As a teacher, I make many dumb comments. I am frequently leaving class thinking... "Probably shouldn't have said that." or "Thank god my department chair didn't see that one." ... Ah, such is the life of a sexuality teacher; especially one that does not have a fully functioning 'filter' (as my loved ones affectionately call it). However, this past week, I had a totally different moment as I was leaving class.
I showed a clip in my class of me doing mock-therapy with some previous students. The clip was about 10 minutes long and highlighted Strategic Family Therapy, an older and not-often used therapy style. As such, there isn't many clips of practitioners on YouTube, or available videos (for free).... So I made my own! However, this video I hadn't shown in about 3 years, and when I did - it caused a moment of shear panic, self-doubt, and a whole bucket of cringe.
First - I pride myself on my feminist and progressive (some call it extreme) liberal stance on many topics and with many beliefs... So I am always aware of my position within society and how my privilege and power is wielded... On this day, I noticed an oversight. Some would call it slight - others may cringe along with me... but to me it seems like a big deal. During my video, I stated to a "mother" - "You don't work right? I mean, you don't have a job outside of the house? ... Well, now you do..." and then I continued on. I completely forgot I uttered such uncouth words. Further, I did not follow it up with a recanting of my offensive linguistic, nor did I attempt to repair the possible rupture in the relationship with my 'clients.' ... As a feminist and sexologist I believe we all should do what we can to promote equality, foster connection and understanding, and engender empathy for all. However, I am always surprised by the ways in which the shackles of our societal constructions of hegemony continue to show themselves - no matter how much we try to throw them.
Some would say I am overreacting, or over thinking things... what are your thoughts?
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