Monday, 7 May 2012

Today

today i did something I don't usually do , but then again, im not sure I've ever been put in a situation where I had to do it.
But today on the tram, there were two teenagers. Two teenage girls being very rude and making lots of Chinese people jokes, mimicking them, talking about ping pong you know it. They were in hysterics.
And opposite them to them was two people of asian decent.
they talked and joked this way all the from Brunswick to the city.  about 20 minutes of it
I was sitting behind them, I felt sick and upset and horrified by what was going on. Upset by their insensitivity and how offensive they were being and horrified and upset for the two Asian people sitting across the aisle from them. Horrified and upset no one else looked upset by this. I wasn't sure if the Asian people  knew what was going on, they had the appearance of Tourists and were speaking their native language for some of the trip, but it looked like they did.
the more the girls went on, the sicker I felt, the angrier and the more upset until. I just couldn't take it anymore.
I turned around and said
" Excuse me, but the way you are being is offensive. If you want to make these jokes and say these thing in the privacy of your own home that is your right. But in a public place filled with people of different nationalities it is inappropriate and rude. You should be ashamed of yourselves"
And then I felt sick. I don't like confrontation, i avoid it. And when there are things on the tram i don't like, Mothers being mean to their children, people being horrid to each other, i stay out of it, it's none of my business. But this felt different. It wasn't just about them, an enclosed group, it was about a bigger issue, and i didn't want the two Asian tourists to think that everyone thought it was ok. Because it wasn't.
It's NOT ok to put down, make fun of anyone of a different race, sexuality or religion. It's not ok to make fun of people because of their sex, age, whether or not they have a disability or are a bit different.
And I'm glad I did it, even though I feel sick thinking about it, and wanting to cry after I did it.
Because at least those ladies knew that not everyone was willing to stand by and watch this stuff,  and do nothing.
I think at times I live such a sheltered life, my friends and family, and work colleagues all have the same values as I do. So it's easy to forget. Not everyone feels the way you do. And bam you get a big shock when you do.
I'm glad I did what I did, though wish I hadn't been put in the situation where i had to do it.
do you think I did the right thing? or I should have minded my own business.

19 comments:

Cath @ chunkychooky said...

Good on you for ssaying something. Its hard to do but you would have regeretted it if you didn't.
You are awesome. x

bec said...

Yesterday my girl and I were in Myer smelling perfumes (as you do) and there was a dad, a few kids, and probably his wife looking at a particular scent. The kids must have liked it, the dad said "why would you like that? It's made by gay guys" I instantly turned (out of shock I think) and the wife rolled her eyes at me, in a 'oh, isn't he funny' kind of way. I've thought about all that all day, and wish I had of said something, something simple like 'way to raise bigoted adults', then I read your post and thought how good you were! You go girl- I often feel like doing this, but also avoid confrontation, esp in public places or with strangers. I'll remember this to give me courage to speak up next time!

sister outlaws said...

You certainly did something very worthwhile and brave. Everyone needs to speak out about injustice and racism when they encounter it and perhaps you would feel even sicker if you had have said nothing. I hate confrontation too but the older I get the more important I think it is to stand up and say something. Sometimes it is the lack of the right vocabularily for confrontation so I just channel my very confrontational big sister Kate and pretend to be her!!!

trash said...

Oh that is fantastic. You should be proud of yourself for having taken a stand because be certain that so many other people on that tram wished that they had the guts. Hopefully you will have given those girls pause to think about their behaviour.

nicole kane said...

you go girl!! much better to say something than live in regret! clean conscience and all :D
xo

Renee said...

I think you did more than the right thing, well done! You did something very courageous in taking a stand for what you believe in.

emily said...

Go Jess! That was a great thing to do.

Stitched Together said...

Good for you. I completely understand your need to say something. I hate it when people assume that their thoughts are welcomed by everyone around them and that their's are the only valid ones. You should be proud to stand up to those verbal idiots and make it clear that their behaviour is NOT ok.

74 Lime Lane said...

That is all kinds of awesome Jess! Well done, you should be proud, not feeling sick!
I'm afraid of confrontation, too, so all I might have managed to do is a hard stare. What you did is amazing!

Suzanne Warren said...

You are a woman after my own heart, although Paul tells me off if I say things like that but it makes me so angry. I even do that in the school yard if kids are being mean to someone else even though I probably shouldnt interfere. I hope those two teenagers remember you and realise when they are older how wrong they were.

CurlyPops said...

Good on you for standing up for what you believe in Jess. The world would be a better place with more people like you in it!

Catherine said...

you are so right Jess - it's not OK what they were doing, and I am so glad you were there to tell them that - you are awesome xo

Joolz said...

Well done Jess!! That was really courageous of you to speak up!

made for dinosaurs said...

Hi Jess, I'm completely new to the blogging scene but i've admired your site for the last couple of months, I absolutely love all your creations ( otto is especially cute!) and have been inspired to make my own crochet animals because of it. I've not been brave enough to comment up until now though, but after reading your post felt I had to say something. I think you were completely right in doing what you did. I wish more people were brave enough to do the same. I'm of mixed asian and british descent and had a lovely international childhood in hong kong, however when I moved to England, I have had one or two similar negative incidents where I wish there had been someone like you around (though i'm pretty vocal about it myself!) Although I sometimes worry about what kind of experience my little boy will have as he grows up in England, I'll hope that there will be more people like us around to stand up against these sorts of situations. Don't ever stop standing up for what you believe in! michele x

bybido said...

You did the right thing. Even though it was hard...it was the right thing.

handmade romance said...

bravo jess!! well done for being so courageous and standing up for what you believe in. i agree you did the right thing as nerve wrecking as it may have felt at the time. you are the one who can walk away head held high. i have stuck up for kids being picked on before, i was quite astonished none of the other adults near said anything. xx

Sally said...

YOU'RE AWESOME!
We are a community and as such we're all responsible for teaching younger people values. Good on you for setting some boundaries for them Jess. When younger people are ignorant that is the communities problem, not just their parents.
You are one ace chick-a-dee.

... and lets not talk about yesterday.

Kylie said...

You did absolutely the right thing!!! In fact you are a legend! I know that sick feeling after speaking out about injustices and public places are the worst for that stomach in knots feeling... but I also know that when I've said things, they've absolutely needed to be said. Just like you, Jess - it did need to be said and I'm so proud of you for doing it :) I'm also glad those girls didn't turn around and start being abusive to you! ;)
Kx

Mare said...

i love you Jess. And you always do the right thing because it comes from your heart. love, mare