Thus Spake Zuska

A Helpful Guide to “Knowing Your Place”

I was just traveling around the blogosphere and landed on this most helpful post; thanks to Bill Hooker, of Open Reading Frame, who launched my odyssey. Zuzu, who writes for Feministe, will explain much you need to know about keeping your place. This is invaluable information for any white women, or minority women or men, who are contemplating questioning the powers-that-be. Zuzu quotes Jill, who suggests one way to avoid being pegged as angry and hysterical:

…[preface your comments with] “I think y’all are SO awesome, and I totally love what you do and you’re all so talented and fantastic and I’m totally not trying to insult anyone here, but don’t you think it’s a little strange that there aren’t any women on this panel? But I mean you all are good representatives so really, don’t worry about it, it’s cool, I’m just saying…”

Of course, as Jill notes, this strategy will not work if you, like Jill and Zuska, are not generally good at prefacing your comments in this manner.

Perhaps, from now on, people could just pretend that I’m prefacing all my comments that way. You know, when I say something like “Colleges of engineering in the United States are bastions of entrenched sexism, racism, and homophobia, and all of us non-white-males are expected to be grateful for the miniscule amounts of change grudgingly ceded over the last 50 years of concerted struggle, and not make a big fuss about the huge remaining inequities,” you could imagine all that pretty language coming before it. If it makes you feel better.

Then, at nighttime when you go to sleep, imagine that angels come from heaven and sprinkle pixie dust over your bed to give you sweet dreams and protect you from anything unpleasant.