If Nobody Teaches Us, How Will We Learn?


I stumbled across a Twitter conversation yesterday where a woman I respect very much said, “I am so fuckin tired of Wise, Marcotte and Valenti.” When a follower asked her why she was so sick of those three people, she quickly shut the conversation down, “NO. Not going to have the same conversation every goddamn time their names come up. DAILY. Not having it. Sorry.”

Fair enough. End of story.

It is  your right to not engage in a conversation that you’ve had far too often for your own well-being. It’s okay to think someone is behind the curve because they don’t acknowledge intersectionality.  It’s okay to roll your eyes and walk away when someone consistently ignores your identity group (amongst a plethora of other reactions).

At one time or another we are all in the place of being so ridiculously tired of “teaching” that we want to scream.

Today, I don’t want to teach you about mental illness, drug addiction, and poverty. Okay?!

Fair enough.


Now hear me out:

If nobody ever teaches them how will they learn?

I’ve been that person before. The person honestly asking for help understanding an issue. Standing there in sincere ignorance saying, “Hey, I really don’t understand. Can someone please explain it to me?”

And so have you.

But what if nobody ever took the time to talk with you? What if no one ever took the time to fill you in on the things you knew nothing about? Sometimes, perhaps most of the time, you didn’t deserve an answer because you were so far up your own ass that no one should have  acknowledged your presence, but I’m guessing that at some point you were honestly looking for answers, and if no one ever led you down the path to knowledge you’d be standing back where you started with your thumbs in your pockets looking around muttering, “I still don’t get it.”

It isn’t always our job to teach, but when we treat people like assholes because they don’t know exactly what we mean, or how we experience the world, where does that get us? How do we draw the line in the sand and proactively teach without endangering ourselves?



  1. Reminds me of this: http://xkcd.com/1053/

    And how do you teach when you’re tired? Blog posts! And you’re doing great with that. Keep it up.

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