The Two Times I Stood Up To Guys Twice My Size

“Hey, slut,” Josh said, raising his beer in acknowledgement.

“Don’t call me that,” I said.

“What?” he laughed. Josh looked like a kid. He had all the confidence of a twenty something and the impish posturing of a fourteen year old. He looked like Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes—thick yellow hair standing on end, wide eyes, a perpetual smirk and half-there expression. He was a friend of a friend. I met him once before and put up with his abuse, certain that I’d not see him again. Wrong.

“Don’t call me a slut. I’m serious. Why do you do that?”

He moved away from me. “Why do I do what?”

“Why are you such an asshole? Are you in the closet? Is your penis small? No, seriously, I’m curious.”

“I’m just trying to be funny,” he muttered.

“Well you’re failing miserably,” I said. I took a sip of my beer.

“Look, he calls all girls sluts. It’s not you,” offered his friend sheepishly.

“You shouldn’t call any girl a slut. It’s rude. And offensive. And it’s not even clever.” Quiet. A moment.

“Wow. I’m scared of you now,” he said without irony.

“You should be,” I said. Those words felt foreign and true.

“No one’s ever said anything about it before. Are you like a woman’s studies major or something?” I rolled my eyes and walked away. I got a glimpse of Josh’s future. He lives in a suburb. He is married. He loves his wife but says terribly rude things about her. She doesn’t mind for whatever reason. Josh of the future has a potbelly, maybe. Maybe he coaches his kid’s soccer team. Maybe he teaches him swear words, and their mutual rudeness becomes a language of affection. Maybe.

I felt specific, direct. I rarely feel that way. I fear that others will think I’m a bitch so I refrain from saying what I really want. Just get by—that’s the mantra. Scrape against other people, keep your head down, laugh it off, be polite. Sometimes I find value and comfort in that method, but usually it just wastes time.


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  • Aladin Sane

    Three Cheers!

  • dechonmustard

    You are AWESOME!
    Hopefully you can find it within yourself to be like this more often :)

  • NoSexCity

    Good story, though delivery of the first account and the second didn’t mesh as well as I was hoping for. Still, nicely done.

  • Anonymous

    Good for you, girl! But HOW are these accounts the only time you’ve stood up to a man? Men are douchebags almost constantly… I have these encounters almost once a weekend! Stand up for yourself more often! 

    • Guies

      Her profile says shes 19. I didn’t learn this shit until at least 22 so good for her.

  • Rachel Smith

    That guy that just calls every girl a slut and doesn’t realize it is offensive *sigh*

    I am just having one of those “ugh people still think like that” moments about your whole encounter, because, for whatever reason, it always surprises me when i encounter that kind of ugliness. It shouldn’t, but it does.

  • natasia

    Great post. You are an awesome friend, Melissa is very lucky that you were there for her that night! 

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  • J. Ky Marsh

    I love that your reponse to Josh saying something offensive to you… was to reply by saying something offensive to him: “Are you in the closet? Is your penis small?”

    I’m guessing you missed your own hypocrisy, though.

    • Just Saying

      What you call offensive, I call reasonable inquiries.

  • Anonymous

    “No one’s ever said anything about it before. Are you like a woman’s studies major or something?”

    What is this assumption? That every woman is stupid and not a feminist unless she’s specifically studying women’s studies? Just…what.

  • Lost Count

    a really good trick to get guys to back off is to throw up on them. Or just fart. Or start talking about STDs (but claim to only know so much about them from being responsible and cautious never to contract them)

  • Yakopian


  • xra

    wait i thought being a slut was a good thing im confused now

  • Sophia

    blah, insert cliché feminist “you rock!!1!” comment here

  • Jordana Bevan

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