Racism, Sexism, and Homophobia
This one time, at the skate park, I embarrassed my son. I don't remember everything I said, but I witnessed moments of blatant sexism toward me, and later toward a young woman of color walking past. It became an appropriate moment for me to speak up loudly. My son is twelve. He is starting to get good at skateboarding and really loves it. He broke his arm skateboarding two years ago. I intend to stay at the skate park while he skates, right now, and sit on the bleachers so that if there is an injury, I can be right on the scene. Also, he's the cutest one there, by a long shot, and I just want to watch him learn tricks.
And he's entering a culture populated primarily with slightly older, but still young, men. This skate park is a racially diverse place. I do not yet know if any women or girls skate here. But I do know that if my boy is going to spend part of his time becoming a man in this context, I'm going to be around. I am prepared to stand up to racism, sexism, and homophobia because my social activism began at home many years ago, and my boys will soon be men, communicating with people and impacting the earth.
Based on previous experience, I felt a powerful need to establish myself not as your fucking MILF, you little bitches, but as the woman in charge. I'm pretty sure I met the man in charge. I confronted him mistakenly. He is black. I am white. I did apologize. It's the sort of situation where I feel like apologizing again. I did not swear at him or call him names or even stand up. Nor did he. I'll reiterate for needed clarity, I confronted two young men, one black, one white, on issues of sexism. I raised the issue of racism by saying the following, "If a little white boy came up here and was spewing racist shit, we would shut that down. And we should." I don't think I said it quite so eloquently, but that's how I think it now.
I speak up when I know that I can handle a situation. This was one of those times. I need practice because I need to get better. There are many powerful women in the world who speak strongly, but we are so spread out that our voices carry weight. My voice carries in an acoustic sense, as well. I plan to use my words, visually and aurally, to change the world for better. My grandfather was the kindest man. I think of him often and turn to my memories and understanding of him for guidance. It helps. Like him, I have discovered that there remain a select few instances that require raising your voice. Select those instances wisely. I allow myself room to breathe so that I can find that clarity. I offer myself forgiveness on a daily mother fucking basis for millions of things so that I can make room for honest creativity.
I day dream. A lot.
Este obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-SinObraDerivada 4.0 Internacional.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.