Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Bullying Confronted

From the start I've been a fan of the Hunger Games movies. I actually think that they have something to say, and the fact that China is wary of it because of it's themes and messages means that others agree. So, before seeing the third one, I wanted to buy the first two and watch them again, to have the story fresh in my mind. We went to a mall that had three different places to buy DVD's. The first, a chain, had really jacked up the prices, probably anticipating that others would do what I was doing. It would have cost nearly 80 dollars to buy both of them. Um. No.

At our next stop we picked up the second one for $15 bucks and we were feeling quite victorious. Rah us. So we headed out to our third stop. This was the coolest place, it was an independent store and on entering we were greeted by a big boned woman whose hair was bright crayon blue. Her hair was as independent as she herself seemed to be. It went where it wanted to. She had piercings and tats and presented herself to the world as a bold, strong, powerful woman. I liked her right off because her greeting of me in no way patronized me, some people greet me like I'm a puppy entering their store, she didn't, she greeted me like a customer. That's rarer than you might think.

So, I asked if they had the first Hunger Games, she grinned and said that she thought they did. We followed her but had to stop because there were two women in the store with two children. One was about 7 and the other was in a stroller. They glanced around and saw me waiting for the clerk and began giggling together. I didn't hear what they said, but the clerk did. She turned to them and said, "That stops now, that kind of behaviour isn't welcome in this store!" The women were stunned, one started to protest, she was cut off. "I'm appalled that you would engage in teasing and bullying right in front of your child. What are you teaching?"





The shocker was that the two women didn't leave the store. They just quietly continued shopping. The clerk came back to me as if nothing happened. Chatted about the Hunger Games franchise, suggested a couple other series we might like and rang up our purchase. I got out my debit card to pay, wanting to say something, but knowing that it was unnecessary and probably best left unsaid. She knew I appreciated what she'd done.

 She reminded me that we all have voices. We all have the power to create safe places around us, places of welcome, places of inclusion. She knew she had that power, and she used it, without fear and without hesitation.

On seeing how easy that was I wondered why I'd never seen it before.


Colleen said...

Love this! Wonder why everyone (including me) doesn't behave like this fabulous woman. What a different world this would be.

clairesmum said...


Anonymous said...

Do I hear the sound of a loyal shopper here?????

Rickismom said...


Mary said...

I have a bright blue flash in my hair and can confirm that having blue hair helps remind you to be the person you want to be. It's a bit like your yellow shirts. It says "you're going to notice me? Then I'm going to set the terms."

It reminds me that, having made myself visible, having been seen, I don't want to be seen agreeing to, condoning, or going along with anything that I vigorously object to.

What I'll also say - although I don't know if this applies to your blue-haired shop assistant or indeed to your yellow-shirted self, or if it's just me - is that during every bold declaration of "Up With This I Will Not Put" there is still, alongside the pride and defiance, a modicum of fear on the inside. It costs. It's worth it... but it costs.