Thursday, November 08, 2012

Respect But Not Condone

I really do not feel qualified to answer this blog post because I actually do not know if a Southerner from the segregated South in England would have had his discomfort accommodated or respected. Instead, I think I will just add my own opinion regarding this topic that was discussed in class. I did not speak up in class during this particular discussion, so I will use this as an opportunity to do so.

When I think about someone being uncomfortable with me tutoring them because I am a woman, it bothers me. It bothers me, and it makes me angry, and it upsets me to think about the Writing Center accommodating that concern. The Writing Center is supposed to be a place of equality. Peers tutor peers and no one person is better than another. So of course, the idea that a man refusing to be tutored by me is somewhat upsetting.

This being said, in my semester and a half of working at the Writing Center, I have not ever had an experience with this. I have tutored many students of many different ethnic and religious backgrounds, and I've never come across this being an issue. I may just be lucky because I have never encountered this prejudice, but I feel that we are discussing something that doesn't seem to be a major issue. I have felt respected by many different types of people and I have felt ignored by many different types of people. I wouldn't say that I have been singled out for being a woman, for being young, or for any other quality I possess.

If I were in a situation in which someone did not want to be tutored by me because I am a woman, I would probably just accept that the student would rather wait for a male tutor and allow them to do so. Similar to what Aisley said in the class discussion, I probably would not want to tutor someone who was blatantly against receiving my help because I am a woman. If they believed my tutoring abilities were sub par, they probably wouldn't learn much from the session anyways. I understand that the student's viewpoint is offensive, but it would be just as offensive to force them to be tutored by a woman if it makes them feel uncomfortable.

So I guess how I feel about the situation is that if a student is against being tutored by a woman because of an ethnic or religious upbringing, we should allow them to wait an extra twenty (or longer) minutes to be tutored by a male tutor. I wouldn't necessarily say that we are condoning their prejudice but instead are respecting their wishes as well as respecting the female tutor that would have to deal with this in a session. Does this in any way answer this blog prompt?


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