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Oct 15 2013

“Batty Man, Lesbians and dem Atheists cause bad weather”: Encountering Sexism, Homophobia and Religious delusion in one move!

It certainly was not one of those days when I looked forward to dealing with a sexist, homophobic bigot, not that I ever look forward to encountering any of that, but when ‘my dear one’ asked me to help supervise the van removal drivers that were to move her things to a new place, I wasn’t expecting to confront all that in a single move.

She reminded me to thoroughly check the inside of the van to make sure none of her things was (intentionally or not) left behind in the van. She then added “They are Jamos, so make sure you check”. ‘Jamos’ is Nigerian short term for Jamaicans. Needless to say, I was irritated at this.  I mean, what has their nationality got to do with how trustworthy they are? I know she would still have insisted I check the van if the van removal drivers were Nigerians, Americans or Britons. But I doubt if she would have added their Nationality for emphasis. Well, If they were fellow Nigerians, she probably would have added that, but if they were Britons, I doubt she would. Yes, I did call her out on this as I am not a fan of discrimination of any kind.

When the van removal driver finally showed up, he came with another Jamaican guy who was to help him with the move. He immediately informed me that the man he brought wants extra money, so he would have to charge more than the agreed price. While I was trying to explain to him about how you don’t just change contracts at whims, the 6 footer plus moving partner he brought wouldn’t let me get a word in. He was abrasive and obviously was used to shouting women down. He was trying to talk over me and I instantly recognize the sexist, patriarchal body language and tone. So, I completely ignored him and directed my attention to the one we had an agreement with.

He wasn’t pleased that I was ignoring him, so he mumbled and grumbled about women not wanting to pay, about African women wanting to take all their money to Africa, he didn’t even spare my hair as he commented on my ‘expensive’ hairstyle and how he is sure I won’t allow any money to come out of my expensive looking purse! All through his banter, I completely pretended he didn’t exist. I truly was not in the mood for his sexist, ignorant banters.

Little did I know that was just a tip of the iceberg! At least it was easy to ignore  him when I was not in confined space with him, but then came the time I had to join them in the van to go drop the loads, I was squeezed or rather sandwiched between the two of them in the front seat. Since it was a journey of less than 10 minutes drive, I did not mind that much.

I noticed it has been drizzling and the ground was slippery, so I thought, it must have been difficult moving heavy loads in this weather, I might as well add some extra money to the agreed price.  So as an opener to the offe34d222ber I noted:

“The weather is really bad today”

The abrasive Jamaican immediately cut me shout with his response

“No, there is nothing wrong with the weather. God made everything perfect. Man spoils everything and made it bad.”

I screamed in my head…Oh nooo, not a bigoted religious asshole too!

He went on in his Jamaican English, which most times I find interesting even sexy but with him, I really had to struggle to hear what he was saying, not that I was interested in listening to any of his batshit talk. He nevertheless rambled on:

“God created everything good, but man made it all bad with sin. Batman made it bad”

In my head I went…Batman? He believes Batman is real too? And what the heck has Batman got to do with bad weather? However, I was not about to engage this despicable man in any discussion so I just stared right ahead. And as if right on cue, he clarified my confused stare.

“You know battyman, dem lesbian, they made everything bad.”

Oh Batty man, not Batman,  goodness me, a homophobe too! BTW, Batty man is an offensive Jamaican word for gays, equivalent to the offensive English word ‘faggot’. So according to this man, gays and lesbians are responsible for the bad weather.

And how is rain really a bad thing?

Was God not going to make it rain before gays came on the scene?

How were the vegetation supposed to grow or was it all part of the grand, divine, mysterious way God was going to provide us food?

Since the main driver appeared more reasonable, at least in his interactions so far, he had been calm and reasonable, I looked at him with the hope that he would stop the drivel of this asshole but he was busy nodding vigorously in agreement with his cohort. Bang went my hope!

The abrasive one continued the assault on my senses:

“You know in this country they allow man and man to get married. Yeah man, man and man marry. They don’t believe in God, yeah man, they don’t. They do evil, now everything is bad, I tell you everything is bad. God made everything good but they made everything bad”.

Oh my goodness, if ever there was a day I wished His Holy Nooddliness, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, would help me choke someone with its saucy Holy Appendages, this surely was the day!5eff246e7ac4ba2c7785bed9d0214848

I thought blaming same sex marriage and atheists for bad weather was the exclusive copyright of American republicans! To hear this balderdash from a Jamaican just made me go “Yuk, no man!

It was a journey of less than 10 minutes and I knew with the time constraint, it was going to be useless engaging in any rational discussion with these people.  They were practically ranting about how gays and atheists have made the weather and the world bad.  If I did not know better, I would have thought they knew about me and just wanted to rile me up.

Normally, I am quick to anger when people spout homophobia or religious delusion in my presence but in this case I looked at both of them going on and on about how God made everything perfect but how gays, lesbians, same-sex marriage and atheists have now made everything bad and all I could feel was an overwhelming sense of sadness. Sadness for the black man, sadness for Africa, sadness for the human race.

Here were two adult black guys from Jamaica who had come to UK to make a better life for themselves. Yet all they have brought with them is their baggage of homophobia, sexism, and religious delusions.

It is irritating when a religious believer, no matter the color of their skin, goes on and on about their Skyddday, but when the annoying Christian or Muslim religious believer is a black person, I just feel this overwhelming sadness in me.  Like Chris Rock said, “A black Christian is a black person with no memory”734789_334547843328637_241749167_n

How do I even begin to explain to these two black men that rain is a natural occurrence?

In this age, aren’t they supposed to know this basic fact?

Didn’t they benefit from elementary education in Jamaica were they came from?

Could it be that the only thing they learned from the missionary schools was the creationist myth spread by their colonizers?

If ‘battyman’, dem lesbians, men who marry men and atheists are the cause of all the bad things in the word, why is Jamaica not a heaven on earth since ‘man no marry man’ in Jamaica?

Why is the ‘saintly’ black man still slaving away in the land of the cursed white man?

If those black men still believe rain is a bad thing caused by gays and atheists, how do I even begin to explain to them that homosexuality is natural?

I was so busy trying to drown out their ignorant voices that I was startled when they asked me for the direction. I opened my eyes, looked out of the window, not familiar with the route they took, I said…” I think you should turn that way”. The driver asked if I was sure but the abrasive one immediately jumped in again and offered his two cents:

“Oh when Jamaican woman says “I think”…eh eh she doesn’t know” and he went on another torrent of how women really don’t know their right from left.  Whoa, such blatant sexism!

Are those people for real? Unfortunately yes, they are real. And they were not spewing this nonsense just because of their presumably low level of education. They really weren’t saying anything new. I have heard almost the same drivel from highly educated people.

Sexism, homophobia, religious delusions all seems to go together. I just wasn’t expecting to have it all heaped on me within an enclosed space of 10 minutes drive! I never even got round to offering the additional money because the abrasive man in-between his sexism, homophobia and religious delusions, wouldn’t let me get a word in!

I did finally give the other man the extra money, but when he said he hope I use their service again,  I took a horrified look at him and muttered “I doubt that very much”. I would most probably need a van removal service in a few weeks time, but one thing I am certain of is that those homophobic men won’t be touching my things!941411_10151608187783704_423354122_n

But come to think of it, most small business Van Removal services I know in my London area are owned by Jamaicans, the odd of running into another homophobic one is quite high, so I’d probably still give the calm one a call but this time insist that he does not come with the abrasive man. I could then proceed to give him a lecture or two about weathers, sexism, homophobia and black history. I bet he never knew that one of the earliest ships used to cart away his ancestors to a lifetime of slavery in foreign land was named Jesus.  Maybe, just maybe that little bit of important information would set him thinking and start a process of emancipation from mental slavery. I am afraid it is going to be a long process.

11 comments

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  1. 1
    Pen

    That really sucks! I would not have given them any extra money. Also you forgot to include xenophobia in your list of bigotries in the title. Unprofessional independent service providers are a massive problem and I don’t know of any way to report them or bring them to book except to push them out of the market as quickly as possible. I have a very short fuse so I think I would have walked out on the deal then and there, but since it was for your friend I suppose you were stuck. Perhaps you could do a search for gay friendly removal for your area for next time? I think Shirleys is well known, but I don’t know if they may cost more than you want to pay.

  2. 2
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    You’d think if we controlled the weather they’d have the good sense to fear us, clearly we’re powerful enough to wipe them out with storms or something. I wish we were half as powerful as bigots make us out to be.

  3. 3
    Meggamat

    This just highlights the importance of disambiguation in all contracts. Meteorological conditions, additional members of a taskforce et cetera should be addressed as possibilities or forbidden in the initial contract. Tautology saves trouble in the long run. Anyway, I hope your associate likes her new home.

  4. 4
    thinkfree83

    Something similar happened to me (I’m in Atlanta, GA, USA). I took my guinea pig to a vet, and the doctor saw that I was reading a book on Judaism. He then proceeded to lecture me about the importance of accepting Jesus and how I would burn in hell if I didn’t. And the kicker was that I was only thirteen at the time, and in the company of my mother! Needless to say, we didn’t visit him again.

  5. 5
    Simon Bellord

    I’ve never seen such a perfect example of a ‘WTF!?’interaction, and in the UK and London of all places.
    Staggering, I do wonder, were these men religious and therefore more likely to be bigoted loons or were bigoted loons and thus more likely to be religious, I would wager the former personally.
    This is far beyond absurd, also nice nod to Bob Marely with ‘Emancipation from mental slavery’, suits the context perfectly.
    I think the only solution is to challenge it, but where to start, without say a time machine is clearly a tough one.

  6. 6
    Ekuba

    Hmm, I’m so sure the guys least expected that a beautiful, nice woman like you was also bisexual! That’s the thing with bigots, they imagine that all of us LGBTs are wierdos walking around with hooves, horns & pitchfork. Isn’t it curious when blacks claim that God will destroy the world/ countries cos of homosexuality? It seems that this god hates black people. Because for 400 plus years, black people were raped,killed, enslaved & colonized but god seemed to love it since he really prospered the colonialists & slave owners. & now all of a sudden, this god who wasn’t bothered by slavery is ready to destroy the world because some men love men & women love women? he wasn’t annoyed by slavery, the holocaust or but he’s brimming with anger because 2 men say they love each other? Lol. I’m not an atheist although I swing between agnoticism & believing that there’s a god & lately, i feel more comfortable believing that there is a god (because I get depressed thinking that this is it ie:, there’s no life after death & we just happen to be here lol) but for the life of me, if i’m going to believe in a god at all, then just like Desmond Tutu, I refuse to serve a god that is homophobic, racist or sexist.

  7. 7
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @Pen- It is definitely a good idea to do a search for gay friendly small businesses. We make so much noise about big businesses that are not LGBT friendly, we write petitions, ask people to boycott their services but we don’t seem to mind taking our daily business to small businesses that are bigoted, homophobic and xenophobic, just because it is convenient and their store is right down the corner of our street. I am definitely going to rethink who I give my hard earned money to.

  8. 8
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    Happiestsadist, opener of the Crack of Doom

    You’d think if we controlled the weather they’d have the good sense to fear us, clearly we’re powerful enough to wipe them out with storms or something. I wish we were half as powerful as bigots make us out to be

    I don’t really think they believe we posses such powers as to cause bad weathers, they just believe or fear that all that same sex loving and sex is causing baby Jesus to cry a flood! To them, our actions not our powers cause bad weather.

    It would be nice if they actually feared us for our presumed powers because then we could threaten them with hurricanes, earthquakes and floods at the snap of our fingers. This should make them fear us the way an African fears a witch or voodoo. Not even all the holy water or anointing oil would make an African voluntarily threaten a witch or voodoo man. lol!

  9. 9
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @Meggamat- Henceforth I am going to make tautology contracts with all things forbidden from discussion listed in it. This should protect me from tautology services! Thanks, I hope the new place proves a better haven than the hell she was leaving behind.

    @thinkfree83 -- it still baffles me why a doctor you’ve gone to for medical treatment would use the opportunity to lecture you about heaven and hell fire. It is so inappropriate but unfortunately very common amongst Nigerian doctors too. Any doctor who made the mistake of stepping out of their boundary with me would definitely get a head load of my anger including a complaint sheet to higher authorities.

    @Simon Bellord- BobMarley does suits many occasions and his words “Emancipate yourself from mental slavery for none but ourselves can free our minds” can never be over emphasized in our mentally chained society. We will keep challenging the prejudice, bigotry and self hate and hope for a positive change.

  10. 10
    Yemisi Ilesanmi

    @Ekuba I guess I don’t tick all the boxes bigots have prepared and since I do not readily fit their stereotypes, they get easily confused when dealing with me.

    The Abrahamic God is certainly not a lover of black people and I continue to be baffled as to why any black person could value holy books filled with stories of atrocities against their kind.

    As to your feeling

    more comfortable believing that there is a god (because I get depressed thinking that this is it ie:, there’s no life after death & we just happen to be here lol)

    there are some secular writings that address those questions and fears. I would suggest materials from fellow Freethought blogger, Greta Christina.

    Comforting Thoughts About Death That Have Nothing To Do With God

    The meaning of Death, Part 3 of Many: Fear, Grief, and Actually Experiencing Your Emotions

    You might want to check out those links at your leisure. :)

  11. 11
    Big Bobby

    How about femeanist delusion? Deceiving others into demonizing men for telling them their breasts,cleavage and rears are lovely.

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