“It was Eve who ate the apple first. Would you really put Eve in charge of the whole country?”
My mother when discussing female political candidates.
“Your gay? I have the perfect person for you!”
The “”perfect person”" is gay too…so it must work out perfect right? NOT!
Watching a football game with my father and brother. During halftime, they present winners of a skills competition for kids 8 through 15. Upon seeing the girls and their trophies, my father, amused, says, “There’s GIRLS! Why on Earth would they compete in something they will never be able to do?” I say, “Oh, by the way, I’m going back to school. I’m gonna major in gender studies.” Later, he criticizes a bad pass by comparing it to one I would make. I’m a 24 year old woman, and this makes me feel, despite my accomplishments, I will be a failure to those who refuse to recognize my power.
“We all know that Filipinos aren’t really real Asians. I mean look, they have Spanish last names, and they are pretty dark, and they don’t look that Asian! Can’t we call them something else? It’d make it easier.”
“You’re so young and pretty. You don’t need all these medications.”
My pharmacist, every time I pick up the prescriptions that keep me out of the ER. I’m a young disabled woman.
“You can do [x]. It’s not that hard.”
I have an invisible physical disability. I hear this from teachers, friends, and parents when I try to tell them about my ability level
“You’re too black to play Katara.”
That still pisses me off. I mean really. That happened in Junior year, but that just stuck with me. It’s probably always going to stick with me. That feeling. That anger. The fact that that guy and I would flirt from time to time. I thought he was my friend- well not exactly like it- but close. And to hear what he truly thought of me…it hurt. It hurt that he said that and laughed, but he was dead serious. It hurt me that he can say whatever the hell he wants because his girlfriend is Asian, so obviously he can’t be racist right? It hurt me that people still see him as this stand-up-guy. Still. Ugh. Just- ugh. Frustrated. Livid. Ugly. Invisible.
I wanted to get my nephew a My Little Pony coloring book since I like MLP and I wanted to share that with him (and we share pink as one of our favorite colors). My brother, however, said that my sister-in-law would have a fit—with the implication that he would as well. I ended up getting my nephew a Batman one, but I don’t like Batman. It made me feel angry and sad that my supposedly liberal-leaning brother is so entrenched in stereotypical gender roles and that my nephew won’t really get to choose what he likes.
“Oh you actually are pretty! We should go somewhere!”
- My mother to me after my friend plastered my face with make up, slapped a straight waist length wig on my head, and put me in a mini-dress “just for funsies.” I am a plus-size black female with natural hair who generally chooses to dress gender neutral. It made me feel like some sort of backwoods bizarro show, like I only have worth if I am pretty, and that I normally am worthless because I don’t naturally look pretty. I was confused, angry, upset and hurt.
Whenever I tell people that I am a lesbian, they assume that someone (a man) hurt me in my past.
In honor of MLK, ESPN is running a basketball marathon on MLK Day. While I enjoy the sport especially on an afternoon off from work, I can’t help but wonder if this is just an extension of a black stereotype.
H&R Block employee when my best friend (who’s black) and I went to get our taxes done together: “Employed?”
H&R: “Any children?”
H&R, turns to my friend: “Okay, and you. Employed?”
H&R: “Any children?”
H&R: “Are you sure?”
H&R: “Just checking.”
Him: “Yes, I’m sure.”
I worked in a pet store and a mother and her young daughter come in one day. The little girl is very young, probably less than five years old, but extremely inquisitive and interested in all the reptiles and fish we have. Her mother apologizes for all the questions and I say it’s no problem. Then I remark that little girl should be a scientist someday, seeing as she’s so curious. The mother then acts like I suggested she be a serial killer. “No no! I don’t want that!.” I ask why and she says “It’s too hard!” I think I’ll take the regret for not saying anything more to my grave, but I was so shocked I couldn’t think.
24, female-bodied, in a relationship – so Facebook shows me ads with babies, wedding dresses, and engagement rings. Change gender on Facebook to male – suddenly I get ads pertaining to things I actually care about.
While on my bicycle waiting for the light to turn green, a couple of guys on the corner were hissing at me asking for my number. I ignored them. Then one of them said “she’s acting like she’s white.” I later phoned a good friend (also African American) to tell her the story and my disappointment. She said “you act like a white person, the way you dress, the way you talk, If I didn’t know you and heard you over the phone I’d think you were white.”
I followed up with “I’m sorry, what does a white person sound like vs. other people?” She said “you speak all proper, you don’t talk or do things black girls do. I can’t say it no other way than that so you can’t be mad about it if someone calls you white.”
My coworker said that the reason our local high school didn’t have Martin Luther King Day off was because “There aren’t that many black people there to complain about it.”
“My friend said I was totally black because I drink kool aid and eat watermelon all the time!”
I work for an anti-violence organization. I am a lesbian womyn of color and do a number of trainings on lgbtq issues and violence for the organization. At our last volunteer training, a training done for new incoming volunteers, my colleague turns to the class and points at me saying, “After meeting (my name), I now look at these issues differently.” She essentially outs me at every training while presenting on issues of marginalization. She is also not great at receiving feedback so these things largely go unaddressed.
A coworker comes up to me to say “How about a smile?” I give him the stinkeye and say “So it’s not enough that I put on make-up? I have to smile, too?” My shoulders tense up as I walk away. I was on graveyard shift and I put on make-up so as not to look too much like a zombie (haggard, stressed out.) I do not mean to demean people who put on make-up for fun.