Friday, September 23, 2011

A Frustrating Conversation

I am currently in an interesting living situation.  I took a job about an hour away from where I live and, not wanting to commute every day, needed to find housing.  I found this nice guy who had an extra room that he wanted to rent out.  I took my boyfriend to meet with him, his girlfriend, and his daughter and to see the room.  I ultimately took the room and am living here throughout the length of the show.

But, while I'm not really at home in this living situation, the people who live here are extremely nice and fascinating to listen to.  My landlord's girlfriend, Jessie, is a beautiful (in the media sense) woman: blonde, skinny, tall, tan, athletic.  And Jessie was talking to my landlord's daughter about teaching her daughter (she's divorced) not to judge other people.  All in all, a really good lesson and one a fifth grader needs more than a lot of other lessons.

However, Jessie's daughter was telling Jessie about a girl at school who looked like a boy and, like a good mom, Jessie told her daughter you can't judge "a book by it's cover" (which is a statement that, in regard to books, is only nominally true).  But, a few days later, Jessie was picking her daughter up from school and saw the girl that her daughter had mentioned and thought to herself "that really does look like a boy."  Not she, not the girl's name (which she knew), Jessie used the word "that".  And it wasn't a one time offense either.  The discussion became: "that really did look like a boy," and "that looked just like Justin Beiber."  Jessie's final remark was: "that girl is going to grow up to be a lesbian".

And...just GAH.  There are so many things wrong with Jessie's thoughts.  So many things wrong.  Firstly, no human being deserves to be referred to as: that.  We have pronouns for a reason (I will get into my thoughts on pronouns some other time) and as far as you know, that little girl just enjoyed dressing like boys but used female pronouns.  So fucking use female pronouns.  Also, maybe that girl is a lesbian or trans or maybe she just enjoys dressing in male clothing.  Who the fuck cares.  The girl is still a person and I have to say an exceedingly brave person for dressing in the way that she wants, even though she has undoubtedly taken crap about it before.  Final assumption that I found offensive.  One does not: "grow up to be a lesbian" necessarily. The girl could already think of herself as a lesbian or maybe she thinks I like girls, but doesn't label herself as a lesbian.  Sexuality and sexual orientation is not this magical thing that suddenly becomes relevant when you're a "grown up".

I should have said something.  I really should have.  I regret not saying anything, but it was for the sake of being able to live here another month in peace.  And at least Jessie did say, "How am I supposed to raise children to not judge people when I judge people all the time.  I guess it's a do as I say and not as I do kinda deal."  I don't know, Jessie is a really nice person who just happens to have some rather unfortunate views about sexuality/sexual orientation (views which I doubt she even realized she was expressing).  And she is right, everyone does judge others, but how she spoke about that little girl just makes me angry.


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