Dear Diary

December 26, 2012

It’s open season on lips and hearts.


It all started with a book.

I happened to have checked a book called Feminism: Opposing Viewpionts out from the library. Then I made the mistake of putting the book down on my desk while I was in science class. And thus began an all-out war.

First the classmate who was sitting across from me picked up the book, took a look, and said, “Feminism? Why do we need feminism? It’s useless. Women can wear pants and vote now. That’s enough for me.” She then proceeded to flip through the book and point out how stupid it was. Another classmate, a boy sitting next to me, said, “You’re right, we don’t need feminism. Women belong in the kitchen.”

I tried to remain calm. I explained that we still need feminism because women and men still aren’t seen as equal in our society. They shot a few misogynistic slurs my way, the worst of which was feminazi.

The period ended right after that insult was flung, but apparently word got around. Every class I went to, I was greeted by people yelling “FEMINAZI!” Then some genius made up the nickname Adolf Britler, and people started standing up and saying, “Heil Britler!” when I’d walk into the room. I know I should have told a teacher, but to be honest I feel like the adults at my school wouldn’t think I had a strong enough case to charge anyone with bullying.

Instead, I just tried to ignore everything. I tried to ignore it when a friend said that yes, I pretty much was a feminazi, so what was wrong with people calling me one? I tried to ignore it when another friend said that the name Adolf Britler was funny and that I should loosen up. I tried to ignore it when I walked into math class and a bunch of people stood up and yelled, “HEIL BRITLER!” while making a Nazi salute.

But that last incident broke me. I couldn’t ignore it anymore. I had so much anger built up, so many urges I had squelched to throw something and scream and run out of school and never stop running. I shouted, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? STOP IT! I HATE ALL OF YOU!” It wasn’t the best comeback, but I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. I slid down in my seat and started to cry.

A girl sitting next to me turned around to face the saluters and said, “What’s wrong with you? You made her cry!” They all sat down, murmering softly to one another. Then the girl who had picked up my book in the first place (who also turned out to be the one who made up Adolf Britler) leaned over to me and whispered, “I’m so sorry, Britney.”

Luckily we had a test that day, so no one had to talk for the rest of class.

I’m still glad I checked out that book, though. At least it knows how to talk about feminism in an intelligent way. ♦


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  • Naomi Morris December 26th, 2012 7:14 PM

    omg britney i am so ANGRY and so sorry that that had to happen to you. that is pure cruelty and it beyond disgusting and i wish i could have been there to let all those people know what awful human beings they are

  • Tara December 26th, 2012 7:27 PM

    Naomi, you are beautiful. I loved what you wrote and I relate!

    Ruby, that sounds wonderful. I hope your vacation is the best thing ever.

    yeah Britney that is truly awful. I am so sorry you had to deal with such close-mindedness.

  • Emmie December 26th, 2012 7:34 PM

    I agree that men can be repellant but there are amazing, cool, fascinating guys that aren’t always reminding you through their actions that they are the other gender. I hope you meet them!

  • Serena.K December 26th, 2012 8:19 PM

    naomi’s entry could have been taken from my journal. try as i might to keep holding on to the “people are people” mindset, every guy i interact with eventually proves to be a condescending, sexist jerk. someone please tell me, do non-terrible guys exist or is that just a myth?

    britney, i am so sorry you had to deal with those jerks. *hugs* their behavior only proves that yes, we do still need feminism.

  • lyss December 26th, 2012 8:32 PM

    i find myself feeling physically ill over what those awful people said and did to you Britney.

    but, lady, keep your head up and like blast them all away with your feminist furies because no one deserves to be treated how they treated you. n if you’re opposed to blasting people away with yr feminist furies i’ll summon some angry suffragettes or somethin’ up and send ‘em your way so they can do it for you.

    • Anaheed December 26th, 2012 8:45 PM

      I volunteer to be part of this blasting team.

    • Marian December 26th, 2012 9:00 PM

      I would join in a second :)

  • Marian December 26th, 2012 9:00 PM

    Jeez, Brittany I’m so sorry you had to go through something like that. People can be so cruel. I’m so used to people making awful comments about my feminism that I instinctively scream at them at this point and show them my feminist fury (grrrrrrr, can’t you see me growling through my computer screen). In short I’m so sorry this happened to you. I wish I could have told those jerks off for you.

  • StellaBerlin December 26th, 2012 9:12 PM

    Once I was carrying this book I was reading about distorted body image, and my entire class yelled at me because supposedly, “everyone makes such a big deal about that stuff when really, companies need those models to sell out.” UGHHHHHHHHH….

    I’m so sorry that that had to happen to you, Britney. You are all wonderful!!!

  • Britney December 26th, 2012 9:32 PM

    Thank you guys SO much for all your support. All of you are awesome. <3

  • wishfulwanderer December 26th, 2012 9:59 PM

    Ughhh Ruby, I feel you. I’m a 9th grader too, and for me, school is already a whirlwind of numbness and physical/emotional exhaustion. I just feel like everything is something I have to get through.

    And Britney, wow, I am so sorry that happened to you. I wish some of us (or better, all of us!) could have been there to tell them off. You don’t deserve to have to deal with such astounding ignorance, idiocy, and cruelty. Stay strong, girl. We’re all here for you!

  • coolgirl December 26th, 2012 10:14 PM

    Britney, I am sososo sorry.. giving you internet hugs right now. that totally sucks that that happened but hey, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger ;)

  • Lorelei December 26th, 2012 10:57 PM

    Aww, Britney I’m so sorry that happened. I know what it’s like to be teased for your reading choices. Also, I’ve found that in moments where everyone seems to be turning on you it is extremely difficult to put together an eloquent, calm response. But as Tina Fey wrote “Some people say, ‘Never let them see you cry.’ I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.”

    • Britney December 26th, 2012 11:20 PM

      That quote is perfect! It seriously sums up what happened.

  • junebug December 26th, 2012 11:18 PM

    Naomi–way to literally speak my mind on the whole boy thing…i have such a weird relationship with the opposite gender, mostly because i’ve never been in a real straight relationship (even though i am mostly straight) and the majority of my guy friends are gay. it’s kind of like i’ve never really had the opportunity to see your average teenage guy as a full human being, so i just don’t? it makes me feel like a huuuge asshole.

    Britney–i feel you SO MUCH. i became a feminist in middle school too (8th grade, i think?) and i would get TONS of crap for it, a lot of people saying i was a lesbian and stuff, ya know. i still get the “oh god, here she goes” and the eye rolls during class discussions sometimes, but i think you’ll find that as you get older more people begin to embrace feminism or at least respect it. so i try not to let it bother me because all my friends/the guys i hook up with think feminism is cool and that’s all that matters to me :)

  • Nandi December 27th, 2012 5:20 AM

    Britney, I love you and I wish you were my little sister so that I could pick you up from school with pliers and Vaseline at the ready! You are ‘a rose in the barrel of an AK47′ and you need not be reminded of your courage.
    Also; ‘The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, “It’s a girl.” ~Shirley Chisholm’

    And that’s why we need feminism! Keep your head up princess, your crown is falling!

  • emine December 27th, 2012 5:35 AM

    Naomi I am mentally going through the exact same thing, guys are truly confusing creatures.

  • Sorcha M December 27th, 2012 6:29 AM

    It’s funny, I only discovered feminism in March and this year I’ve gone from one of those annoying fauxminists who says, ‘We’re not all hairy-legged man-haters!’ to BECOMING a hairy-legged man-hater. And I love it, really. Well, I don’t. I often get tired of constantly defending and speaking up and opposing and all the arguing. I sometimes think whether it would be easier to just become apolitical and not care about anything, but I feel I have a duty to do what I can and also feminism helped me with my confidence and esteem and I’ve helped others, which is worth the bullying from men. And internalised misogynist women. But the long-term rewards will long outweigh the shit we have to deal with now, so keep fighting! And Britney, I’m so sorry you had to experience that level of ignorance.

  • saramarit December 27th, 2012 12:41 PM

    I hadn’t encountered much sexism on a personal level until this year. It’s one thing reading or hearing about it and another when you actually come face to face with it in the real world. I find it hard to be articulate when I’m confronted with something that angers me this much, the rage gets in the way! Even though one bad experience can make you feel that there is no good left in the world we all know there are men out there who believe in equality and care about women’s issues, it would suck to alienate them by saying all men are terrible.

    This reminded me of a couple of Rookie articles I have bookmarked because the advice was so good! Basically tips on how not to let people drive you crazy with their wrong headed views.

  • Cath December 28th, 2012 4:30 AM

    Britney, I can’t believe what those people said to you. Actually, I can and do believe, but I just don’t want to. Unfortunately, life isn’t a place where, like you said, people can intelligently talk about feminism without hitting each other over the heads with folding chairs.

    But I just wanted to say that you are such a strong individual and reading your article has really got me fired up (which is great, because hey it’s 4:30 am and college apps).

    Often, what one needs is not what one wants, but in this case, the world sure as hell needs feminism even if many people argue otherwise.

  • RhiaSnape December 28th, 2012 8:36 AM

    Stay strong Britney! These ignorant people may think they’re being funny relating to Nazis and Hitler….I think that’s disgusting. What the Nazis did is unspeakable and saying that being a feminist makes you similar to them is just so utterly ridiculous. They may be laughing now, but you’ll be laughing when people like you and so many other strong women have changed the world. (sorry, bit cheesy, but hey)

  • Cutesycreator aka Monica May 24th, 2013 3:18 PM

    Uh, I’m a little late to the party here (I am a LOT late to the party) but Britney I am so sorry that that happened to you!!! I was cringing all the way through reading your entry :( I think RhiaSnape above me said it best with “They may be laughing now, but you’ll be laughing when people like you and so many other strong women have changed the world.” <3