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    The Engendered Confusion, Part 2

    | St. Paul, MN, USA | Bigotry, Family & Kids, Wild & Unruly

    (I’m in my hometown, babysitting my three-month-old nephew while my brother gets some much-needed sleep. I live on campus nearby, but because I look much younger than I am people tend to assume I’m still in high school. I’m picking up some groceries with my nephew when an older woman grabs my arm.)

    Older Woman: “You ought be be ashamed of yourself! How dare you!”

    Me: “I’m sorry?”

    Older Woman: “Parading your little b*****d around like it’s no big deal to get pregnant and drop out!”

    Me: “Ma’am, I didn’t drop out. I—”

    Older Woman: “Don’t you lie to me, you stupid b****! I’ll have you thrown out of the store!”

    (My nephew begins to cry.)

    Older Woman: “See, look at what an incompetent mother you are! You’re just letting him cry without—”

    Me: “Listen, lady: I don’t know what your problem is, but making my nephew cry because you’re screaming at me is not okay. Even if he was my kid, do you really think it’s okay to yell at a stranger because they may or may not have made a choice you disagree with?”

    (As I say this, I can see the store manager, a close family friend, approach to see what the fuss is about.)

    Older Woman: “I can’t believe you! I’m going to get the manager and he’s going to teach you about respecting your elders, and maybe he’ll teach you to keep your legs closed!”

    Manager: “Don’t bother. You…” *points at her* “…get out of my store, NOW.”

    Older Woman: “I am a paying customer! You cannot—”

    Manager: “I can and I will, and unless you want the police to get involved, you’ll leave now.”

    Older Woman: “This little b****—”

    Manager: “—first of all, is a GUY, and second of all, is on the honor roll at [University], and third, is my son’s best friend and grandson’s babysitter.”

    (At this, the older woman turns red and leaves without buying anything. My nephew stops crying almost immediately.)

    Me: “Thanks, Mr. [Name].”

    Manager: “No problem, kiddo.” *grins* “It was kinda fun getting to yell at her. I’ve just got one question.”

    Me: “Yeah?”

    Manager: “Did she seriously think you were a teenage mother?”

    Me: *shrugs* “Some people…”

    Related:
    The Engendered Confusion