“Tossed Salad” by Bernice Johnson Reagon. (illustrator) This whimsical work will make you laugh and get excited about food. In this fun family friendly meal, a young mother gathers her children around her table for dinner. The mother is dressed in her usual mustard yellow dress with straw hat, while her younger child is dressed in his little blue dress. All of them are wearing their school ribbon on their dresses. The mother asks her children to name something that they like, then she serves them their dinner.
The meal is served and everyone sits down, but before they can eat anything, the mother calls out, “Toss salad in the pot!” to her children. They oblige and the mother serves them their dish with her fork and knife, while she makes a few monogramming gestures with her hands. In the process, the grandmother and the kids have a great time making an amusing verbal sex pun that ends in some good belly laughs.
I bet you didn’t think it was going to get much better! So, now the grandmother starts off her story about her life and how much she hates being called by her middle name, ” Jill.” The kids start laughing and the story takes another turn. Suddenly, the children are talking about how good mom can be when it comes to oral sex–how she toss someone’s salad in her face.
Can you see what is going on? The grandmother is telling the kids a story that describes her life in sexual innuendo and how she tosses salad in someone’s face to spice things up. Now, isn’t that funny? The story ends with the mother, who by now has moved on to describing how she gets a money shot from a guy with a cucumber for a nose job. In her defense, she says the cucumber was fake.
Can you see how easy it is to degrade women in a way that makes them feel less self-worth? If this is how women are made fun of, then why would anybody want to make sexual innuendos at other people’s expense? It just doesn’t make sense. However, there are those who will do it just for the sake of degrading women. In fact, that is exactly what the sexual harasser did to his victims.
One thing you should know about jokes is that they are not always wholesome. If a joke cracks down your pants you may find it is a bit hard to take it any further. If someone is making fun of your daughter’s choice in clothing, or how she dresses around the house, then it is time to draw the line. You don’t need to continue the argument with that person or continue making attacks on her family because she is using you as a punching bag.
The lesson here is to be considerate of others and think about how your actions could have an impact on them. This does not mean you can belittle them, but you also shouldn’t use degrading language or act in an abusive manner. If you feel the need to insult someone in order to shut them up, then do it when you know that will have no negative effects. Otherwise, you might find yourself losing an entire family or alienating a very good friend.