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Your voice is strong, now right the wrong. November 7, 2013

Posted by jeneypeney in i'm just sayin', life, love harder, sports.
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A few months ago, I sat among a couple thousand people in a loud, dark arena taking in what was one of the best rock shows I had been to in a while. The music was phenomenal. The stage set was amazing. I was having the time of my life.

And I was crying.

We don’t have to take this, back against the wall.
We don’t have to take this. We can end it all.

“But Jeney – why on earth would you cry at a ROCK concert? Isn’t that an atmosphere full of screaming like a maniac, head-banging, and all-around shenanigans? Why on earth would this bring you to tears?”

I won’t lie. I was kind of embarrassed about crying at the show. I buried my head in The Actual’s chest and hid my face from my neighboring fans. But I couldn’t help it.

Because the band played one song for their encore. This song. And as the band was playing their final song, this video was projected on the screen behind the drum set. It was simply too much for me to handle.

It was too much.

All you’ll ever be is a fading memory of a bully.
Make another joke while they hang another rope. So lonely.

You see – these lyrics hit so close to home. They were sung by my youngest brother when he would come home bawling his eyes out because the kids at school were teasing him for not being able to read as well as they could.

They were sung by my other brother when he was shot in the face by a BB gun on the school bus because he wasn’t as social as the other kids.

They were sung by me when I was teased in front of everyone at a birthday party for having no idea what “being fingered” or “getting eaten out” meant.

They were sung by Amanda Todd, Rehtaeh Parsons, Jessica Laney, and countless others. Every time I hear a new story of someone being bullied, my heart rips itself apart.

Push them to the dirt till the words don’t hurt.
Can you hear me?

You’ve heard it before…  “Kids are cruel.”    “Boys will be boys.”

These are not excuses for us to continue to allow kids to be tormented to a point where they take their own lives; to be tormented at all.

“Football is a man’s sport! Get tough!”

And this. This is not an excuse for us – as adults – to perpetuate the problem.

No one’s gonna cry on the very day you die.
You’re a bully.

It would be redundant to sum up the current bullying scandal happening in the NFL because it is all over the internet. Pull your head out from the rock you live under and Google it. But I will say this:

I understand the locker room code everyone keeps preaching about. When I was at Notre Dame, the adventures of the locker room was something us women were never made privy to – none of it was allowed to leave the space and we weren’t allowed in.

Right now, there is a sign on the NDSU locker room that says, “What you see here, what you do here, what you hear here. Let it stay here when you leave here.”

I get it.

The locker room is a sacred space. It is a space for teams to bond, celebrate, and grieve away from the public eye and in their own way as a cohesive group. It is a space where the team can be exactly and only that – the team.

So when the team’s space violates a teammate’s ability to be a part of that cohesive group… when someone feels tormented in the team space by a member of their team… what does that say about “the team” and “the locker room”?

Regardless of the code, dehumanizing someone because they sought help for emotional distress doesn’t make them weak; it makes you foolish.

Proclaiming on national television that someone has ruined their career because they called someone out on bullying them does only one thing; perpetuates a culture of victim blaming.

All it takes is one child to hear about the football player who lost everything because he spoke up about being bullied. All it takes is for that one child to be hurt and ostracized by their own peers. All it takes is that child to suffer in silence because they fear the repercussions of speaking up.

All it takes? Is that child’s life.

Bullying is bullying. Regardless of age.

We don’t have to take this back against the wall.

We don’t have to take this. We can end it all.

You really want to man up? Take a stand against bullying.


A Glass Case of Emotion April 5, 2013

Posted by jeneypeney in i'm just sayin', piss and moan, sentimental stuff.
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I’m a real sap, people. A pathetic, hopeless, emotional bundle of sappy, schmoopy feelings that unleash themselves in a torrent of tears, curse words, and mopey-face at the drop of a hat.

Usually the direct cause of this disorder is the arbitrary, fictional characters of television and film who insist on pulling at my heart string with all their funny quirks and heartbreaking shortcomings. Just to give you an idea of what I am talking about?

When I was a kid, my parents took me to see The Little Mermaid when it came out in theaters. I cried for HOURS when Ariel left King Triton to be with Eric. Her tearful and heartfelt goodbye to her daddy at her wedding was too much for my four year old heart to bear.

To this day, no matter how many times I watch it, I will promptly begin to bawl my eyes out in Armageddon when Bruce Willis’ character pushes Ben Affleck in to the elevator to take his place on that stupid space rock. “Harry I love you!” … gets me every. damn. time.

But there are plenty of other things that turn my tear-ducts in to overdrive.

This weekend I cried my eyes out at a freaking rock concert because the band decided to end their set with this song while showing Amanda Todd’s story on the big screen. One ginormous, sobbing mess I tell ya.

The Actual has actually learned which sniffing noise I make is indicative of a breakdown and preemptively holds me while I sob over THE STUPIDEST SHIT ANYONE COULD EVER CRY ABOUT!

So last night, while watching my go-to favorite show Grey’s Anatomy, I found myself fighting back tears right at the start of the show. Why?

No, not because Meredith and Derrick were making some pretty huge life decisions regarding their children in the wake of their genome tests.

Nope, not because of the pending doom that seems to be awaiting Dr. Bailey and the sudden spread of a life-threatening infection in her surgical patients.

Not even because Kepner’s cute EMT boyfriend is kind of being a poop about her coming clean regarding her virginity.

I was crying because the episode featured two Syrian surgeons who were flown to the states to learn how to perform procedures on those adults and children wounded in the war with nothing more than cotton balls, a match stick, and a flashlight.

Now… I understand the show is a work of fiction. I completely comprehend it is a part of a genre called “drama”. And I know the circumstances those two surgeons were explaining are not truly accurate depictions of what is truly happening in Syria. But that doesn’t negate the fact that there is a war raging as I write this… and that people are dying because of it.

Toward the end of the episode I sat up, looked at The Actual, and said, “I wish I didn’t care so much about things I have no control over.”

Recently my state won Mother Jones’ Anti-Choice March Madness bracket and for good reason. My brother’s right to marry the man he loves is currently being decided by our nation’s highest court. And recently I witnessed some of the most blatant racism I have ever seen fly right under the radar on my own campus.

Quite some time ago I wrote about being emotionally drained due to issues very similar to those in this post. I do sincerely wish sometimes that I was ignorant of these matters. I also find myself insanely jealous of The Actual’s ability to keep so calm and collected in the face of them.*

I wish I didn’t care about things I have no control over. I wish I had control over these things. I wish the people who do have control would just be reasonable.

I wish this world wasn’t so damn ugly. I’m too stupid emotional to handle it… just ask Ariel and Shonda Rhimes.

* Side Story: When the abortion laws were signed in North Dakota, our Governor began to receive death threats. The Actual and I were talking about it when I mentioned I thought those people were going a bit too far. He replied by saying, “Well it wouldn’t be so hard to kill him now. Just find a way to get him pregnant.”

Protected: Who’s Wedding Is It, Anyway? May 10, 2011

Posted by jeneypeney in being appropriate is overrated, i'm just sayin', piss and moan, save yo drama fo yo mama, the famn damily, weddng madness.
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