I Am Not Your Teachable Moment...

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Recently I was reading an article by Everyday Feminism titled I Am Not Your Teachable Moment, and it got me thinking.


As a black woman who happens to be opinionated, liberated and ambitious, there have been times where people have given me unsolicited 'advice' and make judgement and assumptions on the basis of my race and gender.  I also find that some people try to categorise and objectify me on the basis of those things, and that is not okay at all.

So while reading the article I placed myself in the situations and I came up with responses.

Warning: this post might come across as a rant.

I am not your teachable moment
I am not your 'lesson' or learning tool, so don't treat me that way.

It's not my job to educate you.
Unless you are my child or my pupil, then I don't need to teach you about race and gender, what is acceptable to say/do or what is unacceptable to say or do, prejudice, discrimination, etc.  Educate yourself in your own time.

I am not something to be acted upon to make you feel good about yourself.
I refuse to be the 'damsel in distress' for anyone.  I don't need someone with a Prince Charming/saviour complex to come and 'rescue' me and I don't need a pity party.

I'm not required to reassure you.
I shouldn't have to reassure you when I call you out on something inappropriate you have said to me.  Apologise, move on, learn and don't make the same mistake again.  Also, reevaluate and look at yourself critically before you make judgments about others.

I am not your 'X Factor sob story' moment.
I don't need your pity and I don't need you to feel 'inspired' by me.  We all go through troubling times in our lives.  I don't look for sympathy but it's nice to have it.  However there is a difference between feeling sympathy and treating like "Oh dear, poor you."  It is rather patronising, and I'd rather get on in life with people treating me on the basis of merit and personality, not because of how bad I've suffered in life.

I am not here for your entertainment.
I am not an object for desire or entertainment.  I am a person and I deserve to be treated as such.

I don't care for your unsolicited opinion/advice.
I don't care what you think about my identity.  Quite frankly it's none of your business and I don't give a damn what you expect of me, especially when those expectations are coming from a place of prejudice.

All in all I shouldn't have to justify or explain who I am to anyone.

I am not a project or an object.  I don't need or want your attention or pity.  Keep you ulterior motives and 'good' intentions to yourself.

I am no better than anyone else.

I treat others with respect.  Treat me the same way.

Get to know me, accept me and respect me for me.

Or better still, leave me alone.

I was so glad the article got me thinking and it reminded me once again that I don't need to tolerate people objectifying, pitying and patronising me in any way.

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