Parent-teacher conference transcript

Me: “So, I really like your son! He’s a good student and a good person, which is even more important.”

Mom: “Thanks! He’s great at home, too. He’s been doing a lot of cooking lately, and he’s always trying to help us organize the house.”

Dad: “He’s really into clothes.” Pause. “He made us change outfits before we left tonight. He said we ‘weren’t going out like that.'”

Me: “Yes, he does have great taste in clothes, doesn’t he? And a very cool haircut.”

Dad: “Sometimes I wonder if he might be…gay.”

Mom: “He’s a metrosexual!”

Dad: “Honey. He bleaches his shoelaces.”

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6 thoughts on “Parent-teacher conference transcript

  1. Sorry, was being totally sarcastic, maybe even moreso. Am a working-class radical feminist working in a working-class environment, and this just tickled me silly because … well, not all stereotypes are always false, and I get exhausted by the intolerance and aversion around me, among my own. Good observance on the priciness factor, brokestbenjamin; fun, thought-provoking blog, makes it easy to further ponder, doesn’t it!?

  2. Hi, Diana…thanks so much for reading here. I’m interested in what you said about working-class environment. What kinds of aversion and intolerance do you, as a radfem, most notice there?

  3. I moved from the northwest to the midwest several years ago, and the difference just in region is noticeable. The white supremacy, the blunt misogyny, and the acceptance of ‘station’ are so different here! In some ways, this region is just behind the left coast, a decade or two. But in others, there’s a level of demoralization that translates into a group self-policing effort to keep one another down, in their appropriate station, and to reward conformity to the perceived norm — and roots here — with a weird loyalty that transcends hierarchy, or ignores it.

    For example, it’s an accusation of not belonging to say “your mother wasn’t born here.” (Librarian in the genealogy dept said this to a Black coworker, whose mother was, in fact, born here.) A biz exec, in a conversation about discrimination, decided to list the reasons *why* Blacks were in this area to begin with (all about big factory jobs).

    In the NW the white supremacy is at least more veiled, less overtly accepted, and there’s some common recognition that everyone who isn’t indigenous is living on stolen land. Maybe it’s easy to either/or when there are two major races in a given area? Also in the NW, to be union means you work hard enough to keep a good job; here it means lazy permanence (for everyone else, not oneself, of course). Here, I get patted on the head by middle classers who think it’s novel that my kind can stop a running toilet (they call my kind for that sort of issue). Simply: divide and conquer has a stronghold here, and fighting back takes the form of hating down the hierarchy. Also, here, because it’s behindish, everything third wave is beyond question: ‘metrosexual’ is in the lexicon, as is ‘transphobe.’ And, of course, it’s above my station to question any of it. 🙂

    I really enjoy your blog! Didn’t mean to derail. Thanks for the listen; apparently I had a need to get this out!

  4. “Your mother wasn’t born here” — ouch. There’s a lot to unpack in that one, eh?

    Also, are you a Dorothy Allison fan? Her Southern working-class-lesbian roots, plus genius, make for some incredible memoir about race/class/gender. Not to mention food 🙂

    I’m so glad you’re visiting and reading…it’s good to meet you.

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