My parents raised me not to bully others. They also raised me to stand up to bullies. They taught me not to start a fight. They also taught me that if someone started one with me, that I was to finish it–because “we don’t run from anyone!” They taught me to defend others and speak up for the voiceless.

I was never bullied as a child. Some tried and then learned quickly that I was not the one to push around. I also never bullied anyone or started fights. I was the child who stood firm in “if you don’t mess with me then I won’t mess with you” and I still stand firmly in this belief. My entire life so far I have made sure that I defended those that could not fight back and I spoke up for those who felt they did not have a voice.

I never imagined that I would grow up and have to face my own bullies.

What never dawns on us is the fact that the child who was bullied often times grows up to be an even bigger bully. Hence why we are faced with adults who relish in the opportunity to harass, pick on, tease, physically assault, verbally abuse, and psychologically torture other people.

Sadly the bully has never gotten over their own childhood trauma when they were bullied, so they continue the sick and twisted cycle throughout adulthood.

If only they had received the counseling and support they needed as children. We then wouldn’t have to deal with adults storming around like the kids who used to bully them.

Enough is enough.

Ifyou are having issues with a bully you have two options:

  1. Try to ignore them and hope they will go away and leave you alone, or
  2. Stand up to them and make sure that they never try to bully you again

I have dealt with a few bullies so far in my adult life and I have faced them all down. I refuse to be a victim. I refuse to be someone’s physical, verbal, or psychological punching bag. I refuse to allow someone to control me.

If they want a fight they picked the right woman. I will not allow someone to silence me, to dictate what I can do and when I can do it, where I can go and who I can be around. I will not allow someone to dictate the content that I put on my websites, social media, or blogs. I will not allow someone to dictate to me who I am, what I believe, what I think, and what I stand for.

No one has the right to tell me how to dress, what to buy, what to listen to, what to eat or drink. No one controls my mind, my speech, or my body.

No one.

I stand firmly planted in my convictions as a child of God and I don’t care how big and how bad that person thinks that they are, they have no strength and no power that could ever compare to my God.

I am only obedient to one force and that is my Creator. Everyone else can back down, sit down, and be silent.

If you are sick and tired of being pushed around and bullied, I strongly encourage you to stand up, speak out, fight back, and never allow someone to believe that they have any power over you.

If you are being harassed sexually or any other way, speak up and stand up for yourself.

If you are being abused in anyway speak up and stand up for yourself.

A bully only has pseudo-power. It is a veil. Pull it back and stare your bully in their face, and watch them back up and bow down. They don’t want the fight. They want to take the punk route and attack you when you’re not looking, attack you when you’re down on the ground. Punk.

A bully is intimidated by your power and your presence. Don’t let them have any of it. If you weren’t powerful they wouldn’t mess with you. They attack what they can’t have. They try to take what they do not possess. They are weak and miserable so they want you to be in the same miserable state of mind.

Don’t give in and don’t you ever give up!


Disclaimer: This post has a deragatory word (used to describe women) referenced at least four times, so please take note of this before proceeding. Thank you!

Have you read or heard about the workplace experiment that two coworkers participated in which proved the level and intensity of sexism in their workplace and with their clients? It’s very interesting. Here’s the link to the male coworker’s tweets (compiled and published on Moments by a third party). 

Be sure to read the female coworker’s post as well so that you gain her perspective before, during and after this week-long experiment. She wanted to make sure that the entire story was shared, both perspectives. 

What do I think and how do I feel about this experiment? 

Welp, I’m not surprised one bit because I’ve been navigating through a sexist world my entire life, and dealing with sexist business practices and people for over 20 years. 

I feel that all men and women should try this experiment so that they can truly see, feel, and experience the layers of sexism and bias in business (and specifically the workplace). Even men who “prefer” female employees over male employees (for whatever reason) don’t even see their sexist thinking and behavior. The same is true of women who don’t realize that they are being sexist towards men and other women. 

My experience with sexism in the workplace

I’ve spent over 20 years having to play by the rules of men, even joking like men–to the point that, heck I’m now “just one of the fellas” (but this actually started in high school being an athlete surrounded by jocks who refused to use a filter around me). 

For over 20 years I’ve had to internalize my frustration when I’m ignored, overlooked, dismissed, and talked over (or through) by men. I’ve had to ignore stupid and sexist comments (or verbally hit them with a level of sarcasm that silences, yet doesn’t humiliate them). There’s been countless times when I’ve had to politely yet firmly put a stop to sexual advances—while knowing I could lose a deal or a client in the process–then justifying to another man what I did and why I did it, because he couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t tolerate a “little flirting” from a prospective client. 

For my entire life I’ve had to work ten times harder just to prove I can do the job before I even do the job, and then having my work critiqued based on the standards of men—even if they don’t do a better job than me. 

It starts in the home

I’m called a “bitch” for standing up for myself or for putting someone in their place. I’m told “you’re too much like a man” when I act aggressive or competitive, or just when I don’t back down when you run up in my face trying to bully me. Wow!!!! Because I guess females are supposed to be weak and fall to our knees, quivering and crying in fear and disdain. I guess I’m supposed to always be the damsel in distress waiting to be rescued and led like a child or cattle by a man! 

But let’s be real. This all starts in the home. We hear sexist comments from our family members and neighbors, and we grow up believing and speaking these words. We go through school where the concepts are marinated and embedded into our very essence. We see and experience it in the classroom, sports, and other extracurricular activities. By the time we reach the age of employment we are primed and ready to regurgitate all that we have been taught. 

So history teaches us that women aren’t as smart, gifted, and capable as men in the workplace. I work 10 times harder just to prove I can do the job, because society won’t let go of this foolish premise that I’m intellectually and physically inferior to a man. Well give him a map and let him give birth and let’s see how well he fares!

Add a serving of racism and bigotry

AND THEN let’s not factor in my skin color…that’s an added 2,017 tests, because then I’m proving that not only can I do the “job of a man”, but that I can do it just as good or better than the white woman who also had to prove that she could do the “job of a man”. I’ve been asked, “is there someone else who can confirm what you’re saying?” knowing that the likelihood of this question being asked of a man is slim to none. My nonblack female colleagues have told me that they don’t experience as much scrutiny as they see black women face. 

Oh yeah and whatever I do, I better not come with my “mad black woman attitude“—you know, that “sickness” that we black women keep “spreading” generationally!?! My Latina sisters are just considered “hot” and “spicy” when they project this same “attitude”. My Asian sisters are excused (from any outbursts, loud speech, eye rolling, hand gestures, and profanity) as though it’s just a temporary lapse in judgment—because they have been stereotyped as soft spoken and docile. Although I have plenty of Asian friends that laugh hysterically at the box they’ve been placed in. My white sisters can be labeled as “bitches” but their strength is never seen as a sickness and never are they categorically labeled as a whole race, and definitely never to the extent of black women. 

Since I mentioned “bitch” a few times now …Ever been called one? Well the word hangs and lingers in the air differently when it’s said to a woman of color. Something about being called a “black bitch” means something more vile. Why can’t I just be a “bitch”? I mean, I don’t want to be called one, but why is it necessary to add in “black”? It’s simple. The intention is clear, it’s meant to demean, degrade, and diminish to the lowest level. When you hear it you cringe not knowing what’s coming next. It’s almost like you’re waiting for someone to spit a loogie at you (one of those huge ones from way back in their mouth). Some may say that’s why some black women chose to turn the word around and upside down, and use it to mean something different (when used in a different context)–similar to how some black people use the word “nigg_”. That’s also up for debate. But I digress…

As an Educator

As a college professor, I’m challenged more by my students than my male and non-black colleagues (yes, I’ve seen the difference with my own two eyes, and I’ve had colleagues acknowledge this). 

I don’t mind the challenge when it’s the normal “question everything” framing. I want my students to question me, our textbooks, and the system as a whole. But are you really questioning me simply because I’m a black woman teaching about concepts, rules, theories, and practices of a male-dominated field?

I do take pleasure in watching my cynical students eat humble pie after repeated rounds with me, when it’s clear that they just don’t believe this black woman knows what she’s talking about—because how could a black woman know so much about business, management, economic development, marketing, human resources, etc? To see their faces when they realize that I know what I speak and that I walk the walk, not just “teach what I can’t do” (you know, that bull crap phrase designed to humiliate coaches, educators and consultants)…yeah, that look on their face says it all. 

At first I thought it was age discrimination, because they thought I was close in age to them. But once I made clear that I was old enough to be (most of) their mother, that removed one of their judgmental layers—while highlighting the biggie. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes I am experiencing age discrimination, but more often it’s my race coupled with my gender that has me investing more time debating. 

Experiencing it from your “Own”

For me, what’s been far worse than experiencing this sexism and bias from white people, has been the avalanche of crap I get from black people. Ridicule and judgment hurts more from “family”. 

 If I were white (yes, sadly, even if I were a white female) black people wouldn’t question-to-death my rates, invoices, tactics, practices, strategies, plans, or decisions. But for some reason, this black woman’s rates and invoices must be too high (so they need a discount), and this black woman’s practices, tactics, strategies, etc must be flawed or subpar, so I’m gonna have to waste more hours proving the why-how-when-where-what…and who…repeatedly until you pretend to believe me. It’s only when I get the job done like I said I would that I’m given any kudos…and even then, it won’t be to the extent that you would give a man or a non-black woman. That hurts deeply. It’s still the plantation slave trying to keep the others under control, or at least keep the others below them. 

I will never forget being offered and accepting “peanuts” to develop a project that had never been done (especially at that scale and magnitude), nor with the short amount of time needed, and I couldn’t help but to notice how my gender combined with my race played a major role in my treatment. I knew of other people and projects (some that never came to fruition) yet they were paid considerably more than me by this same company. But I internalized my pain and disappointment, and focused passionately on the project. I over-delivered and although my work spoke for itself, I never got the acknowledgement and praise that a man would, or even a non-black woman. That experience taught me some valuable lessons that I will NEVER forget. 

My Parting Words

For more than 20 years I’ve been dealing with this nonsense in business while being expected to remain well-poised, soft-spoken and graceful, because after all, I’m supposed to conduct myself “like a lady”, except for when I’m expected to “be like one of the fellas”. WTH!

It’s 2017. Men and women need to identify and evolve beyond their sexist thoughts, speech, and behavior. Gender and race doesn’t determine whether a job can be done well, effort does!

See past my name, I won’t be changing it from Natasha to Nathan. See past my gender, yep, I’m not changing that;  and see past my skin color (ummm let’s not even go there)–and let me do my daggum job with the level of excellence that I only know how to provide—because I’ve never been allowed to come with less than excellent. Trust me, you will be more than pleased with my work and results. But you will never know if you don’t give me a chance to shine!


Amatulli, Emma. What Happened When A Man Signed Work Emails Using A Female Name For 2 Weeks

Blitz, Mirco (created Moments feed for Martin R. Schneider tweets)

Hallberg, Nicole. Working While Female.