10 things I’ve realised since the ‘exchange’

…that I spoke of in my last post.

  1. Every woman I knew had at least one story of sexism to recount. Many had several.
  2. Almost all of them struggled to respond appropriately, though every one wished they had a scripted response.
  3. All my white contacts thought this was a purely sexist issue.
  4. All my non-white contacts thought this was a purely racist issue.
  5. All my friends (regardless of colour) thought it was a combination of both — this would not have been said to a man of colour; and it most probably would not have been said to a white woman.
  6. That all those who have accused me of being oversensitive (in the past as well), are those I’ve accused of being racist or sexist. The bystanders have invariably seen my point of view.
  7. And that is called gaslighting, Tracy tells me. Here is the link to an article on that: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-women-arent-crazy/ (And thank you Tracy for being such a good friend that evening.)
  8. And coming back to those who think I’m oversensitive, they genuinely don’t get it, or think it’s only a ‘joke’…
  9. So that brings me to Moha‘s comment on my post that there’s always truth in a joke… an intention as well, I must add. And that intention is not always to get a laugh.
  10. The worst kind of sexism for me is the one shown by women… when they do think it’s okay to receive such comments or to be stereotyped. I feel a mixture of anger and pity for them.
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All in a day’s work. Sexism, racism or what have you…

Act 1. Scene 1. (Wish I had a gun to shoot.)

Location:

At my office desk

Players: 

Me (Brown, female); RandomWhiteGuy (a consultant & soon to be colleague, to be referred to as RWG); Boss

Boss: I have the map for **insert name of popular kids theme park in Dubai**

Me: I love **insert name of popular kids theme park in Dubai**

RWG: I am going there. Do you want to come with me, to take care of my kid.

**What happened in my head: “Are you being sexist or racist, you a$*hole?”, takes out her brass knuckles and punches him in his face**

**What actually transpired (and am so proud of my delivery)**

Me: Could you be more sexist? Would you have said that to a male colleague?

RWG: Ah, you said you liked the place.

Me: Yes, to go to with my kids.

RWG: I have no one to take care of my kid there.

Me: Hire a maid.

RWG: I have a maid, she won’t get a visa.

Me: Do you really want to continue this conversation?

Boss: Maybe it started as a joke…

Me: No, it didn’t. It’s sexist, and I don’t have to tolerate this.

RWG: (Looking clammier than he did few minutes earlier) I didn’t mean to be…

Me: I hope so… (cuts short the conversation and continues with earlier discussion with boss)

Me:  (Still awaits an apology)

Fortunately this wasn’t one of those situations where I fumbled, and later, in futility, thought up a response in my head. I am glad I gave it to him directly, to his face. Yet, I am smarting and furious; I so wish I had a gun, or brass knuckles, or something very sharp…

PS1: RWG doesn’t know me. This is our first interaction. So any excuse of him having a banter can’t be accepted.

PS2: I write this in public, because I don’t think this is an official exchange/communication and needs to be treated as a confidential exchange.

PS3: Healing with writing.

Amend: Added location, and the fact RWG will soon be a full-time colleague.