Monday, November 11, 2013

Blog 11: Seriously, It is Almost 2014.

I should have known that this topic would have come up sooner or later. Well, thankfully, I have not had any sessions where tutees have actively voiced their reluctance or dissatisfaction being tutored by me, but being the realist that I am, I am sure it has been thought about before or after the session. Because I am Black and a woman, I sort of get hit with the double whammy here. It is HIGHLY irritating when people point out my race passive aggressively during a session (like I had one tutee bring in a paper on slavery and told me that “It was perfect I got you because I know you will know all about this”). Needless to say, I wanted to leave the session right then and there, but I have grown to be more tolerant of ignorance. And, I have gotten looks from the tutees when an OA has told them that I will be tutoring them, but once we settle down and being conversing, they seem to take to me quite well.
Because sexism or racism is not a religion (honestly, there is a thin line there though, sadly), each gets treated differently. If an international student practiced a religion that put women on a lower pedestal than men, his or her discomfort to be tutored by me is understandable to me. If a student, born and raised in America, were to do the same, whether it was due to my race or sex, I would say the same thing. Hypothetically, I would be more willing to accommodate, respect, and accept a foreign student’s discomfort being tutored by a woman because it is a religious belief rather than a Southerner from the segregated South being uncomfortable being tutored by someone Black because it is philosophical belief.
However, the students in both situations need to get over it. Seriously, it is almost 2014.
The way American society treats international students’ expectations of women needs to be strictly consistent with the way we handle national people who are sexist or racist. It just should not be tolerated because most places that people go will have men and women and different races of people, especially educational institutions. If they truly have a problem with being tutored by someone “inferior” to them, they should seek help in places where other idiots…I mean people are “superior” like them.

Of course, we should respect any student’s wishes when we are servicing them, but it is unethical and unfair for the tutors of our Writing Center, and anywhere else, to feel like they are less than capable to handle a session, or anything else, because of what they are and not who they are. Our tutors are from different walks of life, but we are all quite capable to do our job; otherwise, Claire would not have hired us. So, what I am is a Black woman, but who I am is a capable human willing to help another human succeed. We should encourage students to be open-minded and tolerant of differences, which is what I am currently doing for my preschoolers. How ironic. 


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