You Need to Calm Down

You are somebody that I don’t know
But you’re takin’ shots at me like it’s Patrón
And I’m just like, damn, it’s 7 AM
Say it in the street, that’s a knock-out
But you say it in a Tweet, that’s a cop-out
And I’m just like, “Hey, are you okay?”
And I ain’t tryna mess with your self-expression
But I’ve learned a lesson that stressin’ and obsessin’ ’bout somebody else is no fun
And snakes and stones never broke my bones
So oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to calm down, you’re being too loud
And I’m just like oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to just stop
Like can you just not step on my gown?
You need to calm down
You are somebody that we don’t know
But you’re comin’ at my friends like a missile
Why are you mad?
When you could be GLAAD?
Sunshine on the street at the parade
But you would rather be in the dark age
Just makin’ that sign must’ve taken all night
You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace
And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate
‘Cause shade never made anybody less gay
So oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to calm down, you’re being too loud
And I’m just like oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to just stop
Like can you just not step on his gown?
You need to calm down
And we see you over there on the internet
Comparing all the girls who are killing it
But we figured you out
We all know now we all got crowns
You need to calm down
Oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to calm down
You’re being too loud
And I’m just like oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh, oh-oh
You need to just stop
Like can you just not step on our gowns?
You need to calm down
-Taylor Swift
“You have enemies? Why, it is the story of every man who has done a great deed or created a new idea. It is the cloud which thunders around everything that shines. Fame must have enemies, as light must have gnats. Do not bother yourself about it; disdain. Keep your mind serene as you keep your life clear.”
-Victor Hugo
I am not a historian, but I believe this is the first time that quotes from Taylor Swift and Victor Hugo have appeared in the same blog post.
Right before 7am yesterday I was getting to leave to run some errands and I received a notification that someone had commented on a picture I posted on Twitter a couple of weeks ago.  On a night out with the MN T-Girls I had taken the obligatory selfie in the ladies room.  I looked amazing, my outfit was fire, and I was in a good mood.
The comment was something along the lines of… well, it doesn’t matter.  I looked through this person’s Twitter activity and much of it was along the lines of transwomen are men, and the like.  I blocked him.  I was determined not to let it ruin my day.  I mean, it wasn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time, that I was harassed online.
I snapped out of my mood by sending out a tweet asserting who I am.  I was not subtle.
Capture
But then more comments for the bathroom picture started to come in.  And they were nasty.  One right after another.  I couldn’t keep up.  I was blocking people and starting to panic a little.  I felt like I was trying to bail water out of a sinking ship.  I couldn’t understand how what felt like every transaphobe in the world was ganging up on me.  Their attacks were quick, vicious, and horrible.
Some comments were along the lines of “a man posting a photo in a women’s bathroom” and how the business I was at would probably want to arrest me.  Despite everything I as feeling, I couldn’t help but consider the irony that I was in an all gender inclusive restroom right before seeing a play about a transwoman and the hatred and negative attention she received.
I think I ended up with about thirty comments before I deleted the tweet that seemed to trigger every asshole in the world.  Thankfully the attacks stopped after that.
I was on edge for most of the day.  I was overwhelmed at how quickly and ruthlessly I was attacked.  I am sure the original commenter posted something which caught the attention of his followers and all hell broke loose.
Some of my followers came to my defense and sent private messages checking in on me.  That was sweet.
As I said, this was not the first time nor will it be the final time I am attacked on social media.  This happens to all women, cis or trans.  I am sent flirty messages, messages and photos of very sexual nature, and comments that are simply uncalled for.
What makes someone so hateful?  What makes someone attack someone else?  Why put in the energy?  Why waste your time?  Why do I bother you?
You need to calm down.
My dream for girls like us is that people try to understand that gender is complicated.  That it’s personal.  That no matter anything else, I am a human.
But that is a dream.  I would settle for being left alone.
Love, Hannah

11 thoughts on “You Need to Calm Down

  1. I don’t know whether your online attackers were male or female but we have problems with the way we raise males. It shows in the way that many treat females. It shows in the way they treat anyone who is different.
    I’m sorry Hannah you experienced that. But being different at least increases your sensitivity to others who are also different and puts you a long way in front of the bottom feeder trolls.
    I stand with you especially on this International Women’s Day.
    Geraldine

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  2. It’s unfortunate but, for most of us, true that we are moved by the opinions of others, even others we don’t know. How many times have we told ourselves we didn’t care about this or that stupid comment–only to find ourselves preoccupied and grouchy about it, maybe typing away on our phones between meetings, whether making a rational response or searching for the perfect zinger? Or, if the comment or reaction happened in person, kicking ourselves over what we *should* have said or done had we not been caught off our guard? Some of us compensate for our insecurities by posting pics of ourselves online [Alana raises hand, blushes], and when the result is someone’s pouncing on those insecurities rather than soothing them, we feel even worse. Don’t sweat it, sister (although you will, anyway, I understand). If my comments here do nothing else, hopefully they’ll reaffirm that you’re in good company.

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  3. I’m sorry to hear you had to deal with the trolls. You are valid and you are awesome. Do not give them any mental bandwidth for their views are on the wrong side of history. Society is changing for the better and while there will be bumps on the road, in many ways, they’ve already lost.

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  4. The range of human behaviors and attitudes, from amazing generosity and caring, to vile and violent with irrational hatred, has always existed. Since the beginning of our species, to the ancient worlds of Egypt, Greece, India, to the Dark Ages in Europe, to the time of western slavery, people, humans have acted wonderfully, and horribly. There are two huge differences in the world of today that make the presence of the range of human attitudes more powerful: there are many more humans on the planet today, approximately 7.5 billion of us, (far too many!) and the electronic media, especially the internet. The internet is a horrible thing, the internet is a wonderful thing. People are horrible, people are wonderful. This will always be true. Encountering a horrible person absolutely does shake one’s belief in people, but then encountering a super nice person can bring it back. There are a great many people who are ready to speak out against the mean, thoughtless, and small minded. Keep on enjoying the good things that we do, that we encounter, every day. My life is for me to lead, to experience to the best of my ability and I choose to ignore, to avoid, anyone or anything that tries to invade and spoil what I have worked very hard to create. Today is yours, ours, to enjoy. Have a good, sunny, Sunday Hannah!
    Marissa in Ohio

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  5. Sorry that you had to go through that Hannah although, unfortunately, not terribly surprised. Please do not feel down. I look forward to reading your posts.

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  6. Although I have never meet you (pity) I feel such an attachment to you. You not only have a strong mind but you are a beauty that no one can deny. To be able to live the way you do makes nearly everyone else so jealous. I often feel that “others” say the things they do due to the fact that they themselves don’t understand the life we lead. When I am pushed like this I just have to move on and remove this negativity, put on a nice outfit and feel good. Just love your vibes
    Lots of hugs form the other side of the world,
    Petra

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  7. only 20 years ago the police in the mid east allowed young girls( who were trapped in a burning building) to burn to death because they were not covered. so we just have a long way to go in this world

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  8. I was given this site and blog by a dear friend after I told her about an encounter with a Neanderthal asshole at my work place. One of the ladies on the shift brought in some really yummy brownies. I made the comment, ‘I better have only one. I don’t want to ruin my girlish figure. I need to fit into my wedding dress this spring!’ Most of the guys got a charge out of it. I passed the container to the guy beside me and he just passed it on. I jokingly said ‘I see you don’t want to ruin your girlish figure either.’ He about blew his stack! Trying to get him to calm down, I said, ‘hey dude, its 2020! No harm no foul.’. I think he got more pissed. He started to say something about “throat punching”, so I backed off. Still trying to make light of the situation and calm things down, I said, ‘So I guess describing my Bridal White lingerie is out of the question.’ Everybody was chuckling and having fun with it because they knew how homophobic this guy is. Unfortunately, I didn’t know his demeanor. Well, he just huffed off and left the area. Wow! Nobody has ever been mean to me, and I have never done any harm to anyone else. I guess it takes all kinds to make the world go ’round.

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  9. You have inspired me to go out in public showing the world a beautiful side of myself I hid away. Thanks for paving the way. You are obviously beautiful inside and out. I think it’s a minority of the population that is sick and making those comments instead of a one on one debate. Harrassing you isn’t going to change you anymore than it would change them. I don’t know why some people don’t think that far ahead. I think bathrooms should be divided up into a few small unisex rooms that you lock everywhere at some point. Instead of 2 big bathrooms for each gender. And for smaller business, they already have unisex bathrooms. I don’t have male and female bathrooms at home.

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