Wednesday, 4 September 2013
Talking about tattoos.
I want to share with you a conversation I had with a customer at work recently. First let me set this up a little. I work in a public facing environment My uniform is short sleeved and therefore you can see the bottom of the tattoos I have on both arms poking out. I usually get positive comments about my tattoos, many customers will compliment them, ask me where I had them done and its mostly a positive, if fleeting, exchange that leaves me smiling.
Then this customer says to me; 'at least you don't have them on your bottom'.
I say 'I'm sorry', my mind racing thinking I'm covered in some kind of dirt. He repeats it adding in the word roses, and still it takes me a second to remember I have roses on my left arm. I'm like 'oh right, your referring to Cheryl Cole'. He proceeds to explain he thought he better add in the roses part, lest he be slapped for commenting on my bum. Justification at its finest. He starts to give his opinion on Cheryl Cole's tattoo, looking at me like we are going to start a sniping session right there and then. I disappoint him by telling him I don't consider 'woman gets tattoo' to be news. Yes his face did drop a little. He then tells me its ugly, blah, blah, to which I reply a tattoo on the bum is quite painful and she's actually quite brave, to which he replies, serves her right.
I am left feeling quite sorry for this man, quite comfortable in his misogyny and buying into this type of 'news'. It's a shame that he is not quite intelligent enough to realise that starting off a sentence with 'at least you don't' could never be a compliment, and the naivety that the justifications of his comments would only earn him a slap around the face.
If only this conversation had happened in a different setting!! It would have been a lot shorter with me firstly telling him to stop commenting on my bum! But I also think had it happened where I could speak more of my mind it wouldn't have changed him. He may of built excuses as to why the conversation turned sour and the blame would probably land at my feet.
Because people like him have to learn on their own. Eventually he will realise how small and closed off his life has become through judging every one and justifying bad attitudes.
Or he might not. He has to live with that.
Either way it hasn't changed me. The only impact this man made was to slightly deepen my understanding of misogyny and ignorance.
This is literally the only interaction I've had outside my family about Cheryl Cole's tattoo. I didn't write any thing at the time the 'news broke', because I simply don't have an opinion. I don't care.
My first rule of my personal feminism is don't tear other people down. Who ever they are.
I hope I haven't come across as tearing down this man, this is simply me processing what occurred and trying to get a positive from it.
Trying to take a step back and find a positive is a very hard thing to do and something I find hard, but with this man it wasn't too difficult.
Tattoo love and kisses!