“Just suck it up…”

For people who are reading through a number of posts here, this post might seem obvious.  But a lot of people don’t seem to do that much.  So it might be worth looking at a strikingly common thread, which could be called “Should you just suck it up?”

Last night I mentioned to j in response to a comment here that an Hispanic administrator at my uni had mentioned to me how she learned the value of just sucking it up.  (She was then head of our Affirmative Action program, so you can imagine how that worked.)  Then I turned to CNN.com and saw Colin Powell had talked about being the victim of racial profiling a lot and having to just suck it up.  The very same expression.

So here’s the common thread:  Being less powerful and sucking it up.

Sotomayor:  she just sucked it up in the hearing and got through!  A lot of garbage was thrown at her.

Gates:  Should he have just sucked it up? 

The C-section case:  It is horrible and outrageous that she’s lost her child because she didn’t just suck it  up, and do it during childbirth.

4 thoughts on ““Just suck it up…”

  1. Yes, I was noticing that recurring idea… Thanks for pulling it out like this and making it explicit!

  2. Thanks, Jender. I was afraid it was a bit too obvious, but then I did think that a lot of people aren’t really all of them, given what our stats seem to say.

  3. The first time I heard this expression it was a young male radio DJ (if it wasn’t Kyle Sandilands it might have been — now there’s a story you might follow) and the line was something like “to all those princesses who don’t like the hot weather: suck it up bitches” which I thought was completely outrageous and prompted angry emails on my part.

    But my friends assured me the metaphor referred to air and not semen, but as you point out, it does tend to be used of the powerless more than the powerful, so I’m not sure everyone really thinks this.

  4. Clare, thanks. I tried to trace it down, and it kept coming back to the military. One possible story is pretty unappealing – it says that it was advice given to WWII pilots in certain situations. E.g., what to do if you got sick.

    I can think of much more vulgar contexts…

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