By Betsy Wynn
I’ve been called misogynist names twice. Both instances of complete disrespect to me, and the female population happened on Beloit College’s campus. Last year “Ice-man” called me a “f*cking cunt” and also told me to never “f*cking talk to him again”. I was shocked that anyone had the audacity to use such a word at me. The worst part was that I was sitting on a couch surrounded by other men, and for whatever reason, none of them said anything to him about his word choice. But after a fair amount of swearing, and crying, I ignored it, and I got over it.
Yesterday a male Beloit College student who did not appear drunk (although admittedly I was obviously intoxicated) called me a “dumb bitch.” The conversation leading up to said name calling wasn’t even an argument. No one was yelling, no one was even trying to cause a discrepancy, but this young man felt it necessary to call me a “dumb bitch” and tell me to “shut up” because he didn’t like what I was saying.
Anyone who knows me knows that I tend to lash out quickly when something upsets me. Once can imagine what I said to him in response… but now in sobriety, I realized I should have skipped yelling at him and instead asked him what calling me a “dumb bitch” would accomplish. I’m a chemistry major with a 3.7 cumulative GPA. I am not dumb. Perhaps he thought that what I was saying to him was dumb. But I am not dumb.
I won’t argue with him on the word bitch though. Perhaps I act like a bitch sometimes. Maybe I act like a bitch all the time. But at least when I am acting like a bitch it is not belittling anyone. When I am being a bitch, I’m not promoting misogyny, bigotry, or hate. When I act like a bitch I do it for women. I do it so everyone knows I am a strong female. And I’m proud to be one.
I’m writing this so that this person is acknowledged as an asshole and a misogynist. There are 100 more like him on this campus and there are a million more like him in the world. It is time for them to realize that their attitudes will no longer be ignored. The next time he decides to call me a dumb bitch, I’m going to lash out even further. The next time anyone decides to call me a dumb bitch, they will be sorry. Because I’m not. No one is. No woman should have to be subjected to having a man that barely knows her, throw such a judgmental, presumptuous and hurtful words at them. I know people might think that I’m over-reacting a little, but to me this needs to be publicized. I need to do it so women have the courage to not accept their male- assigned roles in society and fight back when they are being wronged. I’m not going to ignore misogyny like it’s a speck in my glass of water. It exists at Beloit and I need people to know about it.
*Note: when later confronted about this issue, this non-greek male senior recalled this incident, did not apologize, called me even worse names, and then threatened to call the police on me and accuse me of battery.