Diary of a Mad Coed in her Prime: It’s a Breast, You Boob

by on March 5, 2011 · 5 comments

in Culture, Media

By Kit-Bacon Gressitt / Excuse Me, I’m Writing

“They gotta learn some phone manners,” he said, angrily scrawling the address of his next fare. “They call me and then they’re talking to somebody else — in Spanish! — and I’m saying, ‘Hello, Fallbrook Taxi, Fallbrook Taxi, Fallbrook Taxi!’”

My taxi driver ended his rant with a snort and a “How ya doing?” his nicotine-stained fingertips drumming the steering wheel while he dredged a glob of phlegm from his depths.

Meanwhile, my fanny puckering at his comment, I reached for a response, any response other than telling him to pull over and let me out. Abandoning my ride would have satisfied my desire to escape his bigotry and deprive him of my $2.50 fare, but it also would have delayed my return to my desk, and, since delving into school full time, I schedule my days in 15-minute intervals. I couldn’t afford to lose an entire unit of homework time to the careless ramblings of a tobacco-addled bigot. So I went with a compromise.

“That behavior is not restricted to any particular ethnicity or race,” I said, staying firmly buckled into my seat. “My lily-white, U.S.-born family does that all the time.”

But I’d spoken too soon: There was more to his rant.

“And babies hanging off the boob,” he spat, “screaming in my ear.”

I reached for the door handle, hesitated and remembered my primary goal for the day: to use every waking moment to study for midterms, not to save the world or myself from idiots. That would have to wait.

But that word he used, “boob,” that stuck in my craw. His delivery had transformed it from a bit of comic slang to a sexist, racist slur. He was talking about female body parts, intimate parts to which he would never be granted access — surely not by me or the Latinas he targeted with his ire. His only way to lay any claim to said breasts was to belittle them and thus lend import to his job as a taxi driver in the bucolic berg of Fallbrook. What a boob!

I couldn’t stop the words from tumbling out. “Hey there, guy. I nursed my daughter in public — for more than two years! And, by the way, she’s Latina.”

He fell silent, drumming the wheel, waiting for my exit so he could light up again in the non-smoking cab.

I welcomed his silence, stared out the window and thought of all the places I’d dragged my child “hanging off the boob”: the restaurants and demonstrations, the public hearings and backyard barbecues, the campaign trails and grocery stores. Oh, a few folks freaked, but the vast majority of people endorsed us with a smile or a nod.

But I wondered: Had our skin been a little darker, would we have been reviled instead, banned for being brown and female and, thus, boob-feeding, not breast-feeding?

And I wondered if I would have been as annoyed with the driver if my daughter were not Latina.

Or if I were not a woman.

Or if the taxi driver had not been male and white.

Or if it were not March, National Women’s History Month.

Or if the world were not still so riddled with hateful anti-woman, anti-other-than-heterosexual-white attitudes and policies and laws and institutions.

He pulled up to my house, looked at the same-sex marriage sign on my gate and said, “So, you support the right to marry, do you?” and followed that with another productive hack of phlegm.

“Yes,” I said, “I do,” and exited the taxi, wondering where his loogie landed.

Sometimes it’s a real challenge to travel through a world where white male taxi drivers think a white female fare is all ears for his sexist, racist sputum.

Where the men of The Koala tabloid think calling a woman “fat whore” and “uppity skank” can pass as satire.

Where U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts doesn’t recognize the profanity in calling a homosexual a “fag.”

Where the cultish Christians of Westboro church* enjoy disrupting funerals with signs that read “God Hates Fags,” “God Hates Jews” and “Thank God for Dead Solders.”

It’s enough to make a gal mad. In fact, when I first told my kiddo I had selected women’s studies as my college major, she rolled her eyes and warned me, “You’re just going to get more angry than you already are.”

And she’s right. But you know what? I wish I were even more angry than that. I wish more people were even more angry, angry enough to get out of the taxi and hoof it home. Because in the United States, idiots can freely say whatever horrendous things they can think — until they slander or libel someone — and, in the meantime, our most effective recourse is to aim for their wallets.

So I won’t be using Fallbrook Taxi until their drivers are trained to keep their prejudicial thoughts to themselves while they’re driving on my dime.

I will continue to call The Koala’s advertisers to ask them to stop supporting homophobic, misogynistic, pedophilic, racist and sexist content (see numbers below).

And I’ll certainly never put a sawbuck in Westboro’s collection plate.


Call The Koala advertisers to ask them to withdraw their support of the tabloid’s homophobic, misogynistic, pedophilic, racist and sexist content.

  • Goldfingers Gentlemen’s Club, Owner Aaron Goldberg: 858-530-0766
  • The Dank Bank: 619-589-0117 or thedankbank619@yahoo.com
  • The General Store Coop: 858-450-3080 or trex@generalstorecoop.com
  • PB Entertainment, Owners Mike Ettenberg and Jason Sampas: 858-598-7759
  • Porter’s Pub & Grill: 858-587-4828
  • Spirits of St. Germaine: 858-455-1414
  • Therapeutic Healing Cooperative: 619-717-8060 or 866-378-1726

Kit-Bacon Gressitt is a writer and host of Fallbrook’s monthly Writers Read open mic. She can be reached at kbgressitt@gmail.com. Her commentary and political fiction can be read at this website.

*NOTE: Although I’m not a fan of website hacking, it is divinely interesting to note that a couple notorious hackers, Anonymous and The Jester, have gone after the Westboro Baptist Church websites, some of which have been down since February 24 and remain down as of publication of this column:

  • www.americaisdoomed.com
  • www.godhatesfags.com
  • www.westborobaptistchurch.com
  • www.yourpastorisawhore.com

Interview with Anonymous representative and Westboro Baptist Church representative, Shirley Phelps-Roper:

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Danny Morales March 6, 2011 at 10:28 am

Thanx K-B for your ongoing contributions to the community at large. Your intro reminded me of the virulent distraction that many of us haven’t yet been inoculated for. Or maybe we have to get the immunity through our mother’s milk. In any case thank you for this post. – Danny


K-B March 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm

Ah, yet another good argument for breastfeeding!


annagrace March 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm

K-B, I’d like to add just a few more items to your list of roadblocks to travel:
1. The relentless Republican agenda of eliminating women’s abilities to make their own reproductive health decisions.
2. The relentless Republican class and gender warfare against the public sector/unions- think nurses, teachers, librarians, social workers, home health care aids-Women!
3. El Douche Supremo Alito doesn’t think the 14th amendment bans sex discrimination.
As Zippy the Pinhead once said- “It all looks like Republicans and meat!”

That being said, I have a taxi tale of my own. My husband recently had outpatient surgery and we took a cab to the Kaiser facility in Otay. Our cab driver was a very affable Ethiopian, and we called him to also pick us up on the return trip. I asked him about how he ended up in City Heights, and what he thought about life here.

He was very aware of the tenderness and concern exchanged between my husband and me, and asked how long we had been with each other. I told him 38 years. He fell silent for a few moments and then said “In Africa it is different. Here women have equality.” There was another pause. “Here, it is better.”

I savored that moment. This Ethiopian immigrant, male no less, with five kids and a wife, talked to us about how and why equality is better.

So just when I thought it was all Republican and meat, I had a chance to talk to Ahmed, the cab driver.


annagrace March 6, 2011 at 3:06 pm

AAARGH. That’s Scalia, not the other Douche Supremo Alito.


K-B March 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Lovely story, Annagrace. Thank you for sharing it.


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