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And the Knight said "you need to lose at least 50lbs...
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ChloetheEvenhardt
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:11 am    Post subject: And the Knight said "you need to lose at least 50lbs... Reply with quote

So I went to my second HFP last night, was talking and having a decent time. I was meeting new people and making new connections, asking lots of questions about armor and preferences of anyone that seemed inclined to allow me to barrage them in such a manner.

There was a heavy fighter there that I didn't recognize and I inquired to one of the women about his identity. She told me he was "Sir so and so" (name removed for courtesy) and I loved his armor. I asked if "Sir" meant he was Knighted, and she said yes. When he was done fighting and had sat down, drank some water and removed his helm I approached him. I asked if he was wearing fluted steel lamellar. He said, rather rudely, "no, it's fluted STAINLESS steel lamellar". I asked him where he got it, hoping that my interest in his armor would perhaps soften him. He didn't answer, but instead asked me if I was to heavy fight. I said it was my intention when I got my kit together. He looked me up and down and stated "Well you need a lot of work before you can fight". I wasn't in armor. I wasn't intending on fighting that night, I was there to gather information, get pictures of the loaner CoP that I'm in love with... blah blah blah. I said nothing. He then said "you need to lose at least 50lbs before you fight, where do you work? I bet you work in an office from the looks of you". I told him I was unemployed at this time, to which he responded "you have no reason to look like that, you should start working out, your in no shape to do anything. Start walking at least 3 days a week, do you have a gym membership? No, of course not. Can you get one?" I told him if I needed to. He then told me that I "had to", and then I said that at this time I just couldn't afford it, but I'd look into it later. "Well, you need to start doing these exercises, this many times a day.... with this much weight... ". I was so taken aback that I just stared at him and took it. He proceeded to tell me all the things that was wrong with my body and why I shouldn't/couldn't fight at this point. I was furious and nearly in tears at this time. "You have no business fighting like that...."
He didn't ask me my name. He didn't give me his. He KNEW I was a new fighter. He did this IN FRONT OF the entire group of fighters as well as other members who just showed up. Women, men, children. No regard for my feelings. No regard for tact. And it felt like this guy was ripping me up one side and down the other. In front of the Baron even. In front of 1 other fighter, who is male, who is a rather heavy fighter. Wonder if he only chews out big girls?
WTF?
What kind of a Knight is this guy?
When he was done, which was about 5 minutes of it, I walked away saying nothing more than "Ok". If I would have spoke, I'd of ripped him a new one, and I'm not going to lower myself to a level that is unbecoming of me. I left fight practice. Hell, I nearly left my armor (what little I had) and told people to take what they wanted because I clearly was "too fat to fight". I walked away. I didn't cry until I was far enough away that no one would know. As I walked away he said "I'm only doing it for your own good! I want to see you succeed!".
Succeed? Is his idea of getting someone motivated to tear them up? To tell them everything that's "wrong" with them?
One person said "I hope you didn't hurt her feelings too much". I'd pay to know who said that, just so I could thank him for *trying* to stand up for me.
I left fight practice about 15 minutes later, returned 30 minutes later to pick up someone that hitched a ride with me. I dropped my friend off and I went back to fight practice. I wanted to give that Knight a piece of my mind.
He wasn't there.
I was going to tell him that he failed to give me the courtesy of an introduction, but I could lend him some manners and do so myself. I was going to tell him my real name, then tell him "My name is Chloe the Evenhardt, and when I get my kit together you can find me on the Lists. I hope to see your name there too. I have the heart of a fighter, and I don't need you to tell me otherwise".
In the meantime, what the hell do I do about him? He shouldn't talk to people like that (not to anyone), and especially not to new people. He's gonna piss off people, possibly even get a newcomer or two to quit. He has no right to talk to anyone like that. Especially since he is a Knight and a Peer of the Realm.
I also intend on going to fight practice again on Sunday in hopes that he shows up, and if not, again on Wednesday. I will continue to go until I can see him again and tell him that I feel he was way out of line. If he chooses to apologize then I'll be happy to let it go. I only hope that he had a REALLY bad day that day. I hate to expect the worst of people, but I don't think that he's going to be any more than what I think he is.
A poor example of a Knight.
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maxntropy
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My $.02?

1) Success is the best revenge. Just move forward with your own goals and interests and become the best fighter you can be having the most fun you can have.

2) Politely avoid him. Clearly he is not a person whose input has any value for you. Naturally, there's no reason for anybody else's lack of courtesy to have any impact on your own courtesy (two wrongs not making a right), but though we all have an obligation to try to be polite that does NOT mean we have to interact or listen to anybody we find hurtful or offensive.

3) Take what helps, leave what don't. It's how we advise all we train. It means there ain't really the "One True Way"(TM). There are may ways. Some are better at some things than others, and some will work better for you than others. Listen and learn from anyone who seems *helpful* -- figure out if what they have to teach has any merit for you -- and ignore what doesn't work for you.

4) If you look at even a small number of pictures on SCA fighting, you will find fighters of all shapes and all sizes. And you'll find top fighters of all shapes and all sizes. While it's true that generally more strength is better than less strength - and more true that more conditioning is better than less conditioning (since so many fights are usually lost by the fighter that gets the most tired first and thus makes the first big mistake) - power is really a matter of great technique, not great strength... and some great fighters have been and continue to be in less than great conditioning.

5) As in any organization, there will be a very wide distribution of folks. Some will be helpful, some hurtful. Some cool and some tools. The individual may have an extremely strong viewpoint on a certain specific approach and may have little experience in training females (and thus not understand how to properly interact with females to say what you mean without being hurtful). Maybe not. Maybe they just had a rough day and lost their filter. Who knows. Regardless, one individual does not represent an organization (the SCA) or an institution (the Chivalry).

Hang in there, and keep fighting on!

Max Von Halstern
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Jesmond
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My $0.2?
He's one of the few people that is probably taking you seriously and not just blowing rainbows up your butt. He obviously has no idea how to talk to women, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. I think it is to be preferred. Doesn't sound to me like he is trying to humiliate you but is trying to tell you what you can do to get started while you get your kit together. If you can learn to stomach his directness, he may be a great resource for you. If it were me, I'd check my ego and start doing what he said.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah. Plenty of pretty fat people fight just fine. And lots of us who were fatter when we weren't fighting lost chunks of weight just fine in the normal course of starting to fight.

Some people are very fond of the tough love approach, (and haven't a clue about motivation or the complex of issues that can be involved in losing weight), and it's true that he was suggesting stuff for you to do as you are getting geared up but it does sound like an unnecessarily rough time.

I think it is fairly possible he was having a bad day and is also somewhat socially inept and may try to do better next time you meet. At least I hope so.

Keep working so you can whack him one!
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ChloetheEvenhardt
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jesmond, this has nothing to do with my "ego". I full well acknowledge that I'm heavy, I know that losing weight would be in my best interest. I feel that he wasn't very polite in the manner that he did it in, and could simply have used some tact in addressing me is all. Had he of had any semblance of decorum about it, I'd of taken it in stride. It wasn't what he said so much as how he said it, though I still feel it wasn't polite to do without any sort of introductions.

That aside, I plan on fighting. I may, or may not, listen to the things he has to say. So far there has been no "rainbow" blowing, and I prefer it that way. He could have just as easily said what he wanted to say without doing it the way that he did. If I want to learn from a Knight, I have one in mind. He isn't it. Should he feel he would like to take me under his wing, I wouldn't refuse necessarily, but he would have to learn to find a more polite way to speak with me.

Also, "tact" is a Knightly virtue. He has none. That, in a nutshell, is my biggest complaint in all of this.
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Jesmond
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you require tact in your social interactions, I think you are going to find the SCA intolerable. Especially since you are not showing any by writing things like, "but I don't think that he's going to be any more than what I think he is. A poor example of a Knight." and "I'm so very disappointed to see that such a station was twisted, even if by one man, that makes me never want to be a Knight."

I would caution you about how much of a shitstorm you want to stir up over something that was said by someone that you believe was not trying to hurt your feelings and was actually trying to help you. Almost everybody reads the AA or has friends that read the AA.

"A knight was very rude to me and I nearly quit on site. It took every ounce of me to walk away and not say anything to him. I almost gave away what little armor I owned and quit. In a few days I will decide if I'm staying in the SCA, if I do I will post pics then."

SERIOUSLY? You would quit over something that was said by someone that you believe was not trying to hurt your feelings and was actually trying to help you?

Understand you can feel that way and demand an apology and complain about it all over the internet INSTEAD of just letting it go. But the way you are acting will discourage other people from taking you seriously or offering you advice. You are coming off like a total drama llama.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is that. Blowing off steam on the internet is really tempting, but almost inevitably brings far more attention to any incident than ends up wanted by anyone involved in the long run. But - probably best to get that learning experience out of the way early. Given that it's done, anyway. At this point, I think the best thing will probably be to be very, very earnest in your effort to get started. Work hard. Take advice humbly. Learn from anybody you can rather than getting your sights set on some specific knight, however wonderful. There is a reason the buffet is the "last blow you take unanswered". It's because learning mastery of fighting is a whole series of humbling and painful experiences, typically purposefully inflicted. This guy may well have tried to give you your first blow. You acted not as a fighter in training but as a regular type person - which is understandable at this point. But you do need to harden up as well as him needing to soften up. Chalk it up to misreading of the situation and move on.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your first problem is that you talked to him after fighting. Yes, helm off and water consumption had taken place. But that's not the greatest time to introduce yourself to someone new.

I will agree with the idea that you might perhaps want to develop a thicker emotional skin. I will also agree that Sir Stickenheim (just a name I made up for convenience. If there really IS a Sir Stickenheim, please let me know and I'll edit) probably could have handled things better, but at this point we just have your side of the conversation and you are clearly upset. Not saying that you shouldn't have been peeved. Just saying that you're venting and that affects how you present things.

Jesmond is correct. The SCA, as much as we tout courtly manners and chivalrous behavior, is the land of ZERO tact.

Perhaps Sir Stickenhem (again, name of convenience) is using the approach of goading you into action. Plenty of times my boys have tricked me into doing better because I'm too ornery to do anything else but chew nails out of pig iron when presented with a problem. Also, I played competitive billiards for a number of years before joining the society and high emotion will KILL you in a game of skill.

I don't think you're coming off as a drama llama, but I do think that this is a lesson you'd best learn right off the bat. The SCA isn't like "real life" in that respect. We actually don't HAVE to be nice to each other and many times we aren't.

Bottom line, Do you want to fight? Then get your jive together. People will help you if you show that you're serious. I'm not saying you're NOT serious, I'm just saying that if you show up at practice with a new bit of armor every time and say this is what I'm doing physically, you'll get a better response out of Sir Stickenheim.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I checked the Armour Archive. It looked like your complaint was posted to a thread you had already started about trading handwork for armor, so it's not likely to get much attention, fortunately.

Definitely do not start a separate topic, even in the Off Topics forum, about the incident.

Read through the older posts on the Girls' Club, especially Jesmond's posts. You may understand her statements better.

(Edited to say: I was incorrect. I found your posts about the incident also in a thread on the Chivalry forum. Unfortunately, a careless reader there might think that Prince Thorin was the knight who was rude to you. Please clarify your post over there as soon as possible.)
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm curious. What was his weightlifting advice?
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ChloetheEvenhardt
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He told me to use canned foods or anything else that I could and do reps. I told him that I had weights I could use, then he asked me what kind. I said dumbbells. He wanted me to do so many reps of so many something. I know nothing about weightlifting, and at that moment I had already had my feelings hurt and I had started to tune him out.

Jesmond, as much as I'm irritated by the whole thing I think you're right. I never meant for this to come across as whiny or anything else. I don't require tact in my social interactions, I suppose I was just taken aback by it. I mean, if I were spoken to in the manner that he spoke to me daily I don't know how I'd deal with it but that's beside the point. The only think I'm going to disagree with is the Drama Llama thing, but it's not really important.
If I plan to fight I need to prove that I'm dedicated, willing to listen, etc.
If I really believe that he didn't mean to hurt me why did it? I guess I'm far more emotionally sensitive than I thought. I'll get there earlier next week and maybe I can talk to him civilly then. Perhaps even ask him for more advice. This time, regardless of what he says, I won't take it badly.

It's wrong of me to assume anything about him, since I was complaining about him assuming so much about me.

Thank you. All of you. It may not all be what I wanted to hear but it's certainly what I needed to hear. No more rainbows and lollipops. Now it's time to get far more serious and heavy fight.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 15, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ChloetheEvenhardt wrote:
No more rainbows and lollipops.


Hey! Nothing wrong with rainbows... if they're rainbows ON FIRE!



Thanks to Dairy Queen for an awesome commercial.

Max Von Halstern[/img]
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chloe, I want to applaud you for showing the right spirit. It hurts to get criticized in public or on the Internet, especially by strangers. Learning something new is hard on the ego as well as the body. It takes tremendous humility and perseverance. It's easier to quit than stay, but you'll be prouder of yourself and gain more respect from others if you keep trying.

I hope things work out for the best with the knight in question.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a lot of experience working in an uber macho environment so I just want to comment a bit on the lines of what Jess is saying because I think there is a lot of truth to it.

It's really hard to hear that your body is not up to the task of something when you're already sensitive about it. I had to eat a huge slice of humble pie at work when I got into firefighting, and I think it's actually something that a lot of younger women experience when they go into a male dominated field that is really physical. We were taught women can do anything we put our minds to and that we're equal to the guys and everything but the little details of physical differences were pretty much left out of those pep talks. It can be pretty hard to hear if you have some body image issues, and some guy comes along and tells you that you're not up to snuff and you ought to work on it. Even bringing up the subject puts the guy at risk of running up against numerous hurdles of communication. It's like when you ask someone a question that will force them to either lie or let you down easy, or tell you a harsh truth. A lot of people just don't want to hear the hard truths.

I'm not discounting that he may have in fact been acting like a huge jerk. But there could be a good nugget of truth that he was trying to serve up to you. It's one that guys often don't bother to give to women at all because it's a minefield of emotional issues that a guy has to navigate. A lot of them will just blow smoke up your ass rather than deal with it because they don't want to hurt your feelings. Occasionally there is a guy who will be a jerk hoping to get rid of you. Then there are those rare gems who will tell you the truth to try and help you. I would not have made it through the fire academy without the help and support of the latter guys. It was really hard to hear but it was true. I needed to lose weight and get in better shape. I'm still working on it but it was worth the bruised ego in the end.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isabella E wrote:
But there could be a good nugget of truth that he was trying to serve up to you. It's one that guys often don't bother to give to women at all because it's a minefield of emotional issues that a guy has to navigate.


Wise man say, "what you say can be less important than how you say it."

In other words, the best of intentions in expressing what one believes is truth and of extreme help and importance can be completely counter-productive if expressed in a manner that makes it impossible for the intended audience to actually hear the message (e.g., if they become defensive or argumentative or hurt).

Consequently, I think it less important to consider the person's intentions than their effect. If one tries to communicate a message in a way that has a very high probability of producing the contrary effect (or no effect) than the one desired because one has failed to consider how to properly communicate to the audience... then one's actions can be ineffective or harmful.

I believe that to be considerate (a foundational component of Courtesy), one must actually *consider* the impact of one's actions (and words) on others.

While it's true that many men are simply not aware of the most effective way to consider *how* to communicate *what* they want to communicate with women... ignorance is no excuse -- and after a couple've decades on the planet, one should probably have gotten a clue that the effects one seeks are not those that might have been achieved through a certain approach, leading even the most obtuse to consider alternative approaches.

I personally try not to judge the intentions of others (since my telepathy is imperfect), and especially to avoid judging others on the basis of perceived intentions. I *do* judge people by the effects (and effectiveness) of their behaviors -- in the world and on others.

That said, I'm certain the person in the situation in question had the best of intentions. But those intentions clearly did not have anything but a counter-productive impact because of *how* they approach communications -- failing to understand what might be considered some basics of how to *effectively* communicate to women.

I generally agree that women should in no way expect the "guys club" of fighters to change their manner, approach, etc... to better accommodate interested women. But at the same time, if one wants to effectively get a message to an audience, one should really consider how to do that.

Again... just my $.02.

Max Von Halstern
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