Reconsidering My Autobiography

During Katia’s lecture on March 3rd, my classmates and I were posed with the question “What hidden messages are now visible to you in what you could offer as your autobiography?” When Kumashiro says that “we need to be examining our lessons and lenses, their political implications, and possible alternatives,” he is urging us to look at our own experiences and views and how they may have been influenced by things like race, sexuality, and gender. When writing my autobiography, I did not touch on any of these things because I felt like they hadn’t influenced me. I only considered the way that the experiences I have had and the people around me had influenced me. When Katia posed the question in lecture I initially disagreed with her because I did not feel like these things are what make me who I am. However, after taking some time to reflect on the question, I realize that by not touching on things like race, sexuality and gender in my autobiography, I was ignoring the fact that they may have helped shape the experiences that I wrote about. I am a white, heterosexual, middle class female, and because of this I have been given certain privileges throughout my life. By not writing about these things, I ignored this privilege. I think this type of ignorance is common because privilege based on things like race, gender, sexuality, and social class is a form of what Katia described as “troubling knowledge.” People know it is there, but do not want to think about it. If we are striving to be anti-oppressive educators, we need to understand that this troubling knowledge exists, and educate others about it.

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