Today Katarina Schultz is here to recount her experience with bullies. This type of bullying is very prevalent and has been occurring in grade schools for many decades. Boys and girls learning to be men and woman pushing boundaries and sometimes, at the expense of others, learning how to either respect or disrespect the opposite sex.
I remember my daughter coming home from third grade asking me to give her the DETAILS about sex. Apparently there were some fifth graders discussing having sex on the playground during lunch. I asked her what she thought that meant and she said kissing. Well that is part of it…
I told my daughter that sex was like learning to drive a car. She wasn’t big enough to push the pedals so there was no need to know all the details about driving yet but she would learn what she needed when it was time. I told her I was proud of her for asking me because sex should not be discussed at school and anyone trying to do so should be told to take that conversation home with them. I also told her it would need to be an ongoing discussion between us and I would always answer her honestly.
Now she is in fifth grade and has gone through a few sex ed classes. The kids were allowed to ask anonymous questions and I was shocked at some of the questions the boys were asking. The girls wanted to know mainly what to expect from their body and the boys wanted to know how to have sex and what to do with girls. I am so not ready for my daughter to grow up.
After reading this post and remembering my own experiences I now need to have another conversation with my daughter. A warning of sorts maybe. I think I need my daughter to know that there might be boys that haven’t learned how to be respectful yet, and possibly girls too. I want to take their power over her away and teach her not to feel shame and to never be embarrassed when another kid makes a fool of themselves.
Katarina Schultz does a wonderful job here talking very honestly about her experiences and I want her to know I think this post is important. It is a reminder to teach our young ones respect at an early age for the opposite sex. “But when my ignorance was discovered” is a key phrase here…arm your child with knowledge so they don’t fall prey to this type of bullying.
BLUSH by Katarina Schultz
Eighth grade was my first year in the wide-halled, linoleum-lined public school. I was a nobody. A goody-two-shoes. But worse than that, I was innocent. At first I flew under the radar. I was safe. But when my ignorance was discovered, I became a pincushion. It started slowly.
You don’t know what 69 is? Let me tell you about it.
They laughed at my scarlet cheeks and the way I smiled when embarrassed.
Have you ever had sex? Ever touched a dick?
Soon it escalated.
Do you shave your pussy? Would you suck my cock for 10 bucks? 50? How much?
They were joking, of course, hungrily lapping up my flustered reactions. Our teacher ignored it. She turned her eyes toward the whiteboard instead. It wasn’t quiet. She undoubtedly heard it all.
But I was left alone to drown.
Later that year I was called up to answer a question on the board. Ich habe keine Glück, I wrote. When I returned to my seat I found the boys rifling through my backpack. One of them pulled out a long, polka-dotted pouch. He unzipped it and his face lit up as if there was golden treasure within. Before I knew it, squishy pink packages and crinkly wrapped cylinders were flying about the room. It was a girl’s worst nightmare.
I’d love to tell you that my teacher started yelling and sent them out of the room. But she didn’t. The questions didn’t stop.
Would you have sex with him? How much would you have to be paid? How about him instead?
A year later the touching began. The “Nervous Game” they called it. They’d put a hand on my thigh and move it closer and closer until I got up. I wish I’d gotten up sooner and stormed out. But it was more complicated than that. I had no friends. They were the ‘cool’ boys. It was a game of social status. So I shut my mouth and blushed when they rubbed up against me at the whiteboard as a joke, and when they called me hot and laughed. I knew they didn’t mean it.
In 4 years it dwindled down to just one boy. It took me 4 years to drop the class that was keeping us together. 4 years and I had to give up an entire language to cut him out of my life.
But it was too late. The effects were lasting.
Katarina Schultz is a student pursuing a degree in anthropology. She is a mental health advocate who writes about her own experiences with mental illness. She spends most of her time trying to figure out how to do life in the quirkiest and most fun way possible. For more of her writing check out her blog: asuperhumanlife.wordpress.com.