When is the last time you spoke up?

When was the last time you spoke up against sexism? racism? or any other form of discrimination?

I was at my significant other’s hockey game and during the middle of the game heard “what, are you wearing a dress?” yelled over the ice from the opposing team. Both teams had a female on the ice rink playing for them but neither batted an eye. The comment was directed to my significant other’s team even though they were beating them. I sat there, frozen, unsure of what to do or how to respond. The benches where the teams sat were on the opposite end of the rink and were almost inaccessible to me. I felt helpless and pissed off at the comment and my lack of opportunity to speak up.

When was the last time you called someone out-stranger, teacher, coworker, significant other, or your best friend for making a sexist/racist/homophobic statement? How many times have you heard someone use “retarded” in a joking sense?  How many more comments do you have to hear before you stand up for humanity? How “comfortable” do you have to be with the offending person before you say something? If they are not going to change on their own,  how can you or I change to speak up for yourself or others?

“The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn. ” – Gloria Steinem

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

Join the Conversation