Guilt & Shame

Does “it” really “get better” on a reliable and progressive basis? Marianne and I are discussing guilt, shame, and bullying.

Links mentioned in this episode:

The “It Gets Better” project

The music heard in this episode is by Wasaru.

8 Responses to “Guilt & Shame”

  1. Michelle Says:

    I’m posting in the middle of the listening to the podcast (which is great per usual) to relate something that I discussed with my boyfriend.

    In sixth grade there was a girl named Candace who happened to be a very tall black girl. The popular girls started to say she was a lesbian and would get into their huddled, whispering groups as girls that age do and decided to ostracize her. I was a fringe member of that group

    What I mean by fringe, I was getting relentlessly teased for being fat at the time . I remember having a small relief that finally I wasn’t the target of the abuse and could finally be “cool” and hang out with the other girls as long as I was being a bitch too.

    Now, the silver lining of this story is that our very sensitive, hippy teachers at the time noticed this gross behavior and had a meeting with all the girls to find out why we were being so cruel to Candace. I spoke up and said it was she was a lesbian. One of the teachers asked me what that meant and I just blinked at her. She then asked me what was so wrong if she happened to be a lesbian (after she explained what it was). In my very articulate 6th grade vocabulary, I said “Because it’s weird.” I am sure that our teachers knew that the girls were picking on Candace because she was black, tall and added the nice lesbo cherry to the top of the hate pile. They were smart enough to figure that out and tried to intervene as soon as possible.

    Now, I am not proud admitting at this scenario at all but if my memory serves correctly, my behavior towards Candace and the rest of the girls backed off.

    I know teachers get a bad reputation for not caring or helping these days. I have to wonder if it is because their hands are tied either by the school district or the parents? Like, teaching tolerance is a “liberal bias” or something? I don’t know, just something I was thinking about.

  2. Jilly Says:

    Enjoyed this podcast very much. I hope you’ll come back and tell us the full “bowl of gravy” story some time. Some guy was glaring at me as I ate lunch today and I was seriously tempted to chug a shot of ranch dressing just to shock him.

  3. car Says:

    This was fantastic. There was something that’s been bugging me around the edges about the whole “it gets better” campaign, but I wasn’t able to put my finger on what it was. That was it, exactly.

  4. intellectualharlot Says:

    I just watched the George Takei video that is part of the “It Gets Better” project and thought of your conversation, because rather than starting by telling kids “it gets better,” he leads by calling out one the of the public figures who’s said horrible things about gay people. Thought you might be interested:

  5. Kath Says:

    This was an incredible podcast Lesley and Marianne. Touched so many tender spots with me and also reaffirmed that I’m not imagining this shit. Thank you both for going down this path with one of your podcasts.

    Off to share it on my Facebook page.

  6. arcane_scholar Says:

    I’m taking notes on stuff as the podcast goes on.

    I’m listening to the part in the beginning about being bullied as an adult, and I think that is a very important point. In a way, bullying is kind of institutionalized for people as well. For instance, in a previous episode Marianne is talking about how she got lectured for being too “sexy” when wearing a dress that was similar to what the slimmer women wear. IMT that is very similar to bullying in that, again, a fat body is being held-up to the spotlight and shown to be unacceptable, and it is being done by an “authority” figure. Maybe it is a different experience for others, but in mine when something like that happens in a company /everyone/ knows about it. It is a shaming thing. Yet, that is considered acceptable.

    Even having someone blatantly bullying another person, like say by calling them “lesbo” or whatever, in a business environment doesn’t seem like it would be taken seriously to me. In my head, the scenario is filled with comments like “be an adult and ignore it” or “why are you letting it bother you so much” or “grow up!”, etc. And I get that comes from the fact people don’t think this kind fo thing should be an issue, and I believe that, they seem to not realize that it shouldn’t be an issue because the /other/ person shouldn’t be acting that way instead of the person /complaining/ about their treatment. The person complaining is often treated with ridicule for complaining, instead of the person doing the ridicule. I’m sure this is true with kids as well; however, I feel in adulthood it is more pronounced.

    “This is what I get for dressing the way I do.” O.o I’m so glad, Lesley, that you caught yourself on that statement. I was a little panicked. lol

    I so <3 y'all. I swear, when you're talking about getting snickered at and stuff when you're alone, and how it doesn’t happen when you're with your husband Lesley, I turned to my husband and was like "See! I'm not paranoid!" It's like you so get me. <3 Not that he thinks I'm paranoid or anything. He just is kind of oblivious so doesn't see things, and isn't there when a lot of stuff happens. Or I don't notice it as much because I'm distracted by talking to him or whatever. I've always felt so paranoid with stuff like that. Even therapists used to call it like "making a mountain out of a molehill" and prescribed me Paxil so I wouldn't be so paranoid. It's an ongoing theme in my life. So you saying that, and validating my experience is SO AMAZING.

    I think it is so interesting as Marianne is characterized as the "extravert" and the "muppet" of your duo, and Lesley is the "introvert" and the "academic" and yet Lesley does a majority of the talking (in very academic terms) and Marianne is muppety but much less in the forefront. I love y'all chemistry and I'm really enjoying these podcasts. 😀

  7. Kathy Says:

    You were spot-on on the “it gets better” issues. I had a friend who was fat and being harassed by a fellow male student (in college, for heck’s sake!) who would say all these awful things to and at her with his friends about finding her attractive, totally jerk behavior. Her instructor was appalled when she heard about it and was attempting to get her to report him. But what actually happened (this woman was in her 30’s!) was one day her husband happened to pick her up from her class. . . and it ended. As in, oh, she HAS a husband and is apparently viably attractive to someone and is no longer my target.

    as far as the being watched while eating goes, I look straight at them and don’t stop and they become extremely uncomfortable and look away and after a while, look back at me and I’m still staring at them with a “yeah, fuck off youse” look on my face. Usually menus come up to hide the face. Then I stop toying with them and go back to enjoying myself with my friends and food.

    side note: having discovered Eshakti through the podcasts am saving up to buy fab red ruffled dress.

  8. Kathy Says:

    just a follow-up to former note. yes, friend was attractive, but guy was doing the snotty thing to make people laugh, NOT to try to go out with her. Hope that makes sense.

    also, actually left a f**ing cheeseburger on her windshield at school one day. jerk

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