My Hipster is awesome – and not just because he managed to get us second row, center stage seating for Weird Al this spring (although that’s just one small example of how awesome he is… and how spoiled I am). This is what we did over our lunch hours today (yes, those are Facebook stickers… I’m probably violating some sort of FB terms of stickerdom, but the conversation doesn’t make sense without them). He makes me laugh like no one else. The guy who shares my office likely thinks I’m on drugs.
I brought leftover chicken enchiladas for lunch today. When my lunch hour arrived, I carried my little Rubbermaid container down to the kitchen and tossed them in the microwave. On my way out of the kitchen with my toasty, warm, delicious enchiladas, a coworker walked in with a bowl of chicken noodle soup.
Coworker: “Ooh! What are YOU having??”
Me: “Leftover enchiladas.”
Coworker, looking nervously from side to side: “Don’t you think that might be a little offensive?”
Me: “No one’s complained about the smell so far. Personally, I think they smell amazing.”
Coworker, in a hushed tone: “No! Not the smell! Chin’s office is right next door!”
Me: “Is Chin hungry? Does he want an enchilada?”
Coworker: “Shhh! He’ll hear you! Don’t you think it’s a little…you know…racially insensitive…to be heating enchiladas right next to the Chinese guy’s office?”
Me: “Eating enchiladas is racist?”
Coworker: “Not racist! Racially insensitive! You’re not taking Chin’s feelings into account!”
Me: “Did you approve your white people soup with Chin before you brought it in?”
Coworker, scoffing: “No! No one is offended by soup!”
Me: “So what if I was eating tortilla soup? Or Mexican corn soup? Or potato soup? Or egg drop soup?”
Coworker: “I don’t think Chin would mind you eating egg drop soup. Or potato soup.”
Me: “Because potatoes are standard Chinese fare?”
Coworker: “No, because they’re potatoes. Who gets offended by potatoes?”
Me: “So…. Chin is only offended by Mexican food then?”
Coworker: “Of course not! You’re not listening to anything I said!”
Me: “Sure I am. Chin is offended because I bought Stouffer’s Chicken Enchiladas out of the freezer section at the grocery store. I then dared to actually MAKE them. And, gasp! EAT them! Chin finds this offensive. I heard you just fine.”
Coworker: “That is NOT what I said! I said you were being racially insensitive by heating ethnic foods next to Chin’s office!”
Me: “So ethnic foods offend ethnic people. Got it.”
Coworker: “No! Stop putting words in my mouth!”
I walked out of the kitchen and popped my head in Chin’s door, “Hey, Chin! You want a chicken enchilada?”
Chin: “Oh, no thanks. I already ate, but now that I can smell it, I think I might need Taco Bell for dinner tonight.”
The moral of the story, kids?
Just because someone doesn’t LOOK like you doesn’t mean they don’t EAT like you.
Stop being so racially insensitive!
There is a conversation going on right now in the IT world. It is a very, very important conversation, a conversation that is long overdue and NEEDS to be had. The problem is that one half of this conversation is living in fear of the other. One half of this conversation is being bullied, abused, and attacked for simply trying to exist.
It’s become an us vs. them scenario, split straight down the gender line, and we are severely outnumbered. There have been a few deflectors from the other side who have stood up, and publicly defended us against their own kind, but these few, brave souls are not enough. I’ve talked to countless members from the other side who tell me they fully agree and support the cause, yet they remain silent…choosing instead to allow the abuse and degradation to continue because “it wasn’t my fight, it wasn’t my life, it wasn’t my rights, it wasn’t my place” and “no one from your side was present when things were said, no one from your side intervened, no one from your side brought it up.”
When our side is standing in a room, outnumbered twenty to one, your one small voice, your five seconds of bravery, your willingness to take a stand because YOU believe in us, can make all the difference in the world. It can turn the meekest wallflower into an outspoken soapboxer. Just knowing that we are not alone, that we are not the only ones willing to stand up for what’s right, that you’ll have our backs when the vultures attack, would mean the world.
But it’s been my realization as of late, that aside from a few big name celebrities, no one from their side is willing to say a word. No one is willing to lend a hand. No one is willing to look at someone of their own variety and say, “No, she has value here, too.” Instead, they hide in the shadows watching every move of the game, but just as afraid of playing as we are, albeit for completely different reasons.
And the silence is deafening.