So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

01 January, 2007

Bring on the Dancing Monkeys

Recently, on a place I read, someone said something to the effect of, "What responsibility do we have to educate others about our religious beliefs?" Or something to that effect.

And there's a problem with 'responsibility' there.

The critical thing for response to this is that being a member of a minority group does not mean that one has some obligation to correct the ignorance of a majority group. Simply being of a minority religion, a minority ethnicity, a minority sexual orientation, a minority whatever else, does not mean that, because of one's minority status, one is a display item to the people who want to go, "Wow, I've never met an [adjective] person before. Tell me what that's like!"

My religion is not about you. My family is not about you. My work is not about you. My kink is not about you. My ethnic background is not about you. My sexuality is not about you. None of it is for anyone else's benefit, no matter how interesting or exotic that someone else finds it. There is no obligation to share it with anyone I do not choose to do so.

Too many people see someone who has some fascinating difference as a resource, someone to enrich their lives, someone whose strangeness only really exists visibly in order to counterpoint the mainstream, the majority, or the perceived normal. Too often, if someone is not willing to be treated as an exhibit, a display of their minority status, they get told to stop flaunting, to stop being so exotic, so exciting, so perverse, so different, if they aren't willing to get up on stage and entertain, educate, they should just become invisible.

The space to be human, to be people, who happen to have these traits, it isn't there. The possession of a minority trait, a difference, swamps it all out, drowns it, and converts the person who happens to fit the current reflection of the other into a sideshow freak, a display of what those other creatures do, what those other creatures are.

I, for one, am not a dancing monkey.

1 comment:

Vieva said...

I wonder how much of this is in part the "the world is about me" culture message?

Everything is a "personal lesson" or a "sign from God" or bloody well anything but life just plain HAPPENING. Everything is personal. Everything is about THEM.

So someone that's different MUST be there for THEM, right? The whole world belongs to them.

and, unfortunately, to hell with the rest of us.