Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beavis and Butthead.

Perhaps I'm not remembering correctly, but when I was a young woman, I fell into the group disparagingly referred to as 'women's libbers'.

*Winces at how old that makes me sound*

I remember how outraged my father when he first discovered that I was a feminist. I sat there in my Army uniform and combat boots, and I was amazed that the news came as such a shock to him. Seems funny now, doesn't it, but he was really quite outraged about it. But seriously, there was something within me that would not let me back down. It has always been there. There was something in me that would not accept abuse or ugly words. I had to speak up. I couldn't be silent. Most every woman that I knew was like that. We did not back down.

In my A and P lab, there are two young boys. They are vulgar. Crude. Talk out loud about the girls in the classroom in the basest of ways. Every other word out of their mouth is 'f...' Anyways, it just kind of shocked me to hear a couple young boys talking openly discussing girls in the classroom in sexual terms.

Anyways, 'Beavis' and 'Butthead' walked into class on Wednesday, and they started in right away. One of them is quite attracted to 'M', a basket ball player, blond, beautiful, and a very nice girl. In any case, Beavis said, "So how many times are you going to stuff it tonight?" and leered, as Butthead sniggered to himself. She looked at him. "What?" and he repeated himself but this time he said at the end of it: "Basketball. I was talking about basketball. How many times are you going to stuff it in the basket? What did you think I was talking about?" and he leered again, as Butthead sniggered to himself. M said "I play defense. I don't make baskets." Beavis and Butthead continued talking between themselves and I made up my mind. When the teacher came in, and we were getting our supplies, I spoke to her. I told her that I was apologizing in advance, because when it came up the next time, I was going to take a stand. The teacher listened, shocked. "No, you won't," she said, "because I'm putting a stop to that right now," and in the blink of an eye, she had them in the hall to let them know that if she heard one more complaint of that nature, they'd be gone from her class.

The boys came back in, sullen, and glaring at me. Even though I am sure that the teacher was not tactless enough to pin my name to the complaint, it's not hard to figure out that a woman had complained, and I am one of two at our table. I ignored their glares. I don't care what they think. Who believes that you can talk like that in a professional setting? They've got some learning to do that has nothing to do with Lab.

It will be interesting to see how this turns out. They are certainly not behaving any better. Mary, the other elderly woman in our class, walked out in the hall after our lab exam that day. I stayed in the lab, so I didn't hear it with my own ears, but as Mary stepped into the hall, Beavis said, "Ha-aaaaaaay, Gorgeous!" and Mary looked square at him and said, "F--- off." and went on her way. Undeterred, Beavis said, "Why do you have to be mean to me?" and Mary said, "When you get to be my age, you don't have to be nice to a--h---s.

The first day of class I listened to the two young men and was shocked. I didn't believe that it was the sort of conversation that would have been tolerated 'in my day'.

*winces again at how old that makes me sound*

But I was right.

I think about me. I think about Mary and I think about the teacher. We are all women of approximately the same generation...and not one of us tolerated it.


Mrs.Spit said...

I wouldn't either. I am deeply sorry for the young women who don't realize that they can put a stop to it. I am sorry that they don't realize their own worth. I am eternally thankful to people like Mary, who can say things like that, when I can't!

Lydia said...

I am so glad that young lady has a few "old timers" to run interference for her. It is much easier when you have been trodden upon for a few years. I seem to tolerate much less than I would have many moons ago.

Scotty said...

Good for you both. Now if we can only get some (more) men to pull up other men/boys when they do this stuff...

Anonymous said...

Where were we when these boys were being raised by MTV, today's "music", and the junk on TV? Where are the "men" of today who allow boys to grow up to be losers like this? Where is the influence of God on the lives of our children? Teach them to be better, Debby! Judy

A Novel Woman said...

Hear hear!! (clap, clap, clap) Good for you for taking a stand.

Bill of Wasilla said...

Wish I could have been there, too. They need to hear it from multiple sources, male and female - old and young.

Mary Paddock said...

Good for you Debby. Can you imagine what you'd do if word got back to you that your son was behaving like this? Regardless of their age?

I know they're both a bit old for this, but perhaps it would be best to separate the two and have them work at different tables. With women or older men.

Kelly said...

Enough's enough. I'm glad you stood up for what you believe. Even if it doesn't make any difference in their behaviour.

BUSH BABE said...

Um yes. I second Scotty's (implied) question. Are there no men in the class to pull these guys up? That's terrible behaviour. A good old fashioned clip under the ear (and some mouth soap) would be handy, no?

quid said...

While this type of behavior is unfortunately passed over in academia (high schools, too), most of these types get their comeuppance when they join the workforce and learn the hard way what can happen if they discriminate in a sexual way in the world of work.


Country Girl said...

I knew guys like this when I was young. And like you, now that I'm a certain age, I'm not putting up with it. I may ignore it as long as I can, but rudeness like this should never have to be tolerated.