Two people who I trusted very much- Buffalo Boy and one other- put down women, particularly female Soldiers today. It started off with comments about us receiving special treatment and turned to our perceived physical inequalities.
Then another guy, one who I've already had issues with and identified as a possible predator, drove by on his way in and whistled at me.
I lost nearly all control. I was angry after the first bit, but figured it would blow over. The second incident left me fuming, angry and enraged. As I came in from break, I yelled at the latter guy to never whistle at me again. I managed to keep my mouth shut to the guys until one of them said something about me being angry. It came out without me meaning for it to, but I told him I was still pissed off that he felt it was alright to put down women. He said he was just joking- a pretty common defense for him- and I said it wasn't a joke, and walked outside. Buffalo Boy saw me walk out, obviously upset and on the verge of tears. He came over to where I was and tried to talk to me. More calmly than I was sure I'd be able to, I told him that I was still upset over the derogatory comments about women, so I wasn't in the best mood. He got angry at me, made a comment about me and the other female in the group taking things too personally, and walked away.
I tried to clear things up with him, sending him a carefully-worded text message explaining why it upset me. I told him: "You'll always be my brother far as I'm concerned, and maybe if you were the only person pointing out our shortcomings, I wouldn't feel like I needed to defend myself. But there isn't one person or form of media that hasn't shown bias, either intentionally or without even understanding that they are. I'm sick to death of feeling like I need to be protected and taken care of and tired of being scared because men are bigger, stronger and faster. I'm done believing that."
He responded with another "you're taking everything too personally and blowing this out of proportion" bit, essentially saying that I was making everything about me. I told him I had tried very hard not to put him down or be disrespectful in my text message, and I wished he'd done the same.
I am done wishing I could be stronger or better or safer. I'm done being scared. I can't continue to live this way, because this isn't living anymore.
It's time to make a change.