I notice it.
Subtle and not so subtle forms of it all around me, sometimes directed at me; or wanting to include me.
Our next door neighbor takes our bottles out of the recycling before “they” get to them because she doesn’t like “them” coming around. She tries to engage me in conversation about “them” and why “they” are problematic…
..and I want to say “excuse me but what you’re saying right now is racist” and take back the bottles and walk away.
At a dinner party recently the host got drunk and started making jokes about how all women are “crazy.” He thinks he’s being hilarious and just having fun…
…but I want to say to him “you are being sexist right now, pass the ginger ale,” and walk away.
I don’t want to get into a big fucking complicated conversation about it.
I’m not out to educate anyone or be patient or compassionate or get into an award winning argument.
I don’t expect this will change them or make them think twice next time.
All I’m doing is taking responsibility for my part; my unacceptance of the unacceptable.
I will not stand here and listen to you.
I disagree with you.
I’m okay if this makes us both uncomfortable.
I’m willing to be disruptive about it.
This tactic can be used on social media as well. See a picture of a white woman in a traditional headdress that gives you the creeps?
“Hey, that pic is kinda racist” and hit reply.
It’s all that needs to be said. It’s letting the do-er know that you know what they are doing. It’s not aggressive and you don’t have to be confident in your politics or your up-to-date with your analysis.
You just need to follow your intuition.
Simple. Clear. True.
Can we try that?
Can we practice not standing around listening to this shit. Because, when we do listen and we don’t say something- we are now engaged in the ‘ism.
We are now culpable and part of the problem too.
I’ve gotten pegged with being racist.
I posted a joke and one of my readers got right pissed off. She unsubscribed from my feed and said I was an ignorant white woman. Now, my first impulse was to defend and explain to her that the tone was misinterpreted and I. Am. Not. Racist.
But it doesn’t matter. She felt attacked. That’s my problem.
Another time I was told I was being classist and I wanted to say I. Grew. Up. In. A. Trailer. But she was brave to point out my fuck up. It was good to be told what hurts.
You don’t have to be a woman or queer or sandy brown to know when something is wrong. When we get the squiggle in our belly- just keep it simple, “that’s pretty homophobic, pass the cheese.”
And being in comedy, I walk a tightrope that is easy to fall off of. I agree, it’s scary, being white, straight and entitled and not knowing if I’m making a public mistake but my fear of causing a disruption is not a good enough reason to not cause a disruption. We need to cause a mother-fucking disruption ’cause this shit needs to get disrupted.
Let’s risk it.
Be disruptive. It’s beautiful.