Warning: strong language and mature themes ahead.
It’s not often I’m rendered speechless, but it’s happened tonight. And while I usually wait to get home before I blog, I had to stop what I was doing and grab my phone to write this. It’s not even about the library, really, but how times have changed. (Get off my lawn!)
Two related incidents to share: a group of teens – all boys, and whether that has anything to do with it, I don’t know, but I’m just relating this for the record – were making noise in the hallway and generally being loud, so I stepped outside to ask them to quiet down. Not in a stern way, but just in a “Hey, it’s a little loud, could you lower your voices please” kind of way.
What response did I get? A “suck my dick” from one of the boys. Which – okay. I’ve heard worse. And my boss was there, so she called security, and I went back to shelving. (This probably was the same kid who responded in the exact same way when a coworker asked him to quiet down the other day).
Not 20 minutes later, I was taking books to the teen space, and saw two teenage boys walking toward me. One of them had on a shirt reading “It’s not going to suck itself.”
I’ve seen classless t-shirts before, and I’ve heard slurs and swears, and it’s not even the disrespect that gets me, though that could be its own post. Nope, it’s the blatant misogyny, the way to respond to females in power and to broadcast to the world how little respect you have for others. Would the “suck my dick” guy have responded the same way if there had been girls in the group? Not that I can ask them to respect me when they can’t respect themselves, of course. To demonstrate that kind of sexism and overt unnecessary dominance shows their insecurity.
Frankly, if that’s the best statement they can make in a situation, in any situation, to respond with a sexist command and to broadcast sexism in their clothing, it doesn’t deserve a response. So I’m going back to work.