A column by Eve T
A collection of unfortunate prejudiced remarks and conversations we’ve heard, which somehow make for stupendous anecdotes.
Montreal. Mid-twenties. Winter.
Valerie sits quietly in the subway, listening to music on her Ipod, her brain escaping into a daydream. She’s brought back to reality by the voice of a man sitting in front of her, trying to engage with her. She takes out her earphones to hear what he has to say. Not cutting corners, he asks her: “Do you believe in God?”
Deep. Especially coming from a total stranger.
But Valérie is a nice girl, she replies diplomatically: “Well I have my own views on religion but I do have spiritual beliefs.”
The believer goes on by asking: “Then why are you wearing trousers?”
Not seeing the link at all, a puzzled Valérie answers: “Heu… well… why not? I like it and it’s cold outside… I don’t know… I don’t see what you mean.”
The man, getting pumped up, exclaims: “You shouldn’t be wearing trousers, it’s wrong, the Bible says so. Trousers are for men and women should be wearing skirts. “
To which, Valérie calmly replies: “Well, I don’t know which Bible you’re reading but Jesus was wearing a dress.”
As a heated debate explodes between the believer and other passengers, Valerie promptly exits the train, puts her earphones back in, and returns to her daydream.
Most of us mortal souls have made incorrect assumptions about someone based on gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, culture, class… name it. Usually, our inner voice makes itself heard and says: “Oi! Don’t be a douche! Shut it at once!” Yet some of us don’t seem to be doted of that tinkering bell that rings just in time not to express that very misplaced or misjudged thought. Due to the absence of that saving jiggle in some, we’ve all been victim of an unwanted, prejudiced comment at some point. Sometimes, it’s so ridiculous it becomes truly amusing; sometimes it’s so hurtful it makes us question our faith in humankind.
This column celebrates those awkward moments when, baffled, you didn’t even know how to begin to reply. Because it’s just so much more pleasant and liberating to share our personal experiences, here is a tiny space in the cyber realm to voice your outrage, bewilderment, amusement or your mixed feelings – filtered through the words of yours truly, for curatorial purposes only. Laughing out loud, yelling, ranting and bitching is permitted. And a mix of all of the above is encouraged.