A male – obviously – student: What did you order at the restaurant?
Me: Baked cheese.
Student: That’s food for kids.
Other male student: I don’t mind your long hair, as long as you don’t try to seduce me.
Me: Gay people almost never have long hair… (Ever noticed this?)
I could have said he is insecure in his masculinity if he has to say something like that, but that would have been a micro-aggression on my part. And it would just have escalated the thing.
A female student:
You’re a woman in a man’s body.
This one is a bit of a gray zone, as I don’t take being labelled as being feminine as an insult. Feminine qualities are entirely undervalued in our society, but that’s because our society really is sick. Am sure she meant it as something degrading. Clearly she has issues if she thinks being a woman is somehow an insult…
Male student: A teacher is something one should never become.
(didn’t even react to that one)
These remarks were not meant as jokes. The tone and the context made that clear. Extra annoying is that these people are my clients and I have to be careful about how I react. Cause I could lose business.
I could go on, but you get the point. You may think these are harmless pin pricks, but behind these remarks is pure contempt.
I know contempt is a reflection of the problems the one expressing the contempt has, but sometimes I do lose my patience with this shit. When I was much younger I had boatloads of insecurities and false hopes and dreams and I also went around insulting people. Now I go out of my way to be the least abrasive I can be, because it does matter.
I think it’s a good thing people are sensitive and remarks like this can linger. Am not going to pretend otherwise. I stay professional, but behavior like this destroys my willingness to do more than what I need to do for them in my capacity as a teacher.
To hold a grudge is unhealthy and I don’t actively seek revenge, but I never forget and my respect for these people’s intelligence and wisdom does plummet.