Not everything is about you

04 June 2014

Hi. I couldn’t help but notice you glaring at me and my daughter.

Look, we’re genuinely not trying to make your life hard or unpleasant by being here. We just need to get from this place, to this other place, and being Melbourne the tram seemed like a nice option.

I know that Z is being a bit loud. All the babbling and exclamations are because she’s excited. She’s young enough not to have to worry about money or work or relationships (or other people’s arbitrary expectations of her deportment) and this tram ride is literally the most exciting thing to happen to her all day. Everything that happens to her is the most exciting thing to happen to her all day. To four year olds, the world is amazing.

I’m sure that when you were her age you knew your place, were seen and not heard, showed respect for your elders (and look how great you turned out) and honestly, I’m encouraging her to be as respectful of the other passengers on the tram as she is able to understand, but no matter how much you glare at us I’m not going to shush her. So you might as well give that face a rest before you strain something.

You see, Z isn't just a child. She's also a little girl growing up in a world that continues to tell women that their place is to be demure, polite, deferential, and most of all quiet when the men speak. So if it’s okay with you (and if I’m being perfectly honest, even if it’s not) for now I’m going to err on the side of caution and teach her that her place is everywhere, because quite frankly someone has to.

We’re genuinely not trying to make your life hard or unpleasant. But hey, not everything is about you.