There’s a well-meaning, but very ignorant article, by Farrah Alexander at Huffington Post floating around at the moment. And like most of these articles, it appears to be inclusive and kind. It’s not. It hurts.
Tabitha over at Simply Precocious wrote a beautiful empathetic piece on why the original article was and is hurtful. Please go and read it.
Now, I could write about why dismissing the idea of giftedness is harmful. And I have previously here.
This isn’t the first or the last ignorant piece written by well-meaning but poorly informed people who think they’re doing everyone a favour by dissing on gifted people. You can read my previous responses here and here and here.
Instead I want to talk about why the idea that difference ‘doesn’t matter‘ is harmful. I see it all the time – “Everyone is different“, “Let you’re unique self shine!”. They’re lovely memes. Lots of fist-pumps and “Yeah! That’s awesome!”
But it’s a rare person that actually means it. Instead, a more honest meme might be:
A while ago I read this post, “8 Things You Shouldn’t Say to a Secular Homeschooler” by NotSuperMom. It caused a bit of a discussion with some fellow homeschoolers about whether it was inclusive or exclusive, offensive or not. I am a secular homeschooler, and I am a non-believer. I did not find the post offensive, but it did get me thinking.
Why did this post rub people up the wrong way? And was this similar to the feelings of NotSuperMom? What was it that jarred so badly? Was it, in fact, accidentally offensive? Continue reading “Accidentally Offensive”
I’m going to start this post with a link. It’s to the Authentic History Centre in the US on common excuses for stereotypes. In this case, specifically linked to racism. Go have a look at the images. In many ways, they say it better than I can, but I’m going to try anyway, again. Many of you have read Momastery’s post about ‘Every Child is Gifted’. Many of you argued with her, reasoned with her on her forum, on the gifted help-groups where she came to ask questions. Many of you read her apology (which did not appear on her website, only her facebook page*). I, along with a lot of other people, thought that was the end of it. But no. Her ‘positive’ image is out in force again, and a lot of people don’t understand why it is so offensive. So I want you to go and have a look at those historical images. You know, many of them were purported to be ‘positive’ depictions too, at the time. And so, the stereotypes of gifted get trotted out yet again. Sure, she changed one word in her article – but the blurb and title around the reprinting in the Christian Science Monitor shows exactly how skin deep that change is. You can go read the article if you like, here’s the link. Maybe you’ll get a warm glow – a positive story! Then come back here and let’s deconstruct the narrative. Continue reading “The Everyone is Gifted POS, again.”