06 February 2020

Funny ha-ha or Funny not good?


I have to admit that the first time I saw this six years ago, I was amused by the idea Jason posed. (As an aside, I miss his voice on Twitter so very much.) These days, I have a much more serious response. Over time, I have come to realize how many of these silly rules we make in our PLCs, departments, or schools, can be used in some very oppressive ways...how many of them reinforce patriarchal expectations and structures.

I was having breakfast last week with a friend of mine who is gay...and he was talking about how the conversations he has with other gay men are so very different than being in a room full of straight ones. I mentioned that I had recently noticed how much love the pale males in our district have for protocols. Are our social norms so entrenched that straight, white, men are unable to communicate with others without a prescriptive set of expectations?

But back to norms. (Norm!) While I am growing more and more disenchanted with such things, I do have to admit that I keep these reminders with me at all times:

I don't remember where I picked them up—I most certainly did not come up with them myself. I have shared them widely over the last several years. I find that women in particular like them. I think it's because norms are about policing others and these are simply about policing yourself, so to speak. These speak to me.

What do you think? Where is the line between anarchy and oppression masking as civility?

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