The dolphins are abundant this weekend. I watched them jumping out of the water and cruising by. They seem to find the boat interesting, often swimming right beside it.
The beach had its share of crazies but all were located in one area. Once the gauntlet is run, there is nothing but peace and quiet. The shrimp boats come near the beach, plying a nearly lost trade in this area. Foreign imports and fuel prices have made most go out of business.
The sand dollar is actually related to the sea stars. When alive, these critters move along the bottom feeding on algae and small invertebrates. Most of the ones I find are the shell. These are fragile and often broken by the waves.
The ghost crab is one of my favorite beach critters. It can see in all directions with those stalked eyes. Most are hiding out in their burrows during the day. At night, they run to the water to wet their gills.
I don't know how much longer I will be coming to this little island that I treasure. I have spent some wonderful days and nights here. It has been a place of peace. Summer though brings some fairly wild and crazy people with a lot of bad behavior. I have written about the stuff that happens here before: the drinking, unsafe boating, the loud profane music and the women that denigrate themselves by pandering to the sexist males on the power yachts.
Today, I am just fed up. I heard a fellow call a woman some terrible names yesterday. He was about to back into our boat, and she was scared. I have to say that one of the things that throws me into a rage is someone talking disrespectfully and rudely about women or to an individual who is doing no harm. It is hard, saddening, and frightening to watch real people in the real world say hateful things.
The woman was deflated and horrified. She evidently was a guest on his boat. Because his boat was caught up in an anchor line, our two boats were side by side. He eventually offered a kind of off hand apology after I said to knock it off. An apology is not a solution. The real solution is to to be aware and to change behavior.
Words do hurt, even if we are taught that they don't matter. If someone makes sexist jokes, says crude sexist things, and perpetuates sexist ideas that women don't have brains or that they are not valuable unless you think they are sexy, whatever that means, they are low lifes to me.
The gleeful skewering of another person, the disregard for their thoughts and opinions, and the total lack of respect for another person, whoever they are, leaves me sad. I know that this happens every day to all manner of people. And I know that we each have our moments of disregard for others. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t sad to see this happen up close.
And since this incident involved a woman, I want to note that the kind of sexism that places value on women’s appearance before anything else is rampant in our society. Flaws can and will be found with any person if hateful people need them to be there.
What I think this incident reveals is the degree to which hateful beliefs can become ingrained and invisible, and come out especially in moments in which a person feels threatened. When an instinctual, and later intentional response is predicated on racism or sexism or any kind of bigotry, we owe it to ourselves not to sweep our actions under the rug and say we are really a good or nice person, except this one time. Instead it is time to take an honest look at what the root of the issue is.
I needed to write about this because I sorely wanted to kick his ass. That is the instinct that I am inventorying.