Behind the Scenes

What Happened When I Stood up to Misogyny and got Racism Instead

Happy Halloween!

If you subscribe to my newsletter, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see this treat on the blog today! We’re still on schedule for a Wednesday post, but hold onto your seats, because I’ve got a personal horror story to share.

It all started when…

I was at a Halloween happy hour last week, talking with a group of girls. A guy (who none of us really know) was sitting behind us with another group of people. He proceeds to “ask” my friend to fetch him a cup. Verbatim “Yo Minnie, can you get me a cup.” (Side note she was wearing mouse ears.)

He had to repeat himself a few times, having disregarded the fact that he was interrupting a conversation, while also conveniently forgetting that he was about the same distance from the table as we were.

So I half-jokingly respond “You should throw it at his head!” (plastic cups, people, I’m not aiming for concussions.)

Then, the conversation took a turn.

He responds: “It may not make it to me, your ego is in the way.” I’m a little surprised, but I bounce right back and say “oh, impossible, as yours is so big, it ate mine.” It seems a little corny, but I was still trying to keep things light.

You’ll never guess what he says next.

“Oh I thought you lost it when you started dating

I felt like a TV character in that moment – the music stopped, everything slowed down, and I was completely shocked. The only response I could come up with was:

“Is there a problem with that?”

Instead of realizing the pure insanity of what he’d said, he chose to stand by it and says “what, so he’s not white?”

All I remember saying (as he continued to heckle me with the same question, repeated over and over “so he’s not white?“) is:

“what time are you living in, it’s 2016!” And something like “…you/men like you are the exact stereotype I avoid.”

He takes this opportunity to embarrass me further and says to the onlookers “She’s always like this!”

Always like what?
Always speaking up for myself?
Always standing against ignorance?
How would you know what I’m always like, we barely speak.

So I walked away.

A little back story, we’ve never had a truly positive conversation, so I chose long ago to limit our interactions. He’s never said anything this deep or hurtful, but I don’t respond well to microaggression. This conversation proved I was right to do so.

My decision to avoid conversation (maintaining minimum hi/bye courtesy) was both for my own sanity and professional image. I’m aware that this person is not above disparaging other colleagues, so I chose to avoid the crosshairs until now. Clearly, he perceived my self-preservation as aloofness, so to him, I’m “always like that.”

He’s right.

I am vocal.
I am a minority woman.
I am in a happy, supportive relationship with a white man.
And I have no time or place in my life for the likes of him.

So yes, I’m always like this.

And you, what are you always like?

Are you always this mean, out of control, unreasonable, embarrassing? I don’t know, because I choose not to know you, and with this conversation, you’ve given me grounds to erase you from my world completely. Lord help your daughter as she grows up in a world where she will inevitably face men like you, criticizing her personal life over his own insecurities.

Thank you for reminding me to keep being “like this” and standing up to ignorant down talk for her sake.

Join the Boss Babe Tribe!
Sign up here to get exclusive weekly posts never published to the blog,
one-on-one Q&A, and access to the Boss Babe Library*!

*: The library gets updated with new freebies every month!