04 February 2017

Laugh It Off and Carry On

A blog about discrimination
I shrugged it off and carried on when I found out the entry level guy was being paid the same as me, when I was the award-winning lead graphic designer on a local commercial magazine. No point in risking my job, that’s just the way things are… Wouldn’t you agree?

I’ve laughed off a lot of gender demeaning comments in my lifetime. They were only joking, right?

I’ve laughed off dudes’ accusations that I must be “frigid" or a “lesbo” because I wouldn’t fall into bed with them… But, that’s just their stupid ego, yeah?

I laughed off men brushing too intimately up against me “accidentally.” That’s just boys being boys, isn’t it?

I laughed it off right up until I was assaulted.

I laughed off and continue to laugh off people turning their backs on me and calling me hateful names because I married an Iranian political refugee. That’s just their ignorance, just their problem, eh? 

We carried on when a woman cursed a blue-streak at my husband – who speaks six languages and graduated on the National Dean’s List – for refusing to hand a six-pack of beer to her elementary school-aged children with the pizza delivery, capping her tirade with “Learn to speak f*cking English or go back where you came from, towel head.”

When someone blocked the alley to our business rear delivery door, and he found the store they were in and asked them politely to move their car; the person followed him to the alley and cursed my husband with every low-class epithet he could spew against immigrants. We carried on. 

We carried on, after 9/11, when someone walked into our business, saw my Iranian-American husband behind the counter, walked up to him and said, I won’t do business with you people after what you did to us in New York.”

I admit my hackles rise when I can NEVER laugh off some ignorant adult calling my son a “sand nigger.” 

I cannot laugh it off when my Christian son is called “ISIS” and threatened that Trump will send him and his dad to the gas chambers by middle school school bullies. 

I did not laugh it off when my son was assaulted by those middle school bullies and left with a serious concussion from which he spent months recovering.

Should I just “let it go” and carry on? 

Should I keep on laughing?

Are you laughing?

When do we stop laughing it off and do something about it?

“Apathy is acquiescence is compliance is approval.” –MomzillaNC

“Hands and hearts and minds and voices committed to working for tolerance, peace and social justice everywhere, always.
” –MomzillaNC

We, women and girls, have been told all our lives not to argue. Who told us that?

We’ve all been told all our lives not to discuss politics. Who told us that?

We women and girls have been told all our lives to “laugh it off” or “get over it.” Who told us that?

We’ve all been told all our lives it’s disrespectful to disagree with our elders. Who told us that?

The people who told us that also said “feminism” or “liberal” or “progressive” or “democrat” were dirty words.

The people who told us that are the very people hammering us with their “conservative” opinions and policies.

I’m sick to death of being told to hush! I’m beyond fed up with being silenced. Like the refrain from “Fight Song” says:

"And all the words I didn’t say…
Wrecking balls inside my brain…
I will scream them loud tonight!
Can you hear my voice this time!?”

We cannot – nay – we MUST NOT allow anyone to silence us ever again! I WILL NOT BE SILENCED!

by D. Denise Dianaty 
© 20 January 2016