There are times when I feel like my husband is a robot and I’ll have to change his batteries ever so often. Whenever I’m in a huff he tells me not take it personally. This is when I look at him, Mr. heterosexual, tall, white male and raise my eyebrows. I remind him that for some of us it is sometimes personal. When you are a racialized female with a small stature, your reality is not always so black and white. It’s not particularly shocking. He grew up in an affluent neighbourhood in Toronto, participated in athletics, played hockey and attended some of the best schools in the country. It’s not his fault that life has been pretty easy and that the world is sometimes his oyster.
People forget how transparent they really are. Why do you think we take such pleasure in reading each other and ascribing characteristics? We are all walking around with invisible post-it notes with credentials, education, beauty and desirability. We just hope that people pick-up on the labels that we value most. The reality is that the signals always get crossed and everyone is interpreting those messages with their own biases. It’s a game that no one wins.
If we viewed the world so negatively I don’t think anyone would get out of bed. What would be the point? I would rather frame this process more positively. Wasn’t there a point when we were younger that we actually took pleasure in games? When you couldn’t get your coat on fast enough and recess was never long enough? If we return to this type of exuberance I think the social transactions become more open. So what if someone misinterpreted you, you probably did the same to the gentleman three persons ago. My husband is partly correct in telling me to shake it off. These slings and arrows are never going to go away so it might be best to get a thicker skin. I’m not saying become hard. I’m just saying that these inconveniences just come with the territory. If someone doesn’t like you, go talk to someone else.