This man…is an asshole. You sir, are a Bully, and a Troll.
I have the pleasure of being part of a large and wonderful dance community. I know some of the most talented and beautiful women Ohio has, not to mention PA, MI, IN, OR, MA, FL, CO, AZ, and who knows where else…we’re hard to keep track of. We work hard, we train, we study, we spend money on costumes and classes, we teach, we build, and we love and support each other.
Most of the time, we have a wonderful relationship with the mundane community around us. And there are times, unfortunately, that someone surfaces and for whatever reason, they don’t like what we do. We understand of course, many people have a bad image of a belly dancer, and it’s not their fault they’re uneducated. We have a deep stigma, we get that. We’re happy to talk to people about what it is that we do, and why it’s not slutty…I get that.
What I don’t get, is men…and yes, it’s 99% of the time men…who bash us, calling us fat, stupid, vain, selfish, or any other word that could insult our appearance, and that includes the personality we convey to our audience. I’m grouping it all in one big lump here. I don’t understand the need to bully people.
Earlier today, with no good reason, a fellow dance sister was attacked. Mariah is well known and very talented Middle Eastern Diva in North Eastern Ohio. Mariah, aka Maria Parasson is well educated, sweet, supportive, and an over all nice person. (Who also gave me permission to blog about this!) She, like many MANY dancers has a Facebook profile… (www.facebook.com/maria.parasson and while we’re at it, here’s her website, http://www.mariaparasson.com) , and like most bellydancers, her profile is filled with new and old pictures, candid shots, professional shoots, stage pictures, pictures of her with other dances, classes, workshops, contests, pageants, and friends and family.
Out of no where, Mr. Pat Roman (Yes, his real name. I’m not protecting him.) started posting comments on one of Maria’s pictures. He called her Vain…then went on to tell her she was vain and should post some “life stuff”. Maria blocked him, but thanks to Facebook he won’t be able to not-comment for another 36 hours (it’s been about 12 since this all started). From there it escalated to attacks on her body, he started calling her “fat ass” and accusing her of admiring herself and finally asking of all odd things, why she’s not married.
I did some research…this man is married with two teen aged girls aged 13 and 16. It horrifies me to think this man is raising two teen girls. This is the sort of thinking that makes a girl question her self worth…It’s this sort of man who beats a woman’s self image into the ground. It’s THIS sort of man that we as dancers fight against. We spend years fixing what they did. I can’t tell you how many women I’ve run into who have come from a bad place, have come from a place where someone (usually a man) has made them feel bad about their bodies. I think that’s why this angered me so much.
It’s obvious Mr. Roman wants some attention, so I figured I’d give him some by posting this blog. Am I being e better person? No. I’m sure a better person would just leave the man alone…and you know, I almost did…until he started commenting again. NO MAN HAS THE RIGHT TO EVER…..EVER MAKE A WOMAN FEEL BAD ABOUT HERSELF!!! Maria is a strong woman, she knew better than to take this to heart, and she knows Mr. Roman is a sad little man…but the point is…Men like him need to be put into their place.
This is abuse. This is mental abuse.
Here’s my personal response in the thread.
To Pat Roman-
You sir, are a jerk. Lets address your first point, calling Maria vain and claiming she has no friends. First off, Maria is a professional and her profile reflects her profession. She of course has many pictures of herself posted, but if you kept creeping through her albums, you’d clearly see she has many friends and supporters. She’s well loved in our community and the many posts above mine coming to her support should speak clearly. Secondly, your insult calling her a fat ass shows you have a disrespect for women. Maria is what a healthy woman looks like. She is tall and her body is well toned, what you call fat is muscle. Do you speak to your daughters and wife like this? Do you call -them- fat? It’s comments like yours that beat women with a lower self esteem into the ground. You Sir, a re what’s wrong with this world. Maria is a highly respected entertainer who is well educated and puts hours into her craft, she works to help build up women’s self esteem and self image. What did you really hope to accomplish by insulting her? You’re lucky no one is posting on your wall right now letting the world know what a jerk you are. Go back to killing deer and stay out of culture and the arts.
I’m touched that so many people rallied to Maria’s aide, although she clearly is a strong enough woman and doesn’t need it. I’m so happy that there’s an outrage against the abuse on women’s self esteem. I’m so happy there are women and men who will stick up for each other.
I want women and girls to know (and men too) that you should never hold on to a negative opinion. Don’t let one small minded person change how you see yourself. You’re worth more than what a narrow-minded small person thinks. You are pretty, you are smart, you are worth it. No one has the right to tell you otherwise. Everyone is beautiful, all sizes, all shapes. Rock what you were given and be proud of who you are.
I hope Mr. Roman enjoys his new found fame. He wanted his opinions heard, and now they’re going to be seen over and over again by thousands of people….That’s what happens when you’re an asshole and post on a public forum. I hope he learns his lessons, and I hope his daughters grow up being treated better than he’d treat a stranger. I hope they both become bellydancers.
Here’s a screen shot of the thread, I’ve blocked out the names of Maria’s friends to protect them. I’ve left myself, Maria, and Mr. Roman’s names alone.
And before you come and attack me as revenge, Sir….Yes. I am a fat ass. I’ve been fat my ENTIRE life. Yes, I am vain. I’m PROUD of myself. And NO, I’m not married…BECAUSE MY HUSBAND DIED OF CANCER IN MARCH. I think I’ve covered all the bases of your insults….oh wait. Friends. I have tons of those. So bring it, and enjoy your new fame.