motodraconis: (Rock)
[personal profile] motodraconis
This is something I meant to post up after my dad died. I never did in the end - well, there was a lot going on. But the incident pops into my head fairly frequently, and angers me even now, a year and a half on. I think it will always anger me. And this sort of thing happens quite a lot, so I get reminded of it regularly enough. A chum posted the article below on facebook. As I said there, if anyone ever whines at you that you're being oversensitive for complaining about "a nice man just wanting to cheer you up by asking you to smile" or other such bullshit, feel free to tell them my story. I hope it encourages such people to mind their own business in future.

Smile Dear

THE POLITICS OF SMILING AS A WOMAN.



True Story. The last time a complete stranger, a man on the street told me to "cheer up and smile" was the very morning my father died.

So I told him. "My father died this morning. For the past month he had been in pain from cancer, for four days I'd watched him unconscious, clearly in pain and distress, struggling to breathe. I'd watched him die that morning. No, he did not look peaceful. He died in agony. And now, right this minute, I am walking to the funeral parlour to arrange for them to take my father's body away, while my mother sobs in the house. So no, I will not cheer up for you, I will not smile."

And you know what. He started to have a go at me. Started calling me a miserable bitch for not smiling at him. He followed me down the road as I walked to the funeral parlour, having a go at me for being a bitch. His friend was pulling at him, saying "for god's sake, leave her alone," and he kept going, until his friend pulled him away. Or else he'd have kept going to the door of the funeral parlour.

True story. The very day my dad died.

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