Tuesday, November 11, 2008

This Is Where The Party Ends

So let's say your'e at a gathering of co-workers on a Saturday night.

And let's say that one party-goer is a woman who hasn't attended a social event with you in forever.

And let's say that at said party, said party-goer thinks it's a fab idea to tell Anti-Semetic jokes.

Three of them.

And she's totally undeterred by the uncomfortable statements everyone makes between the jokes ("Um, wow, I think I'm a bit too close to teaching Night to hear this..."), in fact noticing how awkward the situation is and then continuing with the jokes.

How would you handle this situation? Create a diversion to draw attention from the bigoted jokester? Skip the passive aggressive and go right to aggressive with her? Whatcha gonna do? Spit in her eye?

Seriously, I'm fascinated. Share away.


The Social Reformer said...

probably the diversion method

Lisa S. said...

Looking at the person with a confused look followed up by "I don't understand. What does that mean?" works well for me. Because when they actually are about to have to explain, "Jews (insert anti-Semitic stereotype here)" they generally don't want to sound OVERTLY bigoted even though they've been telling bigoted jokes.

I used to let stuff like this go by ignoring it or walking away, but then I spent the summer in Europe studying the Holocaust. Nine days studying at Auschwitz makes any party discomfort seem ridiculously trivial.

Scott Jones said...

Well, it of course always depends upon the person and the context, but I'd probably say something. I know my partner would if he were with me, so I probably would say something first because I'd probably be gentler with her.

btw to return to something fun I used to do -- the word verification is "fackboer" -- a South African curse word

Amanda Shankle-Knowlton said...

The last time I was in this type of situation, I followed up with the offender by email. The email had a breezy, positive tone but let him know that I found his comments unwelcoming and inappropriate. Sometimes all it takes it to let someone know that their behavior is being watched and judged for them to take a closer look at themselves and what comes out of their mouths.

It depends on the person, and what was said - If it is something that I feel needs to be corrected right away and publicly, I wouldn't worry about embarrassing the offender but I'd adjust my level of tact depending on whether I need to maintain a civil relationship with this person.

educat said...

Thanks to all. I'm surprised at the number of you who commented here.

In the end, I asked the co-worker if those jokes were the result of her sending her daughter to "that fine Catholic university" (the one where Mel Gibson is rumored to have sent his child...I KNOW!) and the friend next to me shared that her daughter was at a Bar Mitzvah that very night with the family for whom she nannies.

She got the message and apologized, but we've all been shocked.