Slut (and a few additional thoughts)

A story from my friend Bart. He’ll tell you all about it (you might have heard this before but it is a story well worth repeating – I’m sure a lot of you can relate.) At the end I will have a few more thoughts of my own.

Slut

A lot of us have kids in college, or starting college in the next year or two. One of the big things everyone is talking about is sexual assault on campus or in college towns. I’ve talked about it with my two kids who are in college. Everyone has, at least everyone who is a decent parent.

So I get this call from Hodge Williams. Yes, that Hodge Williams. Everyone remembers him.

“Bart, how are you?” As soon as he spoke I wondered what he wanted.

“Hodge. Fine. Great. Life is good. What’s up?”

“I’m writing a story on the history of sexual harassment and violence at universities in the US. I tried to contact your sister but she wouldn’t return my calls.”

“Beth?”

“Yes, Beth. She kind of got around so I was thinking she might have experienced first hand, you know, she was at risk.”

“What do you mean by at risk?”

“Oh come on, your sister was a slut. Everyone knew it.”

I sat there with the phone a bit stunned. He just called my sister a slut.

“Hodge, you’re an asshole. In fact you’ve always been an asshole.” I hung up the phone. What an asshole.

After sitting for a few minutes and collecting my thoughts I called my sister and told her about the conversation.

“What an asshole,” she said. “Sure I was sleeping with his best friend without the benefit of being his best friend’s official girlfriend. OK I also slept with another one of his friends but we were in college. We were young.”

“Did you ever sleep with Hodge?”

“No. Hell no. He was always making passes at me and grabbing me. Hodges had that Madonna/Whore things going on in his head. A girl was either a virgin until marriage or a whore. Plus we’re not like him, you know the religion thing, so he just assumed I was a whore.”

“But you didn’t have sex with him.”

“I know. That makes me a whore. He called any girl who wouldn’t have sex with him a whore.”

“What an asshole.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. I mean, if the guy had asked me to go see a movie or go for a walk or just spent time talking that would have been different but he was just all over me like…yuck. He really called you? I can’t believe he’d have the gall to do that. Asshole.”

After we got off the phone with the promise of a lunch date later in the week I got to thinking about my own kids.

I’d spoken with both my daughter and son about sexual predators. I’ve done the best to teach them not to be bully bait. I’ve taught them to stand up for themselves and for others.

From experience I knew that bullies never grow up and most don’t change.

Hodge never got the answer he wanted. Over the years Beth had a few close calls with sexual predators but she always ended up safe either by being with friends or using physical force to get out of it (exactly twice as she told me.) That didn’t include unwanted advances by guys like Hodge. And even though Hodge didn’t use force it still hurt emotionally that he’d think so little of her or of any girl.

I wanted to pound the crap out of him. Then I thought about how many other women out there who thought the guy was an asshole. That made me smile. Spread the word ladies, spread the word.

That evening after work I talked to my wife about it. She shook her head and said she’d had similar experiences. More anger surged through my brain, then sadness deep in my soul.

We all judge others. We all make assumptions. We all call names even if it isn’t out loud. We all talk behind the backs of others. Maybe we need to stop. It isn’t easy. It isn’t even practical.

Anyway, if you see Hodge Williams call him and an asshole, and tell him that Beth and Bart don’t say hello.

~ end

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Since the day I became a mom I’ve thought of telling my kids about sexual predators. I’ve told them that more often than not sexual predators are people they know. It will be their word against yours. More often than not they already know how to hack the physical, emotional, legal, and social systems so that you won’t win. But always fight back. Never believe their lies. Tell your parents or someone else you trust.

Parents: LISTEN to your kids. Talk to them. Don’t judge. Don’t yell. Listen. Help. BELIEVE THEM. Kids and teens don’t lie about these things.

College Kids: RED CUPS. Don’t drink out of a drink anyone else gave you. That sweet punch in the big red cups will SLAM you hard. There will be a blog post about it and a quiz in a day or two.

In light of everything going on in the news this week I have a story. A friend posted something on FaceBook about men and boys behaving badly. She claimed if women flashed their boobs at Mardi Gras and other drunken events like concerts etc., then why did we all have a problem with men flashing their dicks.  I thought I’d quote my 19 year old daughter:

“When a woman flashes her boobs she is being silly and using bad judgement. It is insanely tacky and rude but not threatening anyone. When a man exposes his penis to someone it is a power and control thing. He is doing it as a threat. He is doing it with the purpose to make someone else intentionally uncomfortable. You can’t compare the two.”

That is all for today. Be safe. Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Believe them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Go Throw Your Fit Somewhere Else

The other day I was out in public with a friend. I was wearing heels, something I haven’t done for a while, and I tripped down a couple of steps, and fell. Yes, Vampires do fall occasionally just like everyone else. I also cut my left hand. Towels were brought out and everyone commented first on the lack of blood for such a deep cut. Then they commented on the fact that I was so calm.

As a child I didn’t cry much. Maybe to get my elder brother’s off of my back, or just away from me. Screaming also did the trick. I could scream like no other. But the screaming was reserved only for my brothers, and only when absolutely necessary. None of us, even the more sensitive of my siblings (they know who they are) threw fits. We’d argue, but nobody ever threw a tantrum. Nobody ever cried in public or threw fits.

I remember how the three of us younger children, my brothers Aaron, Val, and I would look on in shock and horror at screaming badly behaved children.

I’ve got a baby in the house. Now a Vampire baby, but a canine baby. It made me think of when I had my own babies, toddlers, and small children.

When I was the mother of tiny tots I let them know that screaming, temper tantrums, fits, crying over nothing, and whining was no acceptable. At an early age I sat them down and told them NO. They didn’t like it due to the fact that they were extremely active children and opinionated, even at an early age, but I had to put a stop to all signs of them being brats.

At an early age I also told them that when they were in public, or at the home of a friend, that they had to behave better than they’d behave at home.

The fact that my wee children didn’t eat refried beans at the home of a school friend caused the mother to loudly and quiet angrily accuse my children being picky eaters.   My children didn’t act rude, they just said they didn’t like smashed beans. They were polite about it. And one also made a toilet joke later in the day. All five-year olds make toilet jokes. The mother heard on a baby monitor in her child’s room. Really? It wasn’t like he was dropping F bombs. I said that my children ate sushi and salsa and shellfish. Of course I didn’t tell her that they drank blood and might check for small puncture wounds on her children’s wrists. Oh that would have been too easy. Needless to say we didn’t go over there again.

One day all of the children at the preschool put rocks up their noses. Kids do that. If they were brats they would have been throwing rocks. We don’t throw rocks. OK we don’t put rocks up our noses either, but that is a different kind of conversation.

Like the girl in that slightly boring Cinderella movie said, “Be kind.”

Even as a paranormal being one must be kind. And as part of the group who call ourselves human beings we must always try to be kind. Unfortunately some people forget to teach that to their children.

Putting a rock up one’s nose is stupid behavior – that we laugh about now.

Throwing a rock is bad behavior – that we NEVER laugh about later.

I’m also thinking about babies and all of the political mess now. There is a lot of name calling, rock throwing, and men, who I’m sure were brats who stomped and yelled to get their way, wanting to decide our fate, or the fate of the land in which we live. Oh how I want to slap some of their mothers for not making them behave. That seems to be a pattern all over the world with men (and a few women) who wish to rule.

As we get older there are fewer brats and tantrum throwers, but I still occasionally hear stories from college and high school about children and young adults who haven’t grown out of their bad toddler behavior. Unfortunately there are adults who never grow out of it. They become workplace bullies, politicians, and volunteer moms at school (and Middle School PE Teachers.)

Another thing to teach children is to be proud of what they do, but also be proud of others. Don’t covet what others have or do. There will always be someone who will be smarter, or better looking, or faster, or whatever. Don’t throw a fit. Everyone has their own good qualities that make them unique.

If you know you’re unique and comfortable in your own skin then none of that matters. If you’re happy with yourself and at peace with that, you don’t have the desire to be cruel to others. For those who are cruel, might act as if they are happy, but they aren’t. Cruelty is a form of insecurity that masks itself as self-confidence. The same goes for bigotry.

I frequently get asked questions about my relationships with those who are different than I am. I say relationships, because I do have friends who aren’t like me. That is ok.

As long as we all know how to behave than we can celebrate who we are together.

But if you’re going to scream, cry, stomp, yell, call names, and throw rocks, you aren’t going to be invited to play at my house anymore.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Vampire mom