Okay, so I've had mixed stories about Little Old Ladies in the Pool--this is, in its essence, white suburbia at its most conservative. The other day I got into the water spoiling for a fight. Someone said I looked pissed, and I replied, "Let's just say if anyone here thinks putting kids in cages is okay, I'm not going to mince words."
Nobody messed with me that day, and I wasn't sure if it was because I was scary (don't laugh!) or if it was because they agreed.
Today I was in sort of a "get down to business" mood, and the instructor (a new one, but so far so good!) responded to someone speaking behind me with, "Hey--no comments from the peanut gallery!"
I blinked. Liberal Twitter has branded that expression as a nonstarter and I was surprised to hear it--but I also know that most of these ladies aren't on Twitter, so they might not have heard it was a racist throwback, and something we're sort of trying to phase out of use.
And then the instructor blew my mind.
"Oops! I'm not supposed to say that! Shoot! I forgot!"
"Because it's racist--it's a throwback to the time when black people were forced to be up in the balcony. I gotta remember that."
And I was expecting blowback--it's hard to change, and these were older women, right?
But they went, "Oh! Okay! I didn't know that--I'll stop saying that now! Oh yeah--one of my favorite songs turned out to be racist--I was so bummed, but, you know, gotta think about what you're saying. Yeah--I mean, it's always been there, we just need to pay attention now. It's not easy but yeah. Gotta remember to change that. Oh yeah--we don't want to hurt anybody. Right?"
And then the subject changed.
And so this week, which has been miserable in terms of politics, and hopeless and painful, got to be a little bit better.
Because you hear a lot about how white women helped the white men wreck the world--and knowing people who actually said to my face, "But I can't vote for Hilary--my whole family is Republican," I believe it.
But seriously--if these women can change in something like this, the world doesn't have to fall to shit.
I can cross my fingers.
It was a very nice moment.