As I was walking home garbed in a beige winter coat with a leopard print collar, a 32 ounce Diet Coke in one hand, and my red purse in another, I watched as an old, run-down jeep sped by me. I gazed at it cynically, a curious feeling coming over me. As it passed by, a teenage boy, whose face I could not identify, rolled down the window and yelled "Sup bitch!". I could faintly hear him over Courtney Love's voice filtrating through my ears, but I knew I wasn't mistaken. His words were like a jab to my abdominal. Dread wrapped itself around my innards, clenching and squeezing them like a moist rag. My pride was bruised and my self-confidence wavered. My initial reaction was to bow my head in shame and shrink away from the public's view. That stranger had abated my enthusiasm and hope. The night prior, I had began to read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne which is all about the Laws of Attraction and how negative thoughts can attract negative events and how positive thoughts can attract positive events. I was bursting at the seams with positive and vivacious energy, dismissing all my negativity about society, people, and myself as a whole. How is it possible that all that hopefulness has been reduced by two words uttered by a mindless, bored teenager? It amazes me how disrespectful and ignorant people can be. Words are powerful and not to be taken lightly. Certain words have different connotations for different people. I'm sure someone else who possesses more self-confidence than I would dismiss such an idiotic phrase and continue on with their day, the event most likely never crossing their mind again. But I am not someone who is totally and utterly secure with myself. And comments such as that penetrate deep into the limbic system of my brain.
I began to see the bigger picture. This wasn't just about me. This was about humanity as a whole. And about respect, morality, integrity, equality, and feminism. First of all, "bitch" is a word that should never pass a man's lips and reach a female's ear's pinna. It's a violation of respect and it's demeaning. Sadly, there are many who use the derogatory term often and there are women who are hurt by it yet refuse to voice it. I have no tolerance for such a word. If that boy had not been in a passing car, I would have defended myself along with my female comrades. In my raging outbursts regarding the hurtful slang thrown around by oblivious people directed at woman, many have tried to diminish and invalidate my vehement emotions. I refuse to recognize it as an over-reaction. It's not right, it's hurtful. Where is the integrity? Where is the conscious and morality? Everybody has morals. Even those young boys do. Where is the equality, the mutual respect?
I am a feminist, but not a radical one. I don't believe men are evil. I don't hate them. I don't resent them or carry grudges. I believe in equality between genders. I believe in mutual courtesy. I believe that if everyone were to respect and accept one another, we would have a more peaceful and productive world. I question every day why must me fight? Why must we fight reality? People fabricate these delusions that someone who is different than ourselves are inferior. Why must we discriminate? Why must racism exsist? Why, why, why. We all question the world. Why can't we all join together? As brothers and sisters? As friends and family? As human beings?
We are one race. We are one. We are equal.