Note: This becomes an increasingly cranky post, so no hurt feelings if you just want to skip it altogether. I get it.
- When people are clueless about how to behave on the bus. Outside in a park? Go ahead and be noisy! In a crowded bus? Keep it quietly to yourself. Feel free to talk with your friend, but please keep the decibel level such that I can tune you out if I’m half a bus-length away. Also, please don’t bring excessively smelly or messy foods on the bus or sit with your legs so far apart that you take up three spaces all to yourself. Really?
- When I get a cold. Give me malaria any day of the week over a head/chest cold. At least with malaria, I feel like I can justify feeling out of sorts. Colds just drag on and on and on. YUCK.
- When people are rude to folks in the service industry. I’ve worked many years in hospitality and retail, and people who work in these positions deal with some of the angriest, rudest, and bully-est (yeah, I know it’s not a word) people ever. To add insult to injury, those kinds of jobs are typically thankless and don’t pay well. Just remember that the person who is serving you…is still a person.
- When women throw feminism under the bus in order to score brownie points with men. I understand that not all women want to associate themselves with feminism. Feminism is an umbrella term for a lot of different ideologies, but at the core, feminism is about equality. So when I hear women makes comments like “I hate feminism. Feminism means I have to go to work every day when I’d rather stay home and make sandwiches and pies! Teehee!”* I have a very hard time reining in my side eye. I’m so sorry that feminism means you are recognized as a person under the law and not, essentially, property. I’m so sorry that you now have the chance to participate in the voting process. It must be terrible to be able to own property or start a business. Getting to go to college? Boy, what a crock this feminism is! And wow, what a burden to have the ability to divorce an abusive husband and then actually having a right to legal custody of your own children**. What a shame, what a shame…
- I have a general beef with the American education system. Nowhere in all of my formal education was I taught about cultural appropriation. Nowhere was I directly told about power systems at play in US society. In fact, I was told again and again that we have a post-racial society, that all people are equal. Frankly, that’s not only untrue but incredibly insulting to someone living without born privileges.*** Also, saying that something is one thing doesn’t just miraculously make it so.
*Actual overheard comment, minus the implied “teehee!”
**I am not arguing that all mothers should automatically have custody of children in cases of divorce. That is actually a sexist standard perpetuated by patriarchal norms. Men are just as capable of being nurturing fathers as women are of being nurturing mothers. Each custody case needs to be dealt with on an individual level, taking into account what is best for the child.
***I recognize that I hold a lot of privilege in the US and elsewhere simply by being white.