Arguing about culture, people and SF.

My car broke down. Saying that is an understatement. Came to a grinding halt in the middle of a crappy part of SF in the noon hour is more like it. Had it towed over to ye old repair shop and started to walk to the bus stop with Rick and Stan a few blocks away.

Stan and I got into a disagreement. A BIG ONE. Stan is a guy. He is strong. He is smart. He can handle himself. I am a girl. I am strong, though not as strong, but small. I can handle myself most of the time. Rick was with us. He’s three for Christ’s sake. He can handle his stuffed rabbit.

We are walking through not such a great neighborhood and I am a little antsy. Stan says, and I quote, “there is nothing to worry about. There are three of us.”

Hm. Interesting. The way I look at it is there are 2.5 of us and it doesn’t really matter if you are a guy, I am a girl walking with her child.

In other words, I am an easy target. Doesn’t help that I am carrying my dell in my diaper bag. It doesn’t matter if there are three of us. There is my child and myself. Easy targets. I have been in this city all my life. I know when it’s not a great time to be in certain areas. And sometimes, it doesn’t matter if it’s noon on a Tuesday, there are just some areas that you don’t want to be.

Now, here is the kicker: I tried to explain to him that it doesn’t matter that it’s noon on Tuesday. I am a girl. I have a kid with me. There is an imminent amount of danger that he can’t even to begin to rationalize because of one simple fact: HE IS MALE.

Recently, there was a disagreement in the media about the N word. I hate this word. I have never used this word and never will. Even when reading Tom Sawyer in high school I would skip it. I just refuse. Anyway, the argument is that white people should never use that word while Africa Americans can use it. Hey, that’s fine and I can understand why this is. It makes sense in reclaiming the word and history. However, I can’t say that I will ever come close to understanding the hatred because there is nothing compairable for me to be called.

But Stan decided to argue the point with me that I shouldn’t feel afraid because I am in a bad area of town, I am a girl and I am walking with a baby. I used the N-word controversy as an example. And he didn’t get it. But then again, I don’t expect him to. Because he’s male. He will never have to worry about the things that, as a woman, come into my life everyday. I have experienced and seen some really fucked up shit in my life as a woman. Things that wouldn’t even begin to cross a man’s mind in the middle of the day will enter mine because, unfortunetly in this society, they have to. So no, I don’t expect him to GET IT but I expect him to respect that he won’t get it because of these reasons.

I mean, ladies, am I wrong to worry about my child and myself?

And since he’s reading this because, let’s face it, you met some really rad people this week, I would hop that maybe seeing it in writing may affect your judgement and open your eyes a bit. 🙂

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3 Responses to “Arguing about culture, people and SF.”

  1. Trish Says:

    You hit the nail on the head, woman. I have tried to explain the “I’m a girl” on many different aspects (i.e., taking my car to the shop and not getting sodomized by the amount it costs; walking alone at night; living alone; etc.) to a LOT of guy friends and they NEVER get it, and NEVER will. They have no idea what it is like to be a woman, to be sometimes thought of as the second-rate citizen, to not be the “brains” of the couple, to have to work twice as hard to be thought of half the man. I am by NO means the next Jane Fonda… just want some EMPATHY (look it up guys). Besides, it is in a woman’s nature to NURTURE (it might do you well to also look up the etymology of the word NURTURE).

    I think Alice Cooper said it best… “Only Women Bleed”.

    Thank you for letting me get this off my chest!

    Cheers!

  2. Rachel Says:

    I second and third everything you and Trish wrote… sometimes guys just don’t get it… Like for example, it’s not that I am scared to wait for a bus or a cab out on Mission Street at 2 AM, but it’s a little easier for me if a guy friend waits with me. It’s just safer.
    And yeah, Rick is definitely a .5 babe-in-arms in situations like that… definitely not the 3rd person in your group.

  3. A Says:

    Well, even though he doesn’t get it and probably never will… Thank God it happened in the middle of the day and he was with you and Ricky. The situation could’ve been a lot scarier for a single mom walking with her little one. Glad to hear you’re okay even if more than a little frustrated!

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