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Advisor

Worst insult?

The whole wrestling thread got me to thinking a lot about how sports shape a kid's life.  It is a mixed bag of positives and negatives, I suppose...at least it was for me.  I lived and breathed basketball, and enjoyed softball for a number of years. 

 I was lucky enough to play on championship teams, so it was not a frustrating, character-building experience of learning to lose a lot.   Our coaches were not too concerned about our emotional; issues...we were there to play ball.  You did not walk onto a court or field planning to go home in second place. 

The girl/boy sports thing reminded me the other day of my rec league girls softball coach's motivational technique.  If he really wanted to get under a player's skin, to make her step up her game, he'd yell, "You (throw, swing, slide, run, etc.) like a GIRL!" 

There was no worse criticism.  Every one of us WAS a girl, but the worst thing he could think of to say to any of us was that we actually played like one.  And, I might add: It worked. 

Wondered: What is the worst insult you've ever endured just because you were a girl?

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7 Replies
Advisor

Re: Worst insult?

Sadly, it was an unintentional but very hurtful act by my dad.  Dad had several beautiful guns, some I remember from our days back on the farm I grew up on.  He loved to hunt and he always tok a great deal of pride in his gun collection.

 

The year before he died he decided to give away all of his hunting guns. Unbeknownst to me, Dad divided his guns betwen my brothers, keeping only a cheap 22 calibar rifle for "protection".  He wrote out a list with his wishes. 

 

I didn't know anything about his decision until after he passed away and Mom handed them over to my brothers.  When they were divided up in front of me, I asked if he had left one for me, my mother said, "Of course not.  He always thought of his guns as a "man's" possession and probably never thought you would want one!"

 

Never mind that my dad used to take me hunting.  THat I was a better shot than either of my brothers or that I had a son of my own that I would like to hand one of my dad's guns down to.   

 

Well, my oldest brother told me, "Don't worry, I will see to it that you will get one of dad's guns."  It made me feel like a second class member of the family. I didn't want one given to me by my brother, I wanted one that my dad had chosen to leave to me.  He was gone and it was too late for that.   

 

To solve the problem, my mom and my brothers offered me the 22 from Walmart that was dad's "protection".  I didn't want to cause a scene and refuse it so it sits in its case in  my office.  It means nothing to me since it did not really come from my dad. 

 

When I think of all the gorgeous guns that my brothers got from my dad just because they are men, I just shake my head.  I know my dad would never have hurt me intentionally but it is the worst case of male chauvenism that I ever endured.

 

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Advisor

Re: Worst insult?

That one just made me want to cry....

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Senior Contributor

Re: Worst insult?

It is sad that your father never made his intentions about his gun collection known to anyone before his death. Farms have been broken by the same lack of communication. Thank you for sharing this story. May others use it to prevent the same kind of insult to their heirs in the future.

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Advisor

Re: Worst insult?

Read Soilbabe's post again...as I understood it, he did intend to leave the guns only to his sons. 

And, yes, it is a real object lesson.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: Worst insult?

I drove an 18 wheeler when I was 16. My father had garage and wrecker service. He hauled big loaded truck and trailers. I drove for him and back then long time ago, women did not drive big trucks. I remember hearing a lot on the CB radios about the girl driving the wrecker. I loved driving and I really did not care what people said, especially men, I was helping my Dad all I could.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Worst insult?

I helped my Dad every chance I could too. In high school, I took vo-ag and was the only girl in my class. I think many thought I was involved because before I started, I had a crush on a guy that was also in FFA. However, agriculture was really my first love and I wanted to improve myself for public speaking. The organization provides many opportunities for breaking the shell of a really shy person. 

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Advisor

Re: Worst insult?

You are right about FFA and 4-H being good leadership training.  I witnessed it more as a parent than as a student.  My family did not greatly encourage any involvement outside of church, music  and sports.  I did get one year of 4-H in at about fourth grade.

 I remember my mother deciding that I needed to do something "different" for my presentation.  She came up with a sandwich recipe she found in some cookbook.  It was orange and onion slices with cream cheese spread onto raising bread.  That may not sound exotic now, but it was exceedingly odd in 1963, and I do not think I would even taste it!

I had nto thought about that weird evetn until you wrote yoru post, so muhc have blocked the experience out of my memory, or at leat never had a reason to recall it until now.  Funny how the mind works, isn't it? 

I had always remembered being on a tractor and driving by a prison gang and their armed guards on the road between two of the farms we worked.  My father had stopped his truck and was talking to one of the guards.  A supper that night, he told us how shocked the guard was to see a littel girl running a tractor, so it must have been really been out of the norms or the times.   

That would have been in the late sixties, so I guess it was, at least in Virginia at that time.  When we moved to this place in NC in 1994-5, our girls were the only ones that did active farm work, except for one older lady whose husband is a dentist.  We watched families struggling to pay hired men to operate tractors that their teenaged daughters could have easily driven. 

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