Here, Let Me Help You Get That Log Out of Your Eye

It never fails to astonish me when people whom themselves get judged on their outward appearance judge me. To wit:

Case the First: A cross-dressing, middle-aged man who thought my skin condition was so amusing that he had to titter at me.

Case the Second: A woman in full traditional Muslim dress, including hajib, who stopped me at the gas station to offer advice. (what is it about gas stations that compels people to corner me there?)

If I snark to the man about ugly guys in dresses or retort to the woman about how all Muslims are terrorists, I should be called out for that. Rightly so.

And yet…

It seems that I cannot expect the same courtesy from people whom one would think understand what it’s like to be judged harshly by one’s outward appearance.

Perhaps I can’t easily fit into an Other box. He’s a transvestite. She’s Muslim. Neat and easy to identify their Otherness. But when it gets to how I get treated as an Other, I end up feeling messy and complicated. Compounded when it comes from those who also get treated as Others.

Or maybe it’s some sort of bizzare Other Olympics. See, I’m more Other than you! Neener…neener…neener! Except that’s not a game I want to win.

I suppose the best I can hope for is that such people will stop, take a moment, and consider how they feel when they get treated that way. But I’ve learned to have little faith in the ability of people to see beyond their own issues with how they may present to the world.

I did make a point of telling the woman that I did not appreciate being grilled by complete strangers about my appearance, as I’m sure she would understand. Maybe it dislodged that log in her eye. Maybe it made her think a bit.

Maybe not.







This entry was posted in not your teachable moment, visible disability. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Here, Let Me Help You Get That Log Out of Your Eye

  1. fallconskat says:

    honestly…i wonder what ever happened to the gentle grace of “if you cant say anything nice, dont say anything at all”? you didnt see fit to mention the person in a dress until zie saw fit to titter at you, nor would you have commented on the Muslim lady’s clothing choice.

    its just not DONE. mention that someone’s scarf is lovely? thank you! or (if asked) say that another color might flatter the skin tones of the person in the dress a bit better? why, thank you again!

    but you just dont go out and point fingers at others, unless (of course) you’re willing to accept the fingers you’re pointing at yourself. and who of us really LIKES that?

  2. Penny says:

    “Who on earth raised you?” is my typical reaction. Bonus impact if it’s a staring pointing giggling teenager, and his mother is actually present.

  3. Denise says:

    People have always commented on my skin (acne) as if they have a right to. My ‘favorite’ was a former landlord who said, “You’re such a beautiful girl. It’s a shame about your skin”. I understand how infuriating it is. We are more than our skin but unfortunately, that’s what people see first.

    I’m musing over a blog post to speak to kids who have visible skin conditions to tell them to remember how beautiful they are. I don’t know if it will help but I think my inner 15 year old would appreciate it.

  4. Donna says:

    My Mom (the retired registered nursing supervisor) had only one tactic for such things – a very pointed glare over her glasses as a just as pointed ‘Ex-CUSE me?’

    Somehow, it always got the point across. No, I’m not the weird one. You are – and you’re out of line. Shaddup and go away.

    Watch for it – it’s someone I inherited along with the allergies.

  5. Pingback: When the Excluded Exclude | Not Your Teachable Moment

  6. Pingback: So This One Night in Bangkok… | Not Your Teachable Moment

  7. JMixx says:

    Love the “Ex-CUSE me?” response. My fear would be that some people might actually be shameless enough to repeat or “clarify” themselves. I’m guessing Donna’s Mom never had that problem–some people have the “withering stare” to stop any further conversation. Me? I’m “approachable.” I’d have to prepare a follow-up. Perhaps, “Do you feel happy when people approach you the way you just approached me?” If we have to “chat,” the conversation is taking a left turn.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s