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To have felt uncomfortable

(25 Posts)
Edenviolet Thu 26-Jun-14 21:36:18

Went to a small event at school today ds class were doing some activities as a display. One involved skipping-all the girls seemed to find it easy and the boys struggled. One parent said "skipping is obviously a girl thing!" To which another parent said "yes its like dancing, everybody knows white people can't dance" cue lots of laughing and agreement that white people are 'rubbish' at dancing.

I felt really awkward sitting there. I know it wasn't meant to offend me personally but I felt so uncomfortable.

Am I just being over sensitive?

ikeaismylocal Thu 26-Jun-14 21:42:02

I think your being a bit over sensitive, both skipping being gender biased and dancing being racially biased are pretty stupid things to say but I don't think they are especially offensive.

Next time point out to them that footballers skip and Russia has some of the best dancers in the world.

Edenviolet Thu 26-Jun-14 21:44:57

I just suddenly felt very conscious of being the only white person and felt uncomfortable, it was a very odd feeling! Everybody was laughing around me and I just sat there thinking what do I do, I'd been joining in the conversations up till then but suddenly felt like I couldn't.

KirjavaTheCat Thu 26-Jun-14 21:45:33

I don't think being flippant about racial stereotypes is ok, no matter what race you happen to be. So yes, I'd have been hmm too.

UrethraFranklin Thu 26-Jun-14 21:48:40

You could've diffused your feelings of awkwardness by showing off your twerking skills. It was an inappropriate thing to say but I wouldn't have felt too offended unless it was directed at me personally.

Pilgit Thu 26-Jun-14 21:49:29

Being flippant about casual stereotypes is, in my view, dangerous. However if I had had the presence of mind I might have responded 'you really should watch high school musical and then tell James Jordan he can't dance' (hsm has a jump rope sequence - I shall now go bury my head in shame for knowing that)

VashtaNerada Thu 26-Jun-14 21:51:22

Boys can't skip... white people can't dance... hmm They sound like idiots.

SissySpacekAteMyHamster Thu 26-Jun-14 21:52:25

Have to admit, I wouldn't ever make a remark that another ethnic group couldn't do something as well as my ethnic group, as it would come across as racist.

I live in a very multi-cultural community, am in the Middle East and there are apparently over 200 different nationalities here.

It is very easy to offend someone unintentionally.

However, you can choose to be offended and sometimes, if you know the people involved in the exchange and are comfortable enough with them, you can give as good as you get.

ShutTheFuckUpBarbara Thu 26-Jun-14 21:53:42

If was a pretty stupid thing to say and I would probably have felt a bit uncomfortable too.

Although I would probably have said something in a jokey way to make it clear I wasn't impressed.

But I am known for my big gob.

Edenviolet Thu 26-Jun-14 21:53:43

Well, I suppose I am white (and rubbish at dancing!) so perhaps that's why I felt so uncomfortable!

It just suddenly turned a normal everyday situation where I felt comfortable into something where I just felt very awkward. I do tend to be over sensitive sometimes though and I won't be taking it to heart as a lot of the people there iam quite good friends with it just took me by surprise.

PhaedraIsMyName Thu 26-Jun-14 22:02:43

"White people can't dance" is an incredibly stupid thing to say. Actually stupid isn't the right word. I don't even know what they mean by it, so perhaps "meaningless" might be better.

Optimist1 Thu 26-Jun-14 22:07:57

Out on a limb here ... I read it that the person making the girls/skipping remark was being admonished for the gender-bias of the remark by the second parent.

Edenviolet Thu 26-Jun-14 22:10:15

They were all just joking in general, I felt for the boys that were within earshot of the skipping comment as they were trying so hard and then the dancing comment just made me feel a bit awkward.

WorraLiberty Thu 26-Jun-14 22:11:33

I read it the same way as you Optimist1

Edenviolet Thu 26-Jun-14 22:19:40

Maybe it was that then. My judgement is a bit skewed I will blame three nights of having to get up every two hours for that !

Optimist1 Thu 26-Jun-14 22:33:31


DottyDooRidesAgain Thu 26-Jun-14 22:36:45

I read it the same as Opt.

There was a film some years ago called white men can't jump. Do you feel sensitive about that too OP?
(Genuinely asking not being sarcastic)

EarthWindFire Thu 26-Jun-14 22:44:34

Boys can't skip... white people can't dance... They sound like idiots.

^ this

Edenviolet Thu 26-Jun-14 23:01:47

Not particularly as it is in a different context (I'd not heard of that film before) .its a film I know nothing about whereas today I was sitting between people who were saying things that made me feel uncomfortable so a different situation.

I'm not sure why they said it but I'm willing to just forget about it as they are all usually really nice and there's not ever been anything like that said before so I'm inclined to think it was a combination of a silly comment on their part and me being over sensitive due to tiredness.

Optimist1 Thu 26-Jun-14 23:12:49

Ah, Hedgehog - if you don't remember that film perhaps you're so young that you've never come across the "all black folks got great rhythm" comment? It sounds as though what was said today was a tongue-in-cheek reference to that. No offence meant to you and your dancing abilities! Hope you get some sleep tonight.

ChameleonCircuit Fri 27-Jun-14 07:54:23

Have these people not heard of Rudolph Nureyev or Margot Fonteyn?

And skipping? A girl thing? I think Amir Khan might argue the toss on that one.

gamerchick Fri 27-Jun-14 08:06:34

There's no such thing as racism against white people don't you know OP.. apparently you're just being over sensitive. Change white to black and people would have jumped all over it in outrage. hmm

somewheresomehow Fri 27-Jun-14 14:19:01

So very true 'gamerchick' if it was the other way round i bet they would all be bleating about horrible racist comments and how people should be banned from the school grounds

Legwarmers Sun 29-Jun-14 21:26:19

Hello OP. I'm not sure if you are being over sensitive, but it probably gives you a little insight into the humiliating, feeling that many of us have to go through when we find ourselves in a minority situation.

somewheresomehow / gamerchick There is a crucial element missing - which is power - "black people" what ever that may encompass for you, don't have the political, social or economic power that runs alongside discrimination.

PhaedraIsMyName Mon 30-Jun-14 13:05:41

Legwarmers a group of white people going on about how all black people have great natural rhythm and a group of black people going on about how all white people can't dance are equally engaging in perpetuating unthinking,hackneyed, sweeping generalisations based on the colour of skin.

Both are examples of institutional racism. It's low grade and not particularly harmful to either group but it's still thinking based on an assumption that a characteristic applies en masse to one group.

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