The Plight of the Pushed

I have a problem with pushers. You know who I’m talking about. They are the people on the path, in the hallway, and at dances who walk by you and, strategically avoiding eye contact, insidiously push you out of their way.
Pushers have slowly crept in and established a presence in our community. This phenomenon reminds me of that game we used to play in lower school gym called “Infection.” You’d walk around and shake hands with everybody else, while one person, lurking in the crowd, tickled your wrist when you went in for the gesture, infecting you. Then you’d follow suit, tickling others until the whole room was infected.
Has the pusher identity infected GA girls? Why do we think this is okay? Just because others do it, we feel entitled to do it too?
“Well, she pushed me, and I’m better than she is… So I guess I should just push people around too. It would sure make my life a lot easier and make me seem cool as hell.”
Is this what more and more girls are thinking? Is this how another pusher gets recruited to the crew?
Pushers come out of hiding in large crowds: class meetings, flex times, and the like. And it’s not like your pusher is distracted; she is perfectly aware of what she is doing – even if she does avoid making eye contact.

Her head doesn’t even face your general direction. Her eyes are fixed on her destination, face as blank and cold as the icy witch from that Narnia movie. You are the scruffy Anne Hathaway to her manipulative, Prada-wearing Meryl Streep.

The push is so impersonal, so distant, so dehumanizing- and at the end of it all you find yourself stumbling over, catching your balance, and raging. Emotionally, it feels like being spit on.
I can seriously feel myself cringing just thinking about it. Once I got pushed out of the way in the student center by a skinny wrist holding an iPhone because a friend had to see what Candice Swinepool posted on instagram.
Another time, I was walking back from an assembly with a friend, when a trio pushed us off the path just because they didn’t want to walk along its outer perimeter! We would have been happy to move had they simply asked.

Pushing is degrading. Shoving someone out of your way at a dance, in the hallway, or wherever is technically… wait no… not technically… literally physical harassment.

Out of 100 girls in our school, 68 said that they have been pushed in the hallway at one point.

“It’s frustrating because I’m right here, I’m a person, and I want to be respected,” said Bella Crawford, Group XI.
It is important that our school feel like a safe environment. And no one feels safe when any second you could be forcefully moved aside by the forearm of someone you have never even met.

Some of my personal attachers I haven’t even said a word to all year. I know we don’t have anything against each other, so why you gotta manhandle me like that sista?
So, pushers, in conclusion, this is how you can improve:

1. Get in touch with your inner sense of humility. I know we all like to think that we are the center of the universe (pretty Ptolemaic if you ask me) but in reality all the students at GA are pretty much equals. I know seniority is very much a thing here, but the fact that you’re a year older than me doesn’t give you the right to treat me like I’m some inanimate object that’s blocking your view.
2. Wait it out! Is your comment to your friend really worth knocking some innocent bystander over? Probably not!
3. Look around! Our school is spacious. Find an alternate route that doesn’t involve making me want to stoop to your level and shove you right back.
4. Speak up! Say “excuse me” if someone is blocking your way or sitting on your backpack. Ninety-nine percent of the time they will move out of the way, and no one feels like crap as a consequence!
5. Don’t be a jerk! I know most of you have “peace and love” written in your twitter bio, so why not live up to it?