Okay, so I’ve had mixed stories about Little Old Ladies in the Pool–this is, in its essence, white suburbia at its most conservative. The other day I got into the water spoiling for a fight. Someone said I looked pissed, and I replied, “Let’s just say if anyone here thinks putting kids in cages is okay, I’m not going to mince words.”
Nobody messed with me that day, and I wasn’t sure if it was because I was scary (don’t laugh!) or if it was because they agreed.
Today I was in sort of a “get down to business” mood, and the instructor (a new one, but so far so good!) responded to someone speaking behind me with, “Hey–no comments from the peanut gallery!”
I blinked. Liberal Twitter has branded that expression as a nonstarter and I was surprised to hear it–but I also know that most of these ladies aren’t on Twitter, so they might not have heard it was a racist throwback, and something we’re sort of trying to phase out of use.
And then the instructor blew my mind.
“Oops! I’m not supposed to say that! Shoot! I forgot!”
“Because it’s racist–it’s a throwback to the time when black people were forced to be up in the balcony. I gotta remember that.”
And I was expecting blowback–it’s hard to change, and these were older women, right?
But they went, “Oh! Okay! I didn’t know that–I’ll stop saying that now! Oh yeah–one of my favorite songs turned out to be racist–I was so bummed, but, you know, gotta think about what you’re saying. Yeah–I mean, it’s always been there, we just need to pay attention now. It’s not easy but yeah. Gotta remember to change that. Oh yeah–we don’t want to hurt anybody. Right?”
And then the subject changed.
And so this week, which has been miserable in terms of politics, and hopeless and painful, got to be a little bit better.
Because you hear a lot about how white women helped the white men wreck the world–and knowing people who actually said to my face, “But I can’t vote for Hilary–my whole family is Republican,” I believe it.
But seriously–if these women can change in something like this, the world doesn’t have to fall to shit.
I can cross my fingers.
It was a very nice moment.