Words of warning and welcome:

This is very much my blog, so don't be surprised if this doesn't follow accepted patterns and norms. Obviously it started out as a blog about my cross-dressing but it has developed a great deal since then. It is a place where I can be anonymous and honest, and I appreciate that.

It will deal with many things and new readers would do well to check out the New Readers' Page above this and the tag down there on the right. Although there's nothing too bad in here there will be adult language, so be careful. If you think this needs a greater control, please let me know. Thank you!

Saturday, 23 February 2013

To this day

Watch the video first. The rest of the post can wait.


I've spoken about this whole thing before, back in 2011 I think, and repeatedly. I have spoken about bullying and about my own feelings of being disconnected. I was a natural victim.

And this video, the one I opened with, makes me cry now. Openly.

Dammit.



Because... well, a whole host of things. But mainly the fact that I remember being told, over and over again, when I explained the bullying and the comments that I should recite the sticks and stones rhyme. I did, you know, to myself and to two bullies who stopped me at the end of the street. One of them responded by pelting me with conkers - it hurt - and then stones when he ran out of conkers. I mean, I was on a bike, but I lacked the ability to jink and most of his projectiles hit home. My parents, I don't recall now which one it was, simply said that I should look after myself and stand up for myself more. That was the usual response actually.
A still from a soap (Hollyoaks I think) that I don't watch,
the point stands.

I did once. I had to write a letter of apology to the bully for drawing blood. I guess that's right, in hindsight, one should never take the matter into one's own hands - that's why we have a State, right? Anyway, it was ineffective and humiliating then and remains so. It's why, as a teacher, I go a little further in ending bullying and why it matters to me so much. I never want any student of mine to feel as isolated and alone as I did during those years. And I liked school and what I learned. I wasn't even that badly bullied.


Most of the bullying I was victim to was this, simple
isolation and enforced loneliness. Not so much teasing
as it was deliberate freezing out. Speaking now as a teacher
and an adult, I'm not sure how one best combats that.
I mean, you can't force people to be friends with other
people as that kind of defeats the point.
Nevertheless, something in this video hits home. My situation, the name calling, was never as bad as what is detailed there but... it makes me cry. Incidentally, most of the bullies in my later life at school were actually female. Rennai, who would arrive slightly after I did (but for wildly different reasons) and earlier than the rest of the form, would roundly insult me on a physical and emotional level - think verbal teasing and denigration about my lack of ass or muscle; Emma, who liked to take things to a more physical level and would then argue that I couldn't hit back because she was a girl and that was wrong, but mainly stuck to verbal abuse about my looks (no, really) and lack of street-cred; Shiona, who was just like that to everyone male. However, that may be wrong. There were males too. Lee and Gavin, who interspersed verbal bullying with prodding me around the hips constantly and stealing my stuff and hiding it; Grant, who just liked to use my complete lack of street smarts to embarrass me; the people at primary school whose faces I can see but whose names I have forgotten. Oh. Wow. Apparently I did play the victim.

Is there a link between my being a victim, then and now, and my desire to cross-dress? Is the outward victim persona something that stems from my wish to be seen as more feminine? Do I, as a male in the patriarchy, secretly underwrite my opinion of females in terms of their ability to be victims? Reading back through some of the posts here, such as my desire to be a damsel in distress for example, would support that reading. In which case, do I change it or do I simply walk on?

4 comments:

  1. I don't believe that the bullying caused or even intensified the desire to dress... in fact I think it's the opposite. I believe that the desire to dress was probably in its infancy way back then... maybe below the conscious level, but their snarky mean remarks hit home with you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That would be my concern, that my desire to cross-dress intensified and coloured the bullying. In that people recognised my 'damsel in distress' desire and hit on that.

      I don't think anyone, including me, knew about the cross-dressing at that stage (though I was definitely aware of the potential from about 14 onwards).

      Hmm. Food for thought. Which, of course, leads to my most recent post...

      Delete
  2. What a powerful video. I may forward that to my boy, who often feels out of place and friendless.

    Your writing is powerful, too, Joanna. Many ugly memories for me as well. I remember Leo in 5th grade, who for some weird reason started calling me Pantyhose. No doubt it continued because of my mortified response, deathly afraid that my most guarded thoughts were somehow transparent.

    As to your questions, I think Caitlyn has it right. My desire to be female was deep seated and maybe innate, but the fact that I was made to feel ugly and untouchable made me desperately want to be pretty. And very, very different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have forwarded to you straight away Leslie!

      People like Leo can poison most things, luckily I never made connections like that until afterwards, meaning I was relatively safe from the 'lucky guess' harassment.

      And, with regards your last comment, I can do naught but nod sagely.

      Delete

All comments are welcome, I have a thicker skin virtually than I do in real life!