The Values: Self, Society and the professions module is not one I thought I’d ever find myself doing. At school I mainly studied scientific subjects as I found myself on the numerical side of the 50:50 Maths vs. English divide. I truly believed that this was because I was better at Maths and Science than I was at having to write a story but as I work through this module (which ends with a 2000 word essay that I am far too intimidated by) I think that might not be the case.
We were asked this week during our Values workshop to discuss if we had had any thoughts during the module so far that where difficult or posed questions to us that our lecturer could maybe help with. The only thing that came to my mind then was that I’d never actually thought about how I was feeling when discussing sensitive issues, why? Because I don’t like thinking about myself. I’ve come to realise that the reason I’ve always preferred maths over English is because I couldn’t bring myself to write about anything personal (something I’m slowly trying to rectify with this blog). Being able to reflect your own thoughts and views in writing and putting it out the world is difficult but I think is certainly something I can build on.
I walked into our first lecture of this module and had no idea what to expect. We kept being made aware to the fact that this module can be quite personal, depending on how much you want to share, and to be respectful of others. I think as this module continues we will all find it a bit easier to open up to each other and reflect on our views and it challenges us.
For example, we were shown a clip of a speech the Irish drag queen Panti Noble wrote in response to some homophobic comments during the run up to the marriage equality vote in Ireland. In this clip Noble says that everyone in that room is homophobic as well as herself, an extremely controversial opinion but one I agree with. Noble makes her case by saying that none of us have fully accepted the LGBT+ community as there is still a stigma around it, we all see it as different. While some of us may see it as good difference and others bad we still see it that way and Noble proposes that is what makes us homophobic. This statement really challenges you to think about how you see the world as after a brief discussion with a few peers around me we discovered that even while not meaning to we treat people differently by either noticing them more or making base judgements before thinking them through. What I found really interesting was the way Noble called herself homophobic as she proposes that because she tries to ‘butch up’ or act differently around certain people to please them she is homophobic. Its definitely an interesting discussion and one I might look further into in the future.
During the workshop last week when we were asked if any questions had been raised due to the module our whole group went silent and no one really gave any input. I believe that this input is challenging us more than we know and hopefully, with time, we will be able to talk more openly about these issues society has with itself.