Category Archives: Bullying
Yesterday, I saw a woman at the grocery store. She was in a wheelchair and was struggling to manoeuvre around and between other shoppers but, with a smile on her face, she got on with her shopping. Every now and then, she would ask for assistance from a fellow shopper when something was out of reach. I observed her matter-of-fact manner and noticed that even though she was a little slower and less efficient than everyone else, she was getting it done all the same.
As I watched, another woman boldly approached her and began to ask her a whole lot of questions about her wheelchair. She asked why she was in the wheelchair, for starters. She just couldn’t seem to comprehend that the wheelchair-bound woman was unable to walk. She seemed, in fact, rather irritated that this bulky wheelchair was taking up space in the aisle and interrupting the other shoppers.
She then asked, bluntly, what it felt like to be unable to get up and walk. The woman in the wheelchair calmly and patiently explained that she had always been in a wheelchair and that she did the best she could to manage and that she felt she was doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. With that, the other woman sighed dramatically and said, “I could never live like that. No way could I ever be in a wheelchair…”
Of course, the woman in the wheelchair was taken aback and didn’t reply, so shocked was she at this blatantly insensitive statement. Before she could catch her breath or formulate a response, the other woman went on to say, “How does your husband cope with you being in a wheelchair? It must be so hard for him to be married to you!” Read the rest of this entry →
Today’s post is syndicated at Bonbon Break – a stunning portal to the internet’s best blogs and fast becoming a second home to me. I hope you’ll take the time to click over and read about my childhood in Apartheid South Africa, my family’s struggle to fight the system and my tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Rest in peace, Tata Madiba, your long walk is over.
It was 2am for me, so you’ll find me in my pyjamas, clutching my daughter’s Nelson Mandela doll and discussing parenting and perceptions of beauty. I also did a live reading of “Damn you, Barbie!” Much to my amazement, I seemed reasonably coherent. Enjoy!
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You may also want to read:
- You suck! (6/20/2012)
- You don’t have to be Harry Potter to perform magic. (4/7/2013)
- Why the happy face? (6/24/2012)
- Why I let my kids fight. (7/3/2012)
- Where did I come from? (How not to answer the question.) (6/28/2012)
This morning, the most beautiful picture found its way on to my Facebook newsfeed. It made me smile. It grounded me. It made me proud to be privileged enough to be called “Mum”. Here it is:
I was all loved up and happy until I read the horrific caption that went with it:
“This picture and a whole swath of others like it have been removed by Facebook and other social media sites for being vulgar.”
My blood is boiling over this. It is so very wrong on multiple levels.
This picture is not pornography.
Know what is pornographic? The countless images that Facebook thrusts on to my newsfeed as ‘suggested’ stories – images of emaciated teenage bodies accompanied by information about the diet pills I should be taking/milkshakes I should be drinking to look like them. These images are vulgar in their message that, somehow, I – a 38 year old mother of three – should aim to look like them. Know what else is vulgar? Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: annorexic, baby belly, droopy boobs, facebook newsfeed, hero of the day, insult to injury, lose weight after baby, media pressure, perfect body, perfect woman, post-baby body, sad images, saggy belly, self-esteem, stretch marks
If you were an alien visiting the Earth and found yourself in a Western country this past week, you’d have learnt the following things about the People Of Earth:
ONE: Miley Cyrus is Very Important and has magic powers. With a few shakes of her rear (accompanied by an unnaturally long extension of her tongue), this young earthling can make poverty, murder and impending war d i s a p p e a r. Yep – anyone who witnessed Twerkgate was privy to the instantaneous vanishing of the murdered Syrian children, threats of WWIII and… well… anything of actual importance from world news. Poof!
TWO: Twerking is horrible and slutty. HOWEVER, women should be allowed to twerk to their hearts’ content because we own our bodies, so quit judging and back-off. ALTHOUGH, even though we shouldn’t Judge Miley (poor, poor, poor Miley, naive and expressing her rights) she really did behave like the sluttiest slutty slut from Sluttsville and Read the rest of this entry →
I couldn’t believe I was finally here. After a whirlwind six weeks of pre-cooking meals, re-organising of karate/dancing/footy schedules and some serious yanking up of my big girl knickers, I was finally standing at the Qantas check-in counter at the airport. Brand-new red conference handbag slung (so fashionably, people were fainting left and right) over my shoulder and my I’m-still-young-and-hip-dude pink camo backpack at my feet, I lugged my Daddy Bear sized suitcase on to the scale.
“Is this luggage yours?”
I looked up and beamed. “All mine.” I declared. The Qantas lady raised an eyebrow quizzically, “Did you pack it all yourself?” The beam grew, “Yep, every square inch of it!” She looked at me funny (What? Never seen a Mum experiencing the unparalleled joy of a whole suitcase all to herself before?) “Ohhh-kay…” Read the rest of this entry →
In the light of the George Zimmerman trial over the death of Trayvon Martin, I can’t help but feel sick that we live in a world where race is still an issue, where religion is an issue, where sexual-orientation is still an issue. What a world for our kids to grow up in.
All I can offer is this: A letter to that little brown boy. A letter to my Jewish son. A letter to the obese kid. A letter to the transgendered child. A letter to that weird kid who makes funny noises…. Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: American racism, Austistic boy, Beauty, Black people, facebook, George Zimmerman, Jews, lego, Pinterest, politics, Racism and ethnic discrimination in the United States, Shooting of Trayvon Martin, Trayvon Martin, trial, Twitter, United States
“Daniel called me an S-WORD HEAD!”
(She actually said “S-word” head because she could NOT bring herself to say, ‘shit’.)
Miss M was six years old. She came running to me after school, upset because someone had used *gasp* the S-word. She was horrified and devastated that a child could use THAT word.
It was then that a light bulb switched on and I had an A-HA moment. Read the rest of this entry →
Tags: bullying, Daniel, empowerment, facebook, Fuck, Idiot, inner power, kids can be mean, Mother, name-calling, pants falling down, poo-head, Profanity, resilience, school, Shit, shit-head, Shithead (card game), swear words, word power, words
Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.
I have tried to raise my kids with good manners, compassion, respect for other people’s property, the ability to share and a sense of kindness for everyone around them.
I thought I was doing the right thing.
I wasn’t wrong.
If we lived in a perfect world, that is.
Problem: This isn’t a perfect world.
It is a world where other kids are not necessarily taught to say please and thank you, not to swear, to share, to be kind, to not hit. It’s a world where other kids will snatch, steal and be downright cruel.
By teaching my kids to always be nice, have I indirectly rendered them incapable of coping in a less than perfect world? I didn’t think so for a long time. I wasn’t that cynical. I was a firm believer in raising my kids to always be kind, polite and certainly, to never hit.
Until Little Man got punched in the guts. In pre-school.
Let me explain. Read the rest of this entry →
Today’s post is prompted by a writing challenge. It spoke to me. I’d love to hear about your thoughts on this challenge.
You have the choice to erase one incident from your past, as though it never happened. What would you erase and why?
It was 1986, a temperate Summer’s day in Johannesburg, and it was almost time for the school bell to ring for break. I was crazy-obsessed with playing elastics with the girls in my class and looked forward to the chanting, jumping, giggling joy only a ten year old knows.
That bell rang, it’s Pavlov’s Dog effect causing excessive shrieking and laughter, and we were dismissed. I ran with a gaggle of little girls to sit under a tree and eat our lunches as quickly as possible (I was not one to ever skip a meal – even for elastics). As we ate, we talked about the important things in life, like whose mother packed them a chocolate (not mine) and who was wearing what colour knickers (don’t do handstands in a dress).
Then it started.
She was sitting by herself, eating her egg-mayonnaise sandwich. She looked sad. Read the rest of this entry →
What’s the MOMfessional? It’s a place where Parenting Bloggers can come to write about something that they usually keep hidden. It’s a place where we let our skeletons out of the closet and let ‘em dance! Welcome to the MOMfessional – a space where other parenting bloggers can let it all hang out. Read the rest of this entry →