Today, VanGoghGirl and I had a conversation about privilege, oppression and intersectionality and how we are all capable and guilty of engaging in oppressive behaviors. I was motivated to talk to her about this after reading a few different perspectives on this over the past few days. One of the things we discussed was why it's unreasonable to expect to be praised every time we do something that we're supposed to do.
We discussed a few examples, like how society isn't doing me any favors when they make public spaces accessible to people with disabilities; it's simply doing what it has a responsibility to do. Lately we've been seeing a commercial on television featuring Hillary Duff (working for the ThinkB4YouSpeak campaign) speaking out against homophobic statements. I was telling her that I think it's really great that Duff was doing this, because she's someone that folks my daughter's age might be more likely to listen to than if the same message came from someone much older. Nevertheless, I explained to her that we all have a responsibility to speak up when we hear people talking like that.
Thankfully, my daughter has always been really good about that and I try to praise her efforts. However, she's getting older now and I don't want her to go out into the world as an adult and have a chip on her shoulder if no one gives her a pat on the back just because she doesn't actively try to oppress others. I talked to her about some of what I've seen on the blogosphere where people think that their good deeds entitle them to say and do anything else they want.
After this conversation, she helped me--Okay, actually, she did almost all of the work--make this little badge to put on my blog. I've decided that I'm declaring My Private Casbah to be a No Cookie Zone. In the past, I've dealt with folks who think that their affiliations with individuals or groups or organizations should be applauded and rewarded. It's really annoying and I've had enough. The next time someone comes here with that crap, I can just point to this picture and leave it at that.