Friday, October 03, 2008

It's just hair!

As so often in the past, today's Calvin and Hobbes cartoon sits well with me.

My younger son has HAIR. A lot of it. It hangs way past his shoulders in a glorious cascade that he keeps scrupulously clean and conditioned. People have given up trying, now, but they used to ask us ceaselessly "When are going to make that child get his hair cut?"

One day, as yet another person asked me this question, I snapped.

"It's hair, okay? It's just hair. It's not pornography. It's not drugs. It's not vandalism. It's not theft. It's not violence. It's hair. And it's his hair."

Do we sometimes look over the faces of our learners and decide how they're going to be, based on their physical appearance or the clothes they choose to wear? How is that different from racism, sexism or any other of those isms we're trying to rise above?

2 comments:

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Karyn.

You will already know that when you have a family, you get to know people - how different they all are when it comes to kids.

You will know that people will tell you things about your kids, how they conduct themselves in play, though they may not tell you what they think about you in the same dimension.

It's as if they feel they are stakeholders in the next generation. Perhaps this gives them a right.

But as a parent, you will know that they have a much diminished right in that regard compared to yours.

They know all the maxims.

"Never judge people by the coat they wear."
"Never judge a book by its cover."

'Twas ever thus. As far back as was recorded in the bible they may find the same themes, if they are inclined to read that book.

"For the Lord does not see as man sees; for a man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7b
"You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one." John 8:15

I am not religious though I feel some people need religion. But has any of that wisdom ever made any difference?

Ka kite
from Middle-earth

Karyn Romeis said...

@blogger It is strange how we feel the need for people to behave as we do. To conform to our standards, norms and behaviour patterns. As if we somehow have the march on 'normal'.

Recently, I was in a supermarket. Nearby, there was a (presumably African) woman shopping with her baby tied onto her back with a blanket. I thought nothing of it. The first 36 years of my life were spent surrounded by women who carried their babies in this way. My (very colicky) younger sister spent months strapped to our nanny's back, because being upright eased the pain and being snuggled in against the warmth of a body soothed her to sleep. For all I know I spent my own babyhood in this posture (my memory doesn't quite stretch that far back!). But to the other shoppers in the east midlands of England, this was hilarious. They gathered in little clusters at the end of each aisle, sniggering and pointing, gossiping and tutting.

They made such an issue out of it. But had that baby been in a kiddycarry thingy, none of them would have turned a hair.

People are so weird!