Sunday, November 11, 2012

unfortunately accommodating

I missed Wednesday’s class because I had to take my daughter to the doctor’s where she was put on mad doses of amoxicillin. She’s still not betterL. Anyway, I really feel like I missed out because the discussion you guys had sounds interesting. I am a feminist and am greatly offended by the thought that students would prefer not to be tutored by a woman. Of course there are degrees to feminism and categories to which I could label myself, but I would just rather summarize my thinking into one declarative sentence: I believe women are as capable as men and should be given equal opportunities in the workplace, at schools, and at home. I also believe this concept goes both ways. Neither sex should be undervalued. Though I recognize the fact that men are naturally good at certain things while women are inherently good at others, I do not accept the idea of appeasing one gender by oppressing the other.
I am not exactly sure what I would do with a student that was disinclined to have me tutor him. I acknowledge that I am a lot of talk because actually implementing my beliefs is much different than proclaiming them. I am sure that if a male tutor was available I would defer the student and then justify my thinking by internally saying, “I don’t want to deal with people like that. I am glad someone else was here to tutor him.” When in reality I would be lying to myself. Ideally, I would have the courage to say, “Here in the writing center, the administration focuses on hiring a diverse but very qualified group of students to tutor you. If you are uncomfortable, please feel free to take it up with the administration. Have a nice day.” Ha ha ha. I would never do this for two reasons. One, I don’t have the guts. Two, I don’t know if that is how the writing center would want me to handle the situation. In reality I would probably swallow hard and find my professional courtesy to assist me in my reaction to the situation whilst helping him to his seat to wait for the next available male tutor.
I have been told by family and friends that I am naturally kind-hearted. I choose to see the good in people and focus less on outside appearances. I would use this ability to remember that the student who has been misinformed about women’s capabilities is not at fault. And I am not sure if it is or is not my place to educate him. Therefore, I think operating from a place of understanding and kindness is the best way to handle any student.
The idea of a racist student from the South refusing to be tutored by a black tutor, and having his demands accommodated, upsets me. I tend to shy away from conflict and believe the world would be a more peaceful place if more people strived to do so but at the same time, when people’s rights are not being respected, the line needs to be drawn.                


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