Thanks for Playing, You Get the Hoop

Or White Male Misogynist Heteronormative Privilege Rears Its Ugly Head, Again

A couple of days ago I was riding on my bike, in the middle of running errands. I was riding on a one-way street, there are tons of those in downtown. I don’t often have cause to pay attention to a car or driver who is behind me or in two lanes over. That is because it is too much work focusing on the pedestrians and the drivers right behind me or in the lane as they are right next to me.

Downtown driving here is very stressful and work-intensive, which is made all the more so because I am on a bicycle. There is always someone who thinks it is okay to step out in front of me when I am biking and have the green light; bikes don’t just stop automatically, but some people act like it. There is always someone who thinks that they don’t have to give me the right-of-way, even when I have the green light and am in the crossing walk. There is always someone going too fast and too unsafely. There is always a hateful person, a dislikeable person, a rude person, an unsafe person who might cause me injury through their selfish, thoughtless, and/or self-centered actions.

So I don’t often find my focus going two lanes away, but it will sometimes happen when someone else is focusing their negative energy on me and making me feel unsafe; thanks awfully intuition. More surprising since this car was a car behind me and two lanes away.

The light turned red and people were starting to slow down. I was stopping and someone yelled out, “Lose Some Weight!” out of the passenger front seat. I think it was two white guys who were in their mid-twenties. I had looked over at the car when my intuition had pinged on them, but didn’t after the guy yelled. I didn’t want to give them my focus or my attention and knew that they were far enough away that I didn’t have to worry for my safety.

I thought, is this jerk yelling at me? There was someone across the street, on the sidewalk, they didn’t look overweight. Since I was waiting at the stop light I decided to just look in the other direction. When the light turned green I waited to notice which direction that car was going and I turned a different way, crossed a street, and rode onto a sidewalk as well, so that if they chose to harass me down the next block or two I would probably be on the other side of the street from them.

There is an old phrase that I used to say a lot when someone failed in the way that they treated me or in politics or a celebrity, you get the hoop. To me it means you failed, you scored zero, the hoop. I don’t say it to anyone personally, but usually later after something happens to me or something I see on television.

I don’t know if it was something I heard or something that I just used a lot back in the day when Larry Bird played with the Boston Celtics. I was a huge fan many years ago. I loved the way they played, back before the fast break took over the game.  So I still sometimes think about someone, you get the hoop. That guy got the hoop from me, an absolute lack of response, zero, nothing, nada, cause that’s what he deserved.

This guy failed. This guy got the hoop from me, nothing, no reaction, no emotion, epic fail dude and your friend too, cause I’m sure you said that because you knew you had an audience who would agree with you and would think you were funny. Dude you failed, you get the hoop from me.

Since he saw fit to judge me and since I refused to engage with him, I decided I was going to judge him in my own mind. I know that judging is not the best way to go around the world, in my life. But this guy sort of deserves a critique from me, since he thought that he had some sort of moral right to judge me and comment hatefully to me after knowing nothing about who I am and what I am dealing with. So here goes:

Male privilege:

Yeah success for you.

You think that your male gaze matters to me, should matter to me, or that your male gaze gives you the right to evaluate, score, and critique my life. Not something to be proud of. You are very much mistaken.

Misogynist:

Yeah you succeeded.

I don’t know why it is that older men are decent human beings and guys like you are scum, but I’ve been seeing this routine over and over for decades. They grew up in much more hateful and women hating times, and yet they are better men than any of you haters.

You should be ashamed of yourself. You judged a human being without knowing anything about her. Here is the thing, what my deal is, what my health is, what my weight is, what my sexual gender is, what my sexual orientation is, what my struggles are, what my disabilities are, they are none of your fucking business. I am not your property or owned by the public in order to make comments about and thus your opinion of me does not matter one tiny little bit. You do not matter to me one tiny little bit.

Heteronormative privilege:

Success. You think because you are male that entitles you to judge and correct women, in your private life and in public. It does not. You think that any random woman cares or wants to hear your hate speech. They do not. You are operating under the delusion that any woman wants to please any man and to be wanted sexually by any man and that what they believe about a woman is the ultimate truth. They do not. I do not. You do not have your finger on the pulse of womanhood. Your opinion means nothing to me.

Your male entitled judgments of what a woman should or should not be are not cared about by me and are not valued by me and are not welcome by me. They also do not affect me or my life, my self-esteem or self-love, my enjoyment of life or my enjoyment of my bike ride.

Being a man:

Fail.

A man is a decent person. He doesn’t treat women hatefully. He doesn’t judge them and yell at them and tell them how to live their life. There are billions of women who will never want to have anything to do with you. This hate and privilege will affect/effect your life for the rest of your life, but instead you would rather be cruel and misogynist, for a couple of chuckles with your buddy, unless you choose to do something better.

Athlete:

Fail.

It is clear to me that you are a part of jock culture and that you worship at that altar. I am not. I do not.

I’ve heard this kind of hate speech from other mid-twenties white male failed athletes for decades, since before I was your age. You didn’t have it in you to even be a great college athlete, but you dreamed it. You failed and all your entitlements and privilege makes you think that you deserved better.

I grew up with six brothers. If you think I am a woman who knows nothing about jock culture or failure or regrets, you are wrong. I see it in the eyes of some of the men I know and some of the men I see each day. Hey we all have dreams that we have failed at. Tough. Cry me a river. Everyone has their own pain. Be a man and carry your own.

Only a rare few succeed when it comes to athletics and even rarer in making themselves famous or rich. So you failed, most of us do, not my fault and I won’t accept your shame and rage over your failures. It is everyone’s responsibility to carry, feel, work on, and heal from their own shit. Be a man and carry your own shit.

Binge-drinking road to alcoholism:

Epic success.

Dude, I’ve seen you in the faces of sooo many males. Failed athlete wants to succeed at something. Yeah, neither of these things are going to help you with any of your other issues.

Being a human being:

Epic fail.

Dude you are a heartless inhuman little monster who fails to realize reality, you mean nothing to me.

Dude, you and your views, beliefs, and actions mean nothing to me, are not valued by me, and you will never be allowed my friendship, love, and/or support. This, ultimately, is your biggest failure. You were drawn into my circle of life and your hate, your beliefs, and your actions made sure that you would lose me forever.  I am an incredibly wonderful and loving person and friend. Your loss. Your deep and personal loss, cause I could be a wonderful person and friend to someone who is a decent human being. Instead, you get the hoop.

I am out there living my life, not offering myself up to you. You mean nothing to me. I am living. Go in peace, but just go.

6 thoughts on “Thanks for Playing, You Get the Hoop

    • Hi David,

      Clarity, in my mind and in my life, have been so important to me, especially so because of all the mental and emotional abuse I endured and its aftereffects. So writing this was important to me. I did not mean to express it as rage or a rant, but rather as a statement and a belief and in honoring my process of healing. I’m still trying to find that sweet spot between being vulnerable and open and being calm and assertive. I think my zero reaction to the two guys was a great balance in that moment and am proud of that. I’m also proud that I know that I and my existence does not need to be explained, justified, or defended. I’m a great person, full stop. Haters are going to hate. I’m in a better place with this than I have ever been and I’m very proud of that. 🙂 Thanks for being here. It means a lot.

      Good and healing thoughts to you and to those you love.

      Kate

      Like

  1. People that are like that usually have the most insecurities. To hell with them. Are you happy with you?! That is all that matters.

    Like

    • Hi Vic,

      Yes I totally agree with you, to hell with them.

      I wrote a long response, but then decided it should probably be best to post it all to the blog in a post. Your comment really got me thinking and feeling and I want to respond. I do appreciate what you said.

      I do have to respectfully disagree with what you wrote, that how I feel and think about myself is all that matters. I realize that you were saying something comforting and seriously your words and comments do that.

      My mother was full of body hatred, that she got from her overweight mother and from society, and in turn put a lot of body hatred and shaming onto my sister and I. That continued for decades. Healing from that took me years of hard and long work. I refuse to let someone else negatively impact my body like that, but it too is hard work to get to where I am today.

      I feel certain that you realize all these issues, as you are a father and parents see how the beliefs and societal pressures negatively effect their children at younger and younger ages around the topic of beauty and unrealistic body standards and how long standing those harms and shamings can be.

      Good and healing thoughts to you.

      Kate

      Liked by 1 person

      • Trust me, I do see and understand the body image issues around us today.

        I am not saying that we will not be affected by stimulus (both positive and negative) around us. However at the end of the day, a positive mental health approach is that we determine what is our “body image” and to not let society or family dictate that for us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hi,

        I appreciate your perspective. I don’t agree.

        I believe there is a lot of damage caused which needs to be healed.

        As a female and a child sexual survivor/healer I see a lot more areas in need of addressing in my life, my society, my culture, my world. Positiveness is only one small component, in my opinion, in being able to rise above and to heal from body hatred, body shaming, and body standards. I must respectfully disagree with you.

        Good and healing thoughts to you.

        Kate

        Liked by 1 person

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