The first New Moon of 2021 was last week and while I had hoped for glowy vibey creative meditation time, instead I spent days knee deep in dealing with a bad review someone (not a customer, client, or member of my community) left on my facebook business page, as they wanted to 'teach me a lesson' and 'cost me customers' by leaving the bad review..... all because I spoke up in support of another local woman-owned business he publicly body-shamed and defamed. This person in fact creeped the profiles of many of the woman who stood up to him and left bad reviews where he could (like with me), or in another case, went so far as to find out their employer and called to tell them to fire her for "bullying him" (she shared a definition of a word, and an explanation of a common phrase). Fortunately the employer was already aware of the situation. I responded to his review on my page, but he refuses to let the comment stand and continually deletes it, as well as comments from anyone who stands up to him or defends me. Unfortunately that's just the way facebook is set up, even though he is now banned from my business page.
If you've seen his review - which accuses me of things like being rude, impolite, harassing people, not being compassionate, infringing on his right to have opinions, and being a bully etc - this is my reponse. (I did post a shorter version of this multiple times but he continues to monitor my page and deletes it from his review).
We've never met. Our only interaction before this review you left, has been on the page of a local business where you left a review which body-shamed and defamed their women employees, and I stood up to it.
I understand based on the review you left them that you appear to have been expecting a spa-experience and so perhaps were caught off guard to find yourself not only in the therapy clinic of a professional registered massage therapy practice instead, but in a professional clinic in the midst of a global pandemic which legally requires certain measures be followed in order for them to safely remain open. (like waiting in your car for an appointment, using a backdoor, removing footwear, washing hands, no carpets or chairs, no cushy-spa waiting room etc).
All that being said, you crossed a serious line in making public judgements about the RMT’s body and competence to practice. I don't stand by silently while a person judges others based on their appearances and publicly states that those women must be professionally incompetent because of their “physique”, “fit-ness”, “classy-ness”, body shape, hair colour, fashion choices etc (all of which you mentioned in public comments subsequent to your original review).
I support the womxn in my community when they are unjustly targeted with defamatory comments by people such as yourself - even when that means you redirect your rantings towards me and my business.
If you feel as though being called to account for your public words makes me a bully (Which would imply I have some sort of power over you, which I don't. I have never interacted with you prior to this, have no intentions of interacting with you again in the future, and you are not a customer, client, or member of my wider community), I would suggest perhaps what you're experiencing is a legitimate loss of feeling entitled and all-powerful that being a white/passing male has afforded you up until now, and that's an entirely different thing.
Contrary to your assertions, I do indeed support one’s right to hold a "different opinion", no matter how heinous and ill-informed that “different opinion” may be. One’s right to personally hold an opinion does not however extend to publicly sharing that opinion, or otherwise taking action based on that opinion, in a way that harms those it is regarding. None of that is about how much compassion I have, it's about what is Just and Right and I will not apologize for it. Harmful and hateful things should not ever be tolerated and I owe no one sweet words or niceties when addressing them.
I sincerely hope that as the adrenaline fades with time, you will make space in your life to examine why your comments about a womxn's (or any persons for that matter!) physical appearance, and the assumptions which followed from you regarding their professional occupational qualifications and competence, were harmful and inappropriate.
In the meantime, I send my love to those who find themselves in a position of being judged or harmed by you, and hope that someday you will find your way through this to see that you were not a victim of anything or anyone here but your own self."
Phew. I spent days checking in with other women he was hassling, connecting with those who were supporting me, responding to comments he subsequently deleted, trying to ascertain just how great a risk he posed to my self and my family, and trying to get facebook to remove his review on my page, and the original review on the other businesses page. In one sense I don't particularly care about the review on my page, because anyone who chooses to believe it, especially without asking about the story behind it, isn't a customer or client for me anyway, but removing a review which is sour grapes or a deliberate attempt to sabotage a business and isn't actually about the goods or services your business offers seems like a thing that should be an option!
All that being said, I was aggravated and agitated, because my attention and energy kept going to the situation instead of New Moon New Year intentions and who I want to focus on being this year.
Then it dawned on me, in the quiet minutes before bed, that while I would have preferred a glowy soft revelation lol, I was getting one through the mess that was far more potent.
He left me the bad review to try and teach me a lesson and to cost me business. And after his one negative review, instead of costing me business, dozens of positive reviews poured in from clients, customers, and community members old and new instead. I also had new customers place orders, one of whom did so expressly as show of support. He did succeed at one thing though - I learned an important lesson.
As I sat in the quiet stillness and moonlight, whoooosh came the New Moon New Year revelation.
This IS who I am.
I am the healer witch at the edge of the woods who offers soothing balms and calming words and warm tea and LOVE-filled space. I am the joyful young Maiden, the nurturing Creatrix/Mother.... I am compassionate and kind.... AND I am the fearsome Crone/Hag with strong bitter medicine for those who bring harm. Words of truth can feel like bitter medicine or even poison when you've been on a diet of sweet lies for too long.
This is who I am.
Our culture would rather women were "nice" maidens and mothers, but Maiden and Mother are only part of who we each are (irregardless of sex and gender). We are each, at every age, maiden, creatrix/mother AND crone/hag.
Our white supremacist patriarchal capitalist culture fears the crone/hag with her bitter medicine and truth, and tries to hide her and suppress her at every turn but no matter how hard someone tries, your crone/hag is part of who you are too and they cannot take her from within you or from within me, for she IS you, and she IS me.
I am wild rose
fierce and free
I am t/horned goddess
keeper of my fortress
I am glorious light
maiden mother crone
I am body soul
sacred fire burning altar
flowing water cleansing skin
grounding earth greening growing
air in motion
sun and moon and stars and cosmos