Tag Archives: education

“It’s not my job to educate you about my oppression!”

Whenever too many logical questions are asked regarding someone’s standing in the Oppression Olympics (too many for comfort apparently), this seems to be a retort of choice.

I paraphrase. “It is brazen and downright oppressive for someone of privilege, such as yourself, to demand explanations from us, the oppressed, regarding the harm we keep claiming you are causing us. It is not our job to educate you. Regardless, we reserve the right to assume you fully know what you are accused of and why, and treat you accordingly.”

This type of reasoning fails to take a very important issue into account.

When one is accused of something (in this case holding privilege over others), it is their accuser’s responsibility to present any evidence regarding said situation (wrongdoing would be an inappropriate term as this is supposed to be a passive, unacknowledged form of aggression). Otherwise, the accused cannot be held morally responsible for not taking the time to verify that which they are accused of, especially when oblivious to the possibility of such allegations before they were made.

In everyday speech and everyday situations, this would translate as follows:

“You know what you’ve done, so you’d better make amends!”

“No, I actually don’t. What have I done, exactly?”

“It’s not my job to tell you. It’s your job to figure it out. And if you don’t, I’ll call you every name under the Sun and tell everyone what an asshole you are.”

“I honestly don’t know what this is about. All I know is you’re pissed off.”

“Then you haven’t been paying attention, which makes you even more guilty.”

“Of what ??”

“Oh, so now, after you’ve wronged me and won’t even admit it, you expect me to waste my time explaining it to you? The nerve! Would I be upset if it wasn’t your fault? Think about it! If I’m upset, it means you’ve done something!”

In an everyday interpersonal conversation, that attitude would not only be counterproductive but in fact manipulative (if not psychologically abusive, if sustained); it is somewhat reminiscent of the one women are often portrayed to have in domestic arguments.

Here’s a stereotypical post on the subject (though I have read quite a few).

Do you know what I love? People who say “It’s your job to educate me.” Because of the work I do, and because of the fact that I’m basically an intersectionality salad, people are constantly telling me that it’s my job to educate them.

I had this realization the other day: Jobs are paid. I don’t remember filling out a W-2.

Does this job come with benefits? Because I could really use some dental and some optical. How long is our lunch break? Do y’all do direct deposit?

That’s all fine and dandy when said education refers to sharing certain knowledge in a neutral way, in a neutral field. However, accusing people left, right and centre of  -isms and -phobias without an explanation does not qualify.

It is so demeaning and dehumanizing to explain to people of privilege why people like them have historically and currently oppressed people like me.

That’s not where it ends though, is it? You’re extrapolating to make it look like they are oppressing you because people like them have oppressed people like you in the past. Which is a whole different take on it, as everyone (I assume) has some knowledge of history and would not dispute that. Which is when they ask how exactly they are oppressing you and you respond with “Google it“, apparently.

Feeling like you’re entitled to firsthand accounts about the abuse that I’ve experienced as a minority in this country reeks privilege.

Feeling like one is owed an explanation as to why they are arbitrarily placed in the same category as aforementioned abusers is only natural.

Have you ever had somebody demand that you educate them about a personal struggle that you experience?

No, I haven’t, perhaps because I did not put out material, publicly, about how an enormous mass of people oppressed me day in and day out by simply existing in my proximity. When you make such claims, perhaps you should expect this type of queries asking you to back them up.

Secondly, here’s another article from the same website (the gift that keeps on giving in terms of feminist propaganda, as there is so much of it and so diverse looking elsewhere is needless). It’s titled “Is it your responsibility to educate a person you’re dating on race and racism?”

No matter what, a partner shouldn’t rely on just you to always play the role of a social justice educator. You’re not on call to unpack systemic oppression for another person.

You shouldn’t have to educate your partner on issues of social justice all the time, especially as they pertain to your own lived experience. Giving love and support shouldn’t require “evidence” on why someone needs it.

When it comes to race, dating, and intimacy, I’m learning that it’s less about education and more about openness when it comes to listening and believing. Social justice is a collective process – and that should also apply to dating and partnerships.

In this instance, the “education” caper unabashedly translates into motivating why you keep attacking this person and others, while demanding they shut up and listen at all times. By the way, bringing politics into one’s bedroom is usually detrimental.

It’s not someone’s responsibility to be an on-demand resource or be forced to speak on behalf of “their” people.

Except when they bitch about it and feel entitled to refer to others as bigots. They are free to do that as many times a day as they like and for whatever reason, not necessarily authentic.

It’s not always so much about educating one’s partner, but on how to communicate ways that person can be more affirming even if they don’t intellectually or experientially understand something.

In other words, turn this person into an emotional bidet and a parrot of one’s attitudes, at all times.

Sure, all of these moments could be complete accidents – or they could be moments where implicit racism and sexism show up. (…) Sometimes he’ll wonder why I’m so frustrated.

This might be true – the other person wasn’t maliciously intending to do harm. However, that doesn’t change the reality that my feelings are hurt and that I’m expressing those hurt feelings to my partner.

In other words, the author plainly admits to taking offence in situations others normally wouldn’t, which has a few descriptions of its own: nitpicking, pettiness, childishness, hypersensitivity, a victim complex, immaturity, a propensity for whining gratuitously etc. This is not a socially attractive trait. At all. Yet somehow, a group of people claims the right to make things illogically difficult on the rest, on the basis of feelings.

Feelings are also behind stalkers’ obsessions, murders triggered by fits of jealousy or paranoid people attacking those they feel are attacking them. None of this is justifiable, especially when it causes great harm. Perpetually claiming discrimination by playing the race or gender card is no different.

But if I were just to share a story about how someone cut in front of me in line or cut me off while driving, there might be no reason to explain the specifics of why I’m frustrated.

Reckless driving can and does result in serious injuries or death, which is a real possibility in the real world, not just your head. It’s not exaggerated for someone to say they escaped death narrowly when put in danger on the road. It cannot be compared to “microaggressions”, which have no consequence whatsoever and are unintended.

We look to our partners to believe in us and affirm our experiences rather than making us doubt our observations as real.

Unless you start to go off the bend, which is when any good friend and especially your partner will tell you that your attitude is poisonous. They do not have to put up with it, especially when you single-handedly admit to the irrelevance of your grievances.

What often happens when my partner wants an explanation of oppression is that I just splutter back all of my feelings. For me, this isn’t just about having a conversation – I have personal stakes in the outcome of the conversation. (…) But rationality is often evoked as a silencing tactic and has made me feel that he was detached from my experiences. My emotions – my anger and frustration over issues of racism – are rational.

Someone who is articulate can discuss feelings rationally, with their nuances, limitations and traps. It is not unfair to ask that of them, especially since they spout them out constantly, which affects those around them.

Oppression isn’t rational, at least not to me, so how could I ever explain it in rational terms?

If you want it to be criminalised, you have no choice. The justice system has a “thingy” for rationality and objectivity, as in their absence tyrannical, absurd, inquisitorial practices can be instated.

Even as these conversations come from a space of love, nurturing, and accountability, “calling in can be difficult and also requires emotional labor.

The hypocrisy is monumental here.

Hence, explaining why you’re constantly bitching requires emotional labour, but for someone to put up with said bitching doesn’t.

Needless to say, tearing this rhetoric apart is a bottomless pit, as one never runs out of material. The crux of the matter is that a handful of attitudes transpire in any such piece: hypocrisy, entitlement, a lack of logic and a high level of immaturity.

22 Shades Of Gender Confusion – And Counting

Surprisingly, I find myself linking to a Daily Mail article (though other publications have picked up the story as well). Also, this video  and this other video come to mind.

The list on the survey given to English school kids as young as 13 regarding their gender comprised 25 options; however, the last three were “not sure”, “rather not say” and “others”, the latter being hilarious since the masters of language-twisting have already stretched the limits of their own creativity. Who the hell can come up with others? Unless, of course, non-human or partially human labels are accepted as well.

Pandering to social justice warriors, the system is introducing more identity politics into schools, to further confuse the already confused youth, some teenagers doubtlessly being left unable to recognise the world they grew up in as young children. Today, nothing seems to make sense anymore.

Not surprisingly, in order to compile such a long list, they had to use reworded labels and definitions over and over again.

To start with, it includes the conventional “boy”, “girl”, “male”, “female”, “young man” and “young woman”. The only difference between “boy” and “young man” is coming of age, which has nothing to do with gender. Hence they could have simply used any pair of the three, the other two pairs being superfluous. Instead, they multiplied them and ended up with six different options.

Trans-girl and trans-boy, fair enough, that does apply to real life, though the age of it being taken seriously is ridiculously low nowadays and many argue even toddlers are able to make an accurate choice regarding their identity (besides choosing to be Batman or Harry Potter). One is referred to as an adult at 18 for specific reasons; minors need legal representatives when making crucial decisions; however, social justice warriors argue young kids are able to give informed consent to be mutilated with gender reassignment operations and put on cancer-inducing hormone “treatments”.

“Tomboy”. That is not a gender. That word has been used for a very long time to describe very active girls who enjoy boys’ hobbies and hang around boys, but that says nothing about one’s main lifestyle choices or gender.

“Gender fluid” is said to describe those who have “different gender identities at different times”. Basically, they are two or more people in one body, presumably choosing a different name for each one, perhaps different clothes and voices. This sounds a bit like multiple personality disorder, with the difference that the person is aware of switching between identities. I’m assuming it doesn’t refer to those who pretend to be of their natural gender in order to better fit into society, and at night time walk around in drag. This is about people who genuinely have two different identities; one male and one female. Or another couple selected from this list… or more, who knows. We are legion. Let’s just hope no young man chooses to incorporate – as his female side – the identity of his dead mother, who lies mummified in a basement.

“Agender” – “those with no gender identity or a neutral identity”. This term was invented on planet Earth, yet does not apply to it. You can talk about asexuality, which refers to the lack of sexual attraction towards one sex or another, or the lack of sex drive. But every single child is brought up as a boy or girl and thus has a gender identity. I’ve heard of people switching from male to female and vice-versa, but never of having / believing to have/ wishing to have no gender at all. Though the current experimental generation being brought up in Sweden might one day include many of these uprooted, confused people.

“Androgynous – partly male and female; of indeterminate sex”. So I assume androgynous people are androgynous at all times, unlike the gender fluid, who contain multitudes. Let’s look on the bright side – if at some point they deliberately try to confuse others through their appearance, at least they won’t go the transgender way and sue people for misgendering them.

“Bi-gender – those who experience two gender identities, either at the same time or varying between the two.” If it happens at the same time, one is androgynous, right? And if it varies, one is gender fluid. So there was no need for “bi-gender” at all.

From here on, everything apart from intersex is basically repeated and reworded, with nothing truly distinct being added.

“Non-binary” – basically androgynous.

“Demi-boy and demi-girl” – basically androgynous.

“Genderqueer – those who do not subscribe to traditional gender distinctions” – so basically androgynous or agender, if there really is such a thing.

“Gender non-conforming” – the exact same thing with a different name.

“Tri-gender – shifts between three genders, which could include male, female and genderless or be another combination”. So basically gender fluid (those who contain multitudes).

“All genders – someone who identifies as all possible gender options”. A label which teaches us that either gender doesn’t really exist or this person has so many identities they are worth studying. Anyway, gender fluid would cover this one as well.

“In the middle of boy and girl” – How many more categories based on androgyny can they make up?

“Intersex – someone with genetic, hormonal and physical features that may be thought typical of both male and female”.  Although this is a natural occurrence, as I understand, for most people born with mixed physical characteristics a choice is made (usually right after birth) regarding their gender and they are brought up with an either male or female identity. Of course, that has been changing lately.

OK. Now that we’re done with genders.

If we think that any gender could be of any sexual orientation as well,i things really get complicated.

Forget being attracted to both sexes as a tricky situation – imagine what happens if you have multiple identities and each of them has their own sexual preference or preferences. What if you’re biologically female, gender fluid, sometimes feeling female and sometimes male, and you’re attracted to men? Does that make you a straight woman or a gay man, or both? Is your partner considered bisexual by default, as you alternate between identities?

And if you’re androgynous, how can you tell if you’re gay or straight? Very confusing indeed.

Not to worry though, confusion isn’t all bad, at least that’s what “genderfuckers” think. No, honestly, that’s a word; it describes those who include traits belonging to both sexes in their appearance, for the fun of it, such as bearded men in skirts or high heels. It’s a thing now. Apparently.

UPDATE

After more pondering on this complicated issue, there are even more questions to ask regarding the implications of generally accepting the fact that people can have two or more genders simultaneously.

Is every gender one is thought to have associated with a distinct identity?

When one thinks of themselves as interchangeably male and female, it makes sense to appear as such in order to make the change recognisable by others (to be treated as their chosen gender at the time of their choice). That would mean alternating between a male and female appearance, a male and a female name and potentially other characteristics as well. It doesn’t make sense to be Miss John or Mr Lilly. And sure enough, a simple search on “gender fluid” reveals people who do dress differently and adopt different names.

If so, how often are these identities interchangeable? 

Some suggest a choice is made each day according to how male or female or agender that person feels that morning. It makes sense (to the extent any of this can make sense) for the choice/ identity to last as long as the appearance does. I don’t suppose switching every five minutes is likely; I can just picture a dialogue:

“Do you really think that about me?”

“No, that was Dan.”

“So you’re… Dana now?”

“No, Dana doesn’t think that way either. Only Dan.”

“So you’re not Dana either? Like, right now, who are you?”

“I just realised I had a completely different side as well; genderqueer; I think I’ll name them Dingo.”

“So… that would make you genderqueer as well? You as in your… source… identity?”

“No, silly; I’m trigender. Only Dingo is genderqueer.

Trigender? Kind of like the Holy Trinity, three different entities who are simultaneously one being? Is that applicable to humans?”

I’m quite confident it wouldn’t work that way (and sorry if that sounds very insensitive).

What legal implications are there to identifying as more than one person?

Even if one’s personality remains the same all throughout, with opinions and attitudes being consistent, which is less confusing than having different personalities as well.

Purely for administrative purposes – how would having two or more identities work in terms of getting a job and on occasion turning up as somebody else? Which identity is legally responsible and would this person sign with a different name according to how they felt that day? Does anyone else see how that would be a problem?

“About that raise you mentioned, Dana…”

“Ask Dan. He’s got to sign for it. He’s not in right now and I can’t forge his signature. That wouldn’t be right; I would be breaching my own rights.”

“Uh… When is he…due back?”

“When I feel more male.”

“Can you.. like… give him a call, at least? How do you contact him? Is he… in there? Of sort? Do you have to conjure him up? Because right now it feels like you’re just being a bitch not wanting to give me a raise.”

Surely nothing this ridiculous would happen – however,  though it’s hard to imagine outside of creating humour, if the law protects someone’s right to emulate the Holy Trinity if they so wish, who’s to say that employers won’t be forced to do so as well? That would be a first in granting someone the privilege to sign using two or three different names, which would be illegal for the rest of us.

Is gender really just a state of mind?

My question is simple (and logical I dare think) : if biologically, gender-specific traits are determined by hormones (testosterone for men and estrogen for women), how can anyone be SURE they actually identify as the opposite sex, without having had a genuine experience of what that is?

Intersex people are actually born with male and female characteristics, at a physical level, which gives them a combined experience of the world, therefore they are unique in that sense. However, most people are not.Chemistry is a real issue here; hormones play a significant role in the perceptions and behaviour of a human being. Men who think they are partially female identify with their image of women, without knowing exactly how women actually feel, and vice-versa, because that would be impossible.When somebody says “today I feel more male”, what they must mean is “today I feel like displaying characteristics I interpret as being male”.

The intention behind my post is not to pointlessly cause offence but to doubt the “science” (is there any?) behind this very popular tendency of fragmenting people’s identities.