[2-min read] “Fight like a man! You’re being a little bitch! Fight like a man!” he yells, stepping forward. A few blocks over, that heavy metal crunch sound as two speeding SUVs meet. A single degree more and simmer becomes boil. The first day of spring.
“Fight like a man! You’re being a little bitch! Fight like a man!” he yells, stepping forward. I try to imagine something to say that would give him pause. Inspire him to reconsider. Encourage him to notice it’s a sunny warm breezy day, geese returning to the pond. A restorative space in which to exhale.
“Fight like a man! You’re being a little bitch! Fight like a man!” he yells, stepping forward. Not a model student of inclusion and diversity training, by commanding someone to fight “like a man,” he is boxing in the masculine gender, not allowing a spectrum of individuality but inciting a protection of ego, a shallow defense of heritage, perhaps. Labeling him the slur, he is accusing the other of being no better than female – as if male is better, on display that very moment. As if no woman fights fiercely. Deeming women merely pejoratives and not true keepers of family, society, planet. Piling on misogyny, he is modifying the feminine slur with “little.” Wishing to minimize a force. Has he never been loved by a woman?
I am at a loss for something effective to say. Instead, I imagine how he might be different on a summer day. “I’m angry!” he’ll announce, holding his ground. Not antiquated, constrictive, destructive language. It allows for vulnerability. Enables authentic self-expression. Instant relief. It also saves his face. And the day. That first day of spring.