Dealing with Douchebags

Published September 22, 2009 by Fat Heffalump
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Ugh, I hate having to even talk about this topic, because it is so wrong that it still happens. But I know most of you have dealt with this shit so I’m going to talk about some ways to handle it and cope when it happens.
Yes, it’s douchebag season again. But when is it bloody not?
I copped some abuse again this afternoon from a douchebag passing by in a car. I was idly standing at a pedestrian crossing on my way to catch the bus home, when a car went by and a douchebag hung out of the window and screamed “Hey you stinky fat fuck!”
How absolutely mature and erudite. Fucktard.
This is an almost daily occurrence for myself and many other fatties. It’s not just fucktard bogans in passing cars either. The douchebaggery comes from all walks of life. I’ve copped everything from little old ladies stating loudly that “People like that shouldn’t eat.” as they passed me eating fruit salad in a shopping centre, teenage kids pointing and giggling, men making disgusting comments about “fucking the lard arse”, right through to a somewhat normal looking woman in her 40’s who pushed me on an escalator and when I said “Excuse me!” turned and replied “Well you shouldn’t be so fucking fat!”
The worst that I ever got was the time I was on the train to work and a group of young guys in King Gees started making barking noises, and I looked up to catch one taking a photograph of me on his mobile phone. I then sat there in horror as he texted it to all of the guys around him, who sat around making the most horrific comments about me being a “fucking fat dog who should just kill herself.”
It used to tear me to pieces. The times I would arrive at work and burst into tears because someone had exhibited this douchebaggery to me in the street… I can’t tell you how often it happened. Many times I came within a whisker of taking my own life out of sheer despair at how complete strangers treated me. I can’t describe the pain it would put me through.
These days I am lucky enough to have got some excellent help from both my GP and a very good psychologist who have taught me how to protect myself emotionally from douchebaggery, as well as where my value lies as a human being. But while I don’t let these people destroy me like they used to, it still hurts, every single time.
I’m still at a loss how to deal with it a lot of the time. Do I flip them the bird? Do I say something like “Fuck you, douchebag!”? Do I ignore it? More often than not, I’m so shocked that all I can do is blink and flinch.
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A friend of mine recently said “I wish I was there when this happened Kath, I’d smack the bastards one!” when I was telling him about how douchebags treat fat people. The thing is, douchebags are quintessentially cowards. They tend to pick on lone fatties, or maybe a couple of women. Douchebags never pick on a fatty that has a male friend with them. Nor do they pick on fatties in groups of people. I’d love to have this mate with me when someone had a go, because while he probably wouldn’t smack them one, he would definitely step up and tell them where to go. But as I said, douchebags are cowards.
However sometimes justice comes to play. Remember the guys in the King Gees on the train? Well, I got to work that day, and burst into tears. And one of my bosses at the time, Ali, happened to be in. She demanded the whole story from me. She asked me to describe the guys, and for some reason I remembered the logo on their King Gees. She called the company, which turned out to be an apprentice training company. She demanded to speak to the manager of the company. It turns out that these young guys were a group of apprentices going off for a training session in the city that day, completely paid for by the company. The manager knew the exact class/group that it was. When given the description of the guy who took the photo of me on his phone, he knew exactly who it was. He told Ali that he would investigate and take some action.
Ali called the manager of that company every morning for four days. On the fourth day, the manager called Ali first. He told her he had called in each of the guys from that group one by one, leaving the dude with the phone for last. As he said “I wanted him to sweat bullets”. He demanded each of the guys prove that there were no photos of not only me, but other women they had encountered on public transport etc on their phones. He told each of them that if he ever caught them harassing anyone again, in company uniform or otherwise, they would lose their apprenticeships, no further notice. The last guy, the one that took the photo? In the managers words “I tore him a new arsehole, ‘scuse the French Ma’am.”
I’m not sure if Ali knows how much it means to me that she went in to bat for me. Her anger and indignation at their treatment of me meant more to me than I can put into words.
If you’re a friend, family member or other person in the life of a fatty, please, PLEASE take the time to listen when they tell you of douchebaggery they have suffered. If you’re with a fatty and someone abuses them, and you can (it’s not always safe to do so), stand up for them. Or at least console them. If you can’t understand why you should, perhaps think what it would feel like if someone insulted you all the time. How would it feel if people told you that you should die, because of the way you look? How would you feel to be pushed, spat on, your photograph taken for ridicule, food thrown at you, lewd comments made about you (even about raping you – for some reason douchebags like to throw this one at fatties), sworn at, criticised by old ladies and middle aged women, and avoided as though you have some horrible contagious disease?
Because that’s what happens.
If you’re a fatty that has suffered douchebaggery (and who of us hasn’t), ***hugs***. I know how much it hurts, and I know the hurt doesn’t get any less with time, even when your self esteem is strong and you are confident. I know it’s wrong and unfair that this shit still happens. And you are welcome to vent about it in the comments here if you want to. I’m sorry that you, and I, have to put up with this.
Remember, even if you can’t say it, you can always think it:
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23 comments on “Dealing with Douchebags

  • Kath, I can't even begin to imagine your hurts and pains. You are a brave and beautiful soul and don't you ever forget that. Hugs to you my beautiful friend.xoxoxo

  • Well, my friend you have bought tears to my eyes and really have to say but I often feel sorry for these people that they have so little in their own lives they feel the need to taunt, ridicule and embarass those who are supposedly different.

    Bless your cotton socks, friend.

  • I feel so sorry for you…😦 I know all this too well myself, complete with the mobile phone pictures.

    Sadly, male company does not protect one from being harassed. I was mocked and my pictures were taken as I went for a walk with my husband. In fact, that was one thing that contributed to the sick interest the douchebags took in us, as my husband is very skinny. They were endlessly amused by the way we looked together. My husband tried standing up to them, but it was no use – they wouldn't stop. And they were four and drunk – he was alone and we didn't want to engage in a bigger fight.
    But it broke my heart.
    My husband already had some "friends" abandon him because he paired up with a fatty… and he has to suffer ridicule in the streets because of me – that's one thing that really hurts, I don't want him to suffer that.

  • Kath – I read this and then re-read it because I am speechless at the cruelty that you and other fatties (and I use this term as you intend it with no disrespect intended) have endured and still do. I can only say you are my friend and I will stand up for you and take on any deadshit prick that looks sideways at you when i am in your company and some douchebag vouches for his douchebaggery by opening his mouth

  • Yep. Fucking scumbags.

    I've been abused out of car windows, mocked when I've been riding a bike (because the last thing these pricks want is for fat people to actually get some power), more times than I care to remember.

    Good on your boss for taking those bastards down a peg or two. I hope they learned, if not respect, at least fear.

  • I haven't had that degree of douchebaggery in a long time, but I used to encounter it regularly when I was fatter than what I am now. I'm sorry that the scourge of humankind has happened upon you so many times and I wish I could give you the perfect witty comeback for any situation, but I can't. Sometimes it just isn't safe to talk back to harrassers, especially if you're alone and they outnumber you in size and/or strength. I would suggest Joy Nash's Staircase Wit video (on YouTube) for some clever comebacks, but "Fuck you, asshole" generally works, too.

  • Sleepy,

    People like that need to (at LEAST) get sentenced to wear a "fat suit" for a week straight so they can suffer the indignation that they spew upon others.

    I don't get much stuff like that. Maybe it's because I don't go out that much, or have a tendency to go to places where there are more people like me. My good friends (and there are precious few of them) are just as likely as I am to pound the wholy fuck out of insignificant creatins as they are. That and my full sized beat up red GMC Sierra truck that shows I don't have a problem with running them over. Heh.

    I have gotten a comment at a craft show… But it was just WAY too funny. My sister and I laugh about that just by the MENTION of it.

    I do tend to get treated differently when I date. From the "you're a BBW and you have to put out to get out" to the "Oh, I can't have a relationship with you YOU'RE MY BEST FRIEND! I CAN TELL YOU ANYTHING!" Both statements make me see red and want to hurt someone badly. Hey! There's another reason I don't own a gun! Tee hee!

    Anyway, don't let the bastards get you down. They only say shit like that because deep down inside… they envy you. You have the self esteem they don't. Fuck them. Up the ass. With a broken broomstick. Using crunchy peanut butter as lube.

    Next! tee hee.

    Nor

  • I saw your MySpace pics and if it makes you feel any better, I think you look very lovely and have a wonderful smile!

    🙂

  • Jeez, they're ruthless! I'm so sorry you had to endure such vile hatred. I've had passing comments, but never anything that severe. May the phones of those kids who took pictures fall and break into a billion little pieces, the rotten jerks.
    I've never had enough of a backbone to yell back, but I sure wish I did. A hearty "FUCK YOU" is in order for all those situations. *hug*

  • Even better than the people who shout at you on the street(there's at least a chance of being able to write off strangers), are the people around you, who supposedly care about you, who don't believe you when you report this douchebaggery. They don't think it's possible for anyone who recieve that kind of treatment, because they don't get it themselves.

    It gets assumed that we're lying, or just "too sensitive". It's assumed that we didn't REALLY hear that guy shout out his window at us, we just thought he did. And it hurts, because people you want to console you, end up calling you a liar.

    It's hard to cope, but it's possible- just reminding yourself that the character of someone who has to insult you is not one you have to care about.

  • You want to call out hate-speech-slinging douchebags by…using hate speech?

    Listen, "fucktard" is not okay. "Retard/ed", and any of its derivatives, is not okay. "Retard/ed" does not mean stupid, or fucked up, or nasty. These words have specific meanings. Misusing "retard/ed" and using derivatives based on that misuse is inaccurate, derogatory, ugly, and dehumanizing to people with intellectual disabilities. You lose the higher groud when you make these language choices. You don't have to tear down an entire population to make your point about being torn down by someone else. Be a better person than that.

    http://www.r-word.org/

  • Thank you all for your comments, it breaks my heart that we even have to discuss this and talk about ways to deal with it. It's just straight up WRONG and shouldn't be permissable in our society. But then douchebags often tend to be racist, sexist, homophobic etc as well as fat phobic, so we're not the only ones who cop it.

    Paulina – do you notice the common thread – they're picking on people who can't fight back. One guy wouldn't pick on you on his own with your hubby, but a gang of 'em, where you guys have no defence… yep, gutless wonders they are. Douchebags never pick on someone their own size (no pun intended) – they always pick on smaller groups, women, younger people, old people, people on their own…

    Magickloelai – yes, I have encountered this one before. People who call themselves our loved ones who simply don't believe us. They negate the abuse we cop from douchebags, they suggest we are imagining it or are too sensitive. They need to experience it.

    Thank you all for your sympathy, I appreciate it, but honestly I'm not here for a "poor me" experience. I share these experiences so others can know they are a) not alone and b) what it's like for a fatty. And that even when you are feeling strong and confident, that it still hurts.

    I don't know the answer to this problem but if we talk about it, maybe we will FIND the answer.

    Hugs to you all.

  • sarrabellum – a) I would appreciate if you keep the lecturing to yourself. If you don't like it, bugger off and don't read my blog.

    b) the word "fucktard" has got nothing to do with the word "retard". It's simply a delightfully descriptive swearword for arsehole douchebags who behave like pigs.

    And I stand by their fucktardery!

  • I'll be buggering off from your blog. Fucktard comes from combining retard and fuck. How can you not see this?

    You had a moment where you could have done the right thing, apologised, and moved on. You didn't. That's sad.

    Good bye.

  • "Retard" has two meanings:

    1) A disparaging word for a a mentally retarded person.

    2) A person who is stupid, obtuse, or ineffective in some way.

    In the case of "fucktard," I think number 2 applies.

  • *waves bye-bye*

    See ya.

    My blog, my use of the word, my meaning. I owe no apology for anyone for a word that has NOTHING to do with what you're implying.

    Don't let the door hit your arse on the way out.

  • *grins* No wonder the guys at the park keep their mouth shut when I'm there doing Amtgard!😄 I'm carrying a stick! *snickers*

    But it's very true that they're cowards, I remember in high school I was headed to class after lunch and I over heard some guys say "Oh my god she has a beard!" I was devastated. I know that's not the same as being made fun of for being fat, but I had heard these guys making fun of me before so it really hurt. And some of them tend to not say it to your face, a guy in my drama group in Tennessee made fun of my fat in the makeup room while I was busy elsewhere. Unfortunately for him my friend Kelli was in the room and nearly walloped him with one of the wooden props.

    And whats worse then people you care about not believing you is when they encourage others name calling and douchebaggery. My sisters did this a lot when I was younger.

  • servalkitty it is EXACTLY the same as being ridiculed when you're fat. It doesn't matter what the reason behind the douchebaggery is, it's all douchebaggery. Anyone who feels the need to be cruel to others because of their appearance is a douchebag.

  • Amen sister….been suffering with this for years – it hurts and is mortifyingly embarassing, especially when you're out with friends. I usually try to charm people with my personality so that they will like me despite my fatness (and baldness…sigh!). But, I'm getting tired. Especially when you see all these skinny broads just walk into a room and it's like they feel at home instantly. I would love to feel that way…just one time. We all have to learn to keep our heads up and be proud of who we are – but, I have to admit to losing control and yelling insults back at people from time to time. Stay strong ladies! We are worthy.

  • Some years ago, I was out for my birthday, in the pub with just a few friends. A somewhat drunken guy pointed at me and yelled some fat bird insult.
    I don't know what possessed me, maybe because it was my birthday, but I stood up and confronted him. I asked him to repeat himself and despite the fact I stand barely over 5 feet tall he backed off and immediately apologised. In fact he apologised profusely and wouldn't leave me alone.
    I clearly remember saying "listen, you just pointed out I'm fat, do you have any idea how much weight I have to put behind a punch?" At which point my friend Kim tapped him on the shoulder and said "she's really going to hurt you if you don't leave". He left, but not before his mates apologised for his behaviour and promised to keep him away from me.
    It weirdly made my birthday. I could stand up to these idiots and my friends backed me up too.
    When I look back at it, I smile, I don't feel sad about being insulted, but proud of myself for not taking it.

    However, if you're fat some people seem to see you as an acceptable target. That everyone else will laugh.

    I go to a lot of auctions, and like everyone else there was sitting on a piece of furniture waiting to be auctioned. When they got to the sofa I was sitting on, the auctioneer called the lot number along with the words "well it's clearly a very strong sofa". Everyone turned to look, maybe a hundred people and I was mortified. At that moment, there was no way to retaliate, but no one laughed. His 'joke' fell utterly flat which was the only good thing. Bloody asshole.

    Sorry for the long ramble!🙂

  • Ramble away love! Kudos to you for your boldness, I wish we didn't have to find that bravery to deal with douchebags. And douchebags by proxy – those that don't make the statements, but laugh along when others do.

  • Ugh, A&%EHOLES in this town, I swear! I want to move back to my old town at times. I had just gotten home today, was checking my mail, was on the phone to my landlord at the same time and this carload of guys came around the corner and for some reason decided to start yelling out No Fat Chicks. I gave no indication that I'd heard them. What a bunch of tossers. I'd recognise the car again, so next time I might just get the license plate and pass it on to a few relevant people hehehehehe

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