What did you just say to me?: How to deal with adults with poor social skills
|Four Fine Gentlemen at last year's Funstival debut.|
Thirty minutes later, a close friend (who also happens to be a woman in a band) showed up. I told her about the "neener neener neener I'm a better bass player than you" comment and she flipped out. She flipped out like I usually flip out when someone says shitty stuff like that to my friends. I pointed to the guy, and she proceeded to tell him he was rude, inappropriate and, most of all, dumb. I eventually pulled her away from the situation, because Billy Madison was still sporting that insane smile, leading me to believe he was either mentally incapacitated or possibly thinking about punching her in the face.
For most of the four years I've been in this band, we've existed in a bubble; we play shows with other like-minded men and women who don't see gender as a valid differentiation. But it is by no means a vacuum -- we do interact with bands and crowds outside of this DIY utopia, and it's then that we encounter misguided machismo, unsolicited advice and people who tend to say things before actually thinking.
I can't assume the man who was a better bass player than me said such a thing because I was a woman, but something tells me that if I wasn't, he wouldn't have felt so comfortable hurling an insult. If that was the case, I really don't care. I'm not going to stop playing because a stranger told me I sucked, once. But next time, maybe I'll react like my friend Alex does when she's faced with a visible-loser mentality -- though I don't think I have the ovaries to knock a guy on crutches to the ground, pour a beer on some dude's head or, well, just punch a man in the face.
In the end, though, I have advice for people who desire to make others feel small: Just don't say that kind of shit to anyone. Ever.