Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Tale of Two Girls

No, not these two girls. I have no idea who they are.

I am not sure what made these memories surface today. It is possible that, upon reflecting on my perspective on violence towards women, that these two independent interactions with females from over 20 years ago could have somehow shaped my present attitude on the subject could have some merit.

Before I begin the two brief tales, I want to summarize a little background about myself, two points specifically:

  1. As a youngster, and to a lesser extent to this day, I was very socially awkward and naive. In fact, I was naive to the point of ignorance. If it wasn't for my hyperactive friend in junior high, I may have been unaware of certain underpinnings of society well into my 20s.
  2. Growing up, my dad only ever told about two things you NEVER do as a man: Point a gun at another human being, and hit a woman. In fact, he probably emphasized the part about hitting women a lot more than not shooting people. It's ironic, after my mom and dad split, my mom got into an abusive relationship, and before my stepmother met my dad she had been in an abusive relationship. So, despite my naivety, I had seen since a young age many different aspects of females being abused.
Now, unto the tales.

The Girl That Kicked Me In The Nuts

There is not a whole lot to tell here. There was a girl that had been at my school for a couple of years at this point. We were in 5th grade, and maybe had a class or two together. The only social contact we ever had was the day I was standing in front of my locker, I dropped something, bent over to pick it up, and she kicked me in the nuts from behind. Hard.

I hit the ground like a sack of potatoes. The weird thing is, I looked at her, and she like stood over me a few seconds before walking off with this bizarre, unmoving mask-like expression on her face.

I never told anyone about it. The subject was never approached in any aspect. I was in school with this girl for seven more years, and even still see her in town from time to time. Even though I have long since put the physical and emotional pain of the incident behind me, I have never been able to reconcile in my mind why she would have done that.

There were times I was angry, and wanted retribution. However, the teachings of my father strictly guided me away from harming women. I had to learn to let it go. I had been victimized by a 12 year old girl, and I had to just live with it.

The Girl and the Two Little Bullies

Again in fifth grade, there was another girl I knew. I knew her better than the first girl, but still did not know her well. Oddly enough, both of these girls shared some similar characteristics: neither of them were particularly attractive, both were very skinny (though girl 1 was much taller than girl 2), they both came from low income families (the term "white trash" could be applicable), and neither were particularly well educated. I don't mean any of that as a put down on either girl, it was just the reality of their situation.

Now, the gigantic difference between the two was that girl 1 was moody and "exclusive/cliquish". Girl 2 was friendly, and even though I was scared to death of girls until the age of about, oh, 20, she was one of the few that I talked to. Even though she may have been "simple", she was gentle and kind.

Unfortunately, arrogant little pricks can look at attributes like this in a female and use it to exploit them. Case in point, one day after school I was sitting alone at the top of the "big slide" in the playground (I would often go up there and sit by myself, sometimes until dark, after school just to be alone). I could see most of the school and playground from that perch. This day, I noticed two younger boys talking to girl 2. As I watched a short while longer, it was obvious they were upsetting her and teasing her (not surprising being that the boys in question were a couple of little shits). She was starting to cry.

Even though I might talk tough online, I am not a brave, principled guy. I routinely let the world go on by, content to be left alone. On this day, though, something happened and I felt compelled to intervene. I slid down the slide and walked over to the girl and the two boys (3rd graders). I asked her if the boys were bothering her and she nodded, weeping. I turned to the boys and plainly stated, "Go away and leave her alone."

Now, I don't know if they were feeling tough because there was two of them, or if my reputation as a pacifist preceded me, but the two little punks basically said, "Who is going to make us?" This is where I step even further out of my established parameters of social interactions with carbon-based life-forms...and lie to them. "You would do well to walk away now, I have been studying martial arts, including karate, and have no desire to to harm either of you." Yes, I was really that well spoken as a youngster, and yes my bluff worked. The boys left.

The girl thanked me and I offered to walk her home (she lived very close to my house). We talked about karate the whole time. I even found a stick and "karate chopped" it in two for her. She smiled and laughed the whole time.

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