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When Michael was in seventh grade his whole class was walking back from recess one day, and he and his small group of close friends were just walking and talking and joking around together.
For some reason, one of the jokes was revolving around hair or something, and Michael and one of the girls in his group were walking together and they started joking around too. And, randomly and suddenly, maybe as part of the joke, this girl just pulled on his hair. It wasn't too hard, really, just a few tugs, but, it made him really mad.
He was upset, thought it wasn't very respectful of her, and so he asked her "why did you pull on my hair?!?!" And she said she was just joking around, but then said "hey, you can pull on my hair too if you want, so we're even, you know, for revenge."
Michael declined, and said "I don't pull on girls' hair." But then, when she heard him say that she came back at him, upset, and said "Oh man, that's so sexist!" He meant no disrespect.
Michael was totally confused. He wanted to know, "how is that sexist? I'm just being respectful, not sexist!"
Michael had been raised to be a gentleman, to be chivalrous, and he just couldn't see how pulling a girl's hair was the right thing to do. So, this girl got really mad at Michael and she told their whole group of friends and they all jumped on the bandwagon and swarmed all over him calling him Sexist and getting really mad at him. HE was not being inappropriate at all!
Then, when the got to the lunchroom, all those friends of his moved away from him to the other side of the cafeteria. He really couldn't understand what he had done so wrong. He wasn't being sexist, he was just being respectful but they all just kept calling him that, and making an argument that because he wouldn't pull on that girls hair he was sexist. He was falsely accused.
He was so upset. Nobody came to sit with him at lunch except for one person from that group, actually pretty good friends with him, and that helped, a little. But other than that, things just got kind of out of hand, more and more. Everything that Michael said, if one of those friends heard it they would try to find a way to make it sound sexist, and again, they would call him names and give him a hard time.
It got so difficult at school, and in the classroom, and lunchroom, with these kids always calling him a exist, that eventually he didn't even want to go anymore. It was basically him against a swarm of wasps! He finally talked to his parents about it and they gave him good advice - to move on from that group of friends.
So eventually he made a new group of friends, and a lot more of them, and they all know him for who he really is - a decent and respectful young man, and not sexist at all.
Today it seems like everyone is very ready to get very offended about almost anything, and it also seems like there is very little talking going on but a whole lot of quick judgments being made.
Remember, don't be so judgy! Nobody benefits.
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