This Tuesday was an interesting continuation of survival strategies for school.
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
I’m learning how to write in my Queer Theory class as people talk about the topic. I don’t read the materials, so I have to fake it, in some way, especially as I have small writing responses about the reading due each week.
I had an interesting event as well, involving another student in my Queer Theory and New Materialism class. It’s almost too heady of an interaction to talk about here, but involved “White Supremacy,” the definition of “Human” and gender dynamics.
In a nutshell, an African-American woman in the class mentioned that we would have a different definition of ourselves as “human,” if at all. I don’t know why, but the comment rubbed me the wrong way, and I should not have let it. I retorted to her comment, and we got into a slight tussle during class. I’m sure I was misunderstanding what she said, but I felt that so much energy had been spent on talking about the adverse effects of “White Supremacy” and “Colonialism” that there wasn’t much space for appreciating human ingenuity or depravity. It’s as if “Indigenous” people are completely “non-human” in their completely peaceful and harmonious relations with the world and each other. I just don’t buy it. My notion was that if it weren’t Europeans who altered the environment and cultures, etc. then another group would take their place. And who is to say that would be like?
I suppose that I added fuel to the fire when I approached the woman after class. I thought that I was offering a peace proposal, but then she seemed to chafe me, again. She said that she was trying to “help” me with my “assumptions” which I found vaguely offensive, and then she “went in,” as it were, accusing me of reviving tropes of male chauvinism, which was so very far from my mind. That’s when I got annoyed and, backed into a corner, came out swinging. I promptly accused her of being condescending and having a superior air. I figure if she could recriminate me for something that wasn’t true (or at the very least was subconscious), I could do the same. After a while, it got stupid and childish, so I simply thanked her for her positions and walked away. My heart was racing, because I don’t love confrontation, but I was pushed to the limit. Later, my classmates noted that she was out in the hall, crying. I’ve spent a good amount of time thinking whether I should offer her a peace branch again because I don’t like ill will, but I’m not sure.
I once heard an anecdote that Israeli people are like pineapples in that they are rough and prickly on the outside, but sweet and soft on the inside. That makes complete sense, given their circumstance. I, on the other hand, am like a peach. Soft, sweet and fuzzy on the outside, but inside is a hard, dark, bitter core. If one takes too swift and aggressive of a bite into a peach. He or she will hit that stone core. That’s my personality. This “peachiness” also figures in another, more benign story, that I will relate, later.