Hey. You look stupid.

To the lady carrying a guitar case in Rundle Mall, 

Image from Flickr by Laura Lewis

Maybe it was because it was Monday. 

Maybe it was because you had had a long night and a hard day ahead. 

Maybe it was because it was just too cold this morning. 

Whatever the reason, you decided to lean forward as I and two friends visiting from Singapore stood at an intersection, and say: “Hey. You look stupid.”

Your voice had poison. Your lip was curled in a sneer. Your eyes reflected disdain. 

It’s true we look different to you. 

We are Asian, you’re Caucasian. 

Our hair is dark and long, while yours is blonde and short. 

Our skin is darker to your fair complexion.

Our clothes have a variety of color, while you’ve chosen to wear simple denim. 

We know we look different, but we never thought our differences made us look ‘stupid’. 

But lady, I assume that because you were carrying a guitar case, that you are a musician. Did you know only 1  in every 5 musicians registered with APRA is a woman? Did you know only 20% of songwriters are women?

You are therefore different. 

You are in an industry that celebrates creativity, individualism, non-conformity and expression. Yet you have chosen to beat down those qualities you saw in three fellow women – people you haven’t even met. 

You started to walk away, while we stared back in shock. Then turned your head back and made a reference to us being slaves, ‘working girls’ and in this country. 

Lady, I hope you felt better after your verbal attack, because I think that putting other people down to make yourself feel better is stupid.