A week or so ago, Emma-Claire posted a piece about her schooldays. She described her experience of being picked upon once because one of her schoolmates in her words "decided i needed Toughening up". Well done to her for later punching the kid's lights out!
I've found myself brooding somewhat on her piece in the darkness of a snow-bound commute. I hope she won't mind me using the word she mentioned in her piece, "soft", her path was different from mine at school in that she was the soft kid at her school while I was the aggressive kid at mine. The aggressive unpopular kid, I should add, there were plenty of other aggressive kids at my school but kids hunt in packs and are ruthless when they spot anyone who's a bit different so I was never part of any crowd.
I am pretty sure now that I was responding to my gender by being aggressive. It's the easy way out, especially when you're larger-than-average. The school I went to was very traditional in its outlook for the 1980s so there would not have been any support from that quarter.
Did I take a wrong turn by not being a soft kid at school? I'll never know. I played the angry kid, and I did it well. Rather too well, as it happens. I have no sympathy for the other aggressive kids I went up against, to a man they were racist, homophobic little turds and no doubt transphobic too, had they known.
At least I don't have picking on the soft kids on my conscience.