I was 16 the first time I passionately stated an opinion and after a grown man laughed at me and said, “Tell us what you really think.”
It was Mr. Davids who laughed at me. He was one of those short, square men who coached wrestling. He had been my US History teacher the year before, and the reason I’m such a dummy about US history. We spent most of our history class watching Sally Field movies because he thought she was cute. I know a lot about Sally Field movies and very little about history.
This happened to me more and more frequently as I got older, reaching its pinnacle when I worked at a software company in the early-aughts. Ever single white guy with a VP or Chief in his title did that to me, laughed and then told me to tell them what I really think.
My reaction to this bullshit usually varied from a weak smile to deadpan bitch face depending on how comfortable I was in the situation. I wish I could go back and ask those fuckers if they would like me to make it simpler since they obviously didn’t understand me the first time.