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Friday, October 09, 2009

Bigots: It's None of Your Business

These are two incidences that happened within the same week in July, in downtown Toronto. I'm used to people asking me where I'm from, because they get confused about how someone who looks European has such an "ethnic" name. But in the space of one week, I had two creepy strangers come up to me and use my "exotic" ethnicity as an excuse to hit on me.

Incident one: I was listening to my iPod waiting on the subway platform at Spadina. A guy comes up to me and says something, I take my headphones out, and this is seriously what he says: "Excuse me, are you German? Because you look so good in that dress."
I was in a really good mood, so I just smiled politely and said no. Then he started asking "Norwegian? Swedish? Swiss?" He went through pretty much all of Western Europe before he started on Eastern Europe. I told him "You'll never guess, and I'm not going to tell you."
Then he acted all offended, "You're not going to tell me? That's so mean, why are you being mean to me? Can I have your number so I can call you and find out where you're from?"
Luckily, the subway came then, and I just said "I'm not single, and it's none of your business anyway." He looked pissed!

Incident two: This one actually really pissed me off. I went to the store at the ground level of my apartment building to buy cigarettes. I was turning to go back into my building when a skeezy looking middle aged guy stops me.
"Excuse me, where are you from? Are you from Switzerland?"
That day I really wasn't in the mood for it, and I was pretty cold when I said "No." and tried to leave. But it was right in front of my building and he was following me. He started going through all of the Western and Eastern European countries, when I noticed his accent and asked where he was from. He said he's Albanian, and I said, ah, my great-grandfather was Albanian. Then he says, "Okay, so how about a nice Albanian girl like you has a coffee with a nice Albanian guy like me?"
I told him no, I'm married and I don't have coffees with strange men. He then proceeded to tell me that I couldn't possibly be married because I look "too fresh and lovely, and married women are all tired and unhappy", and he asked if my husband was Canadian. I told him "My husband's ethnicity is none of your business, he's a Muslim and I'm a Muslim, and neither of us have coffee with people who stop us on the street."
Then he got REALLY MAD, and told me not to be Muslim because only poor Albanians are Muslim, and I'm too young and beautiful to be married to a Muslim man! I didn't bother telling him that it's my Italian husband who's the convert, I just walked away. A dirty pervert and a bigot!

Submitted by Zeyneb