, my first job, most jobs, and all the little things here and there like creeps on the subway or not feeling safe walking at night. I don’t feel like talking about that stuff right now.
This just scrapes the surface of the kind of bullshit we have to put up with because some men and boys haven’t learned how to be decent humans.
I am angry and sad but also feel good this is coming out. Hopefully, years from now, my own kids, or their kids, won’t have to deal with the bullshit all of us have for so long.
I’m here for you and with you. If you have a comment or want to share, you can email me or write below. Me too.