The Lovely Bones

I’m in the middle of it.

Stop reading if you don’t want a spoiler.

The scene before she dies, Susie is in the bunker he built specifically to murder her. He has lured her in based on the promise of something neat and original that she would be the first to see. While down there her instincts kick into over drive and she says she has to leave. He sternly tells her not to be impolite.

With that one simple sentence rage erupted within me. It reminds me of how docile women are trained to be. How to acquiesce and keep the peace even when we feel, innately, that we want out. It’s hard for me to put into words what I want to say, but! Luckily I came across a blog post awhile ago that sums up what I am talking about.

This is the part I thought of specifically when watching the movie:

“Women who are taught that certain established boundaries are frowned upon as too rigid and unnecessary are going to find themselves in situations that move further faster before they realize that their first impression was right, and they are in a dangerous room with a dangerous person.”

But women are constantly taught not to stand up for themselves, not to set boundaries, not to speak out.

This is the most pertinent part for me and something I am realizing more and more often is VERY true:

If women are raised being told by parents, teachers, media, peers, and all surrounding social strata that:

It is not okay to set solid and distinct boundaries and reinforce them immediately and dramatically when crossed (“mean bitch”)

It is not okay to appear distraught or emotional (“crazy bitch”)

It is not okay to make personal decisions that the adults or other peers in your life do not agree with, and it is not okay to refuse to explain those decisions to others (“stuck-up bitch”)

It is not okay to refuse to agree with somebody, over and over and over again (“angry bitch”)

It is not okay to have (or express) conflicted, fluid, or experimental feelings about yourself, your body, your sexuality, your desires, and your needs (“bitch got daddy issues”)

It is not okay to use your physical strength (if you have it) to set physical boundaries (“dyke bitch”)

It is not okay to raise your voice (“shrill bitch”)

It is not okay to completely and utterly shut down somebody who obviously likes you (“mean dyke/frigid bitch”)

If we teach women that there are only certain ways they may acceptably behave, we should not be surprised when they behave in those ways.”

Don’t be impolite? Fuck you. I’m going to teach my daughter to be impolite for the simple reason that we live in a rape culture and being polite or quiet might be the very thing that gets her abused or worse if she doesn’t know it’s ok to set boundaries and be “impolite” or firm or direct.

There is a woman at work who is incredibly direct. She can be as polite and gentle as she may but the mere fact that she firmly sets boundaries and doesn’t allow them be crossed as earned her the privilege of having many a person roll their eyes at her and give her the wonderful title of bitch. I admit, she shocked me when I first encountered her but not because she was a bitch but because she enforced her boundaries and I envied her, I wanted her strength. At the time I was too afraid of the stigma of Bitch. Now? Not so much. Surviving rape, abuse and various other forms of abuse and shutting up about them so as not to rock the boat got me no where.

Fuck politeness.

Edited to add: Movie ended. Loved the bitch at the end ~_^