I’m really not here for you.
Lately I’ve found myself torn in classes where men make sexist comments and then, when called out on it, want to be taught how to be a respectful, inclusive human being.
On the one hand, I can’t just have these people walking around outside. I have a responsibility to do my part in preventing further harm via ignorance.
On the other hand, as a book club friend so perfectly phrased it, I’m not running a finishing school for wayward men. I’m in school to get an education, not meet the every need, nor soothe the discomfortabilities, of my classmates.
Yes, I have a moral obligation to all humankind and yes, it’s good practice for me to hone my skills. And yes, I hope we’re all learning from one another as we learn alongside each other.
However, I’m also keenly aware that even as my colleagues say, “tell me what I said,” this is patriarchy itself in action. I’m sorry that you’re uncomfortable or don’t understand, but–and this may surprise you–my purpose in life is not to make you feel better.
So it’s a toss up between my desire to stop what we’re doing and say, “EXCUSE YOU,” and my need to just move on and learn about oh, I don’t know, whatever the actual topic of the class is. Because this is not about you.
(Though if you’re being a dick, please do stop immediately.)