Last week, I went to a lunch and saw someone who thinks I called him out as being sexist. We were in line for food at the same time, and I said hello. He looked down and around, and anywhere but at me. When I introduced a topic of conversation, letting him know I had mailed something to his office, he said, “WHAT?!” and walked away.
He looked very uncomfortable.
I felt a heavy weight in my stomach: I’m a troublemaker. He hates me because I’m a troublemaker, I thought. It’s not even fair because I didn’t even mean to call him out as sexist . . . the first time.
Then, I was talking with a colleague today. She mentioned a situation of hers in which a man did something inappropriate and she hadn’t wanted to be a troublemaker. Suddenly, I saw my situation differently.
Let’s talk about it in terms of race:
If I’m in a room with a friend, and a colleague makes a racist comment about that friend, I want to be a troublemaker. I want to tell that person to stop.
I don’t want to be a rude person. I want to be firm and calm. But, if it is troublemaking to correct discrimination, then count me in.
I offer the same friendship to myself and any other woman. If it is troublemaking to take care of us, our safety, and our dignity, then count me in.
I am a troublemaker.
Will you join me?