My close friend is Armenian, and her father has friends in the Armenian community in Watertown, much of which is located on Franklin. In these last 24 or so hours, one of his friends have received calls, threatening or yelling at him just for being Armenian. Allegedly, these calls have blamed Armenians for helping the Russians, though this man did not help the suspects at all. Like everyone else, he was only trying to lay low and stay safe. He has received at least 5 of such calls.
I logged into Facebook and saw the memes sprawling all over my feed equating the Boston bombings to terrorists, Muslims, and immigrants. I messaged them and engaged in dialogue validating their frustration but expressing how offended I felt and how perpetuating Islamaphobia only results in more violence, especially towards people who look “Middle Eastern”. One person took it down and apologized… another talked with me for a while and ended by saying “don’t get so offended.”
“How much money would you put on the Boston bombers being Muslim?”
I’m from Ocala, FL and living in Boston. I just called my local newspaper in Florida to ask how they were being sensitive to anti-Islamic sentiment in their reporting of the Boston Incident… they accused me of being racist against southern Christians.
I felt hurt, confused, saddened. Wish people didn’t feel the need to defend and were able to listen. Wished people understood racism in its contextual nature, recognizing that stereotyping and feeling violence because of your group membership are different. Made me feel good for addressing it, but potentially hypocritical for not just understanding that people can’t be blamed for what they haven’t had the chance to learn and dissect.
Upon having seen coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing, my mother, who is white, states, “Middle Easterns… always killing everybody.” I’m Middle Eastern, early 20s, and her son. My little sisters, who are South Asian were also in the same room, and they heard that. I felt very angry, unsafe, disappointed.
Today at work, a guest was looking at the Boston Marathon newsfeed we had playing and said, “We should bomb them all! Kill them all! It’s all they understand!” I asked who, exactly, he intended to slaughter, and why. “They don’t understand anything else. My son’s in Iraq.” I’m sorry? But, that has nothing to do with the bombings! Confronted him on civil liberties and the right to trial, innocent until proven guilty. “Oh that’s hippie crap.” What?
Sitting in a library at school, I hear an African American student laughing a little loudly… followed by a white student saying, “Yo Shaq, shut up!”
This morning, the Today show did a segment on foods from around the world. They highlighted one specific food item from each place.
Some of the places named: India, Scotland, and Africa.
I hope I’m not the only one who finds this problematic.
Was biking through town when two women yelled “Konichiwa!” at me…
I’m Vietnamese. And I was born in California.
(Also, where’s the female solidarity?)
“You have access to birth control pills now. That doesn’t give you an excuse to sleep around.”
My male gynecologist. I was seventeen at the time and began taking the pill to regulate my period. I was not sexually active, and I had given no indication as to my sexual orientation. I felt awkward, sad, and resentful, because this is a man I otherwise admire and respect.
“Stop crying and acting like a little girl!”
My sister to her 4 year old son, who has a twin sister.
“I don’t date bisexuals. They’re never faithful.”
Said to me by woman who identifies as lesbian.
My MCAT instructor keeps referring to the writer of our passages with male pronouns when they do not list an author by name. Made me feel stupid/unvalued… like if our instructor doesn’t think women are smart enough to help write the MCAT, the most certainly aren’t smart enough to be doctors.
After seeing I had purchased a copy Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, my father became annoyed and angry. Incredulous, he said “Great, really, feminism? Just don’t start getting pissed every time a guy tries to open the door for you. Guys aren’t going to want to date a girl like that.” My mother supported his statements.
“Yeah, I just don’t know what’s up with them, they’re all crazy. All these women are just getting married or engaged, most of the girls in my office too… What’s up with that? I mean, they’re, like, 20 or something. Slow down, girls, no need to make yourselves look bad!”
Said on a bus, by two men behind me, about 25-30-years-old, both with business suits on. I am a 16-year-old girl. I felt angry, humiliated, ashamed, invisible. Those women’s life choices [and their respective partners'] had nothing to do with those men. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right, and that no matter my achievements or my choices, there would always be men to look down on me and criticise me and I wouldn’t have a voice to speak out with.
“I just love working here, there’s so much culture. This is one of the most diverse high schools in the district!”
One of my white colleagues at a public high school. This particular school is about 75% black/African American; several other schools in the district have much more even distributions in terms of racial diversity, with students from many different racial backgrounds.
“Well yay for not being a black female.”
One of my closest friends (who is a white male) after I tried to explain how difficult it can sometimes be to care for my hair.” Made me feel mocked that he would trivialize my frustration, even though I knew he was only joking. Also made me feel like being a black female was a bad thing.
One day my boss comes up to me and out of the blue says
My boss: “”[last name] , hey [last name] is that your husband’s name?
Me: No I didn’t take my husband’s last name.
Me: I’m a feminist, that’s why
Boss: I could not stand it if my wife thought she could keep her own name. She has my name. We are going to have to work on this, you will take your husband’s name by the end of the year.
Often when I bring up that I have Asperger syndrome, people respond by saying something like, “But you seem normal!” This reinforces the feeling that I have to continue to censor certain parts of my identity to fit in, that I have to hide important parts of who I am.