So here's something I was stewing over inspired by the Homophobic Cabbie post on the MP. It's a story from my past that I've always felt weird about but never really known what to do about.
So about 10 years ago I'm going home from the bar. I lived North of the city centre as did a female friend of mine and she, being of wealth and privilege, offered to pay for both of us to cab it north(I knew it would be a roughly 50 dollar cab ride). It being very late and me being very drunk, I agreed. She, however, would need the cab to make a couple of quick stops as she ran in and out of a couple of all-night stores.
So we hail down a cab and get in and the guy driving it is perhaps a little chattier than normal. Chiefly, he focuses on asking whether or not me and the girl are a couple. We laugh and say no, we're just pals but he goes on about how we should be a couple because we're cute together and so on.
Anyways, we get to the stores and my lady friend gets out of the cab and goes into the store and the cab driver begins to say some fairly objectionable things about the reasons why he thinks my friend would be a good person for me to take to bed. Chiefly the sadly all-too-common stereotypes you hear about Asian women(My friend is Korean). I do my best to ignore it and say, you know, "Nah, we're just friends" and so on and eventually she gets out of the shop and the conversation returns to its G rating.
So then we get to the second store and she goes in and the conversation again turns blue but this time, very blue. This time it's the specifically sexualized stereotypes you hear about Asian women. Again, my friend gets into the cab and he cleans up his act. We head back out on the road and I ask my friend if I could crash at her place instead of going home because I didn't want to leave her alone in the cab with him. We go to her place and I sleep on her couch.
So here's the thing. I never told my friend/cabmate about the stuff he said. Should I have? Should I have done something? I suppose the really heroic thing to do would have been to tell the cabbie off while on the cab ride but that struck me as a pretty dicey thing to do. I suppose I could have told her so she could tell the cabbie off during the ride but would that have been right? Would you want to know someone you'd never see again had been saying really gross, inappropriate racist/sexist things about you if you could not know that thing? She seemed pretty oblivious to any possible vibes he might have been putting out there, a couple of times referring to "the one time we had that really chatty cabbie" so I don't want to bum her out.
So...how much of a jerk was I?