Sunday, March 25, 2012

Same song, different day, what da' ??? combo!

I decided to make my response to one of the comments on an earlier thread a post topic because it's something I've talked about before and it's something that IMHO, has subtle racial undertones, as if we need ANYTHING else "racial" to read about these days!
Here's the impetus for today's post:

I don't feel entitled to anything, actually. But when I am on a web forum where I sometimes feel belittled, I think it is reasonable to make the decision to leave.

This was not the first time I felt bullied by your comments, which is very interesting to me, because generally I am very comfortable with conflict and debate.

What you refer to as "heated debate" on that other site, is actually mockery and snarkiness on your part.

(FYI, I come from a working class family, went to a public commuter university, and worked 30 hours a week during college as a housecleaner and medical assistant. I paid for medical school through loans.)

Well, anyway, good luck with your journey into medical school. I wish you the best, I really do

And here's my response.

First off, I thanked her for the comment. Second, I knew she would name me as reason for her decision to discontinue participation on that website, as it's not the first time it's happened, ostensibly for verbal "bullying" on my part.

You know all of my internet life, I've always found it interesting that women seem to choose phrases like "being bullied" to describe losing, or their perceived loss in a verbal debate. I didn't shout (use all caps) and I didn't use a single threatening term or phrase (like I'm gonna kick your ass). I basically used NONE of the phrases true bullies use, yet she felt bullied?? I actually heard my online behavior described similarly in another debate on a premed website for older applicants on a thread about health disparities (and I haven't posted on that site since). Now maybe it's just me, but when I see the term "LOL" and I used in a post on the same thread where she felt bullied, I usually assume the person is being lighthearted, yet she got bully out of that? And BTW, I did NOT write “I’m gonna kick her virtual ass, LOL!!!” either!

So why it is that hotly debated topics especially those involving race and/or SES, ALWAYS leads to someone feeling "bullied"? I think it's no coincidence that 99.9% of the time I've observed it on that site and on others, the people complaining about being bullied have two things in common. Same gender, same race. I've said it before and I'll say it again, when I'm in a heated debated about an issue I feel passionately about, it's gonna get hot! It's so NOT personal, yet some people take it that way anyway. And there's absolutely NOTHING I can do about it.

At the end of the day I'm left with the same question, how much does MY gender AND race have to do with THEM playing the "bully" card since it’s the same ‘ol “them” playing it?? Because when I talk to other women like me (Scientists and Doctors), we ALL have at least one experience and usually many more, with having been accused of being a bully (or confrontational) by a woman a LOT like “them”. Yet we STILL have to do our jobs well and hold our heads high anyway, all while doing our damdest not to complain about how "unfair" it is and become bitter, which could ultimately lead to high blood pressure. And THAT of course, is easier said than done, and apparently NOT done very well by "us"!

Here’s the thing, when a man comes back to me with, “Apop201x, your defense of funding of health disparities made me feel bullied”, THEN I'll pay it some attention, and then only a bit. One person’s “bullied” defense of a position is another person’s “passionate” defense, so why aren’t women like me ever considered being “passionate”? Probably for the same reason that black kid in a hoodie is a hoodlum, and a white kid is a skater boy.

When someone brings to my direct attention that I’ve mistreated them in ANY way or misunderstood something we’ve debated, I’m the FIRST to apologize. But anyone that doesn’t have the courage to at the very least be willing to talk to me about it, probably don’t have very good intentions themselves.

PS- I can think of a hellva' lot of responses FAR more "snarky" than what I said in that thread, to someone stating that >25 is too old for med school, but that would make my blog R rated!

PSS- I CAN be VERY snarky especially when I hear something I think is dumb like it's a given that the older you get, the less well EVERYONE learns! BALONEY!!!!!

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