Since when did “I’m just being honest” turn into a free pass to say any shitty fucking thing you want?
It falls into the category of “I’m just sayin’.”
Oh, I’m not telling you that you are an untalented hack. I’m just sayin’. Now, if I were just saying, well, that would be a whole ‘nother Oprah. I’m just sayin’. See what I did there?
“Mrs. Odie, you look really tired today. I’m just being honest.” Yeah? Well, you look stupid as ever. Just sayin’.
“Mrs. Odie, I think that you give F’s to students you don’t like. I’m just being honest.” Let’s just pretend for a moment that this isn’t a completely absurd accusation, as my gradebook is available on-line to all my students, and while “Assignments”, “Assessments” and “Participation” are all categories, “Likeability” most assuredly is not.
Can you imagine if we gave A’s to the students we adore and F’s to the students we hate? I can think of one in particular who would not be at Yale right now.
I would never have walked up to an adult and maligned her character to her face. In my day, one did not feel entitled to tell adults how we felt about them. Fourteen years in the business and I’m already at the “in my day…” stage. Good grief.
But sometimes I wonder where the “self-esteem movement” has gotten us. “Bullying” is all anyone talks about anymore. Used to be, I couldn’t go buy my groceries without solicitors asking me to donate to the homeless. Now, it’s anti-bullying campaigns. I’m so tired of being asked to stop bullying, I drive by three different grocery stores to avoid twenty-somethings with pamphlets blocking the entrance.
No one talks about teachers being bullied. It happens every day to varying degrees. They go on-line and write vicious, untrue things about us. A parent whose child is about to be in my class is likely to Google me. That’s the biggest reason I write under a pseudonym, but I don’t teach under one.
My husband came home all riled up about a viral video the students love where “one of them” tells off “one of us.” They applaud the little shit while we identify with the adult. If I so much as took a photograph of a student vandalizing school property, or recorded him cussing me out, I’d be fired.
It’s probably always been this way. I’ve just reached a certain age where I’m so far away from 15, I don’t remember what it feels like. Adults have forever been horrified by the way youth challenges our way of being in the world. It’s just that in the fifties, when kids were standing up to adults and demanding that they stop being racist cockbags, it seemed more like a movement. I’m not “the Man.” I just want you to know the difference between a gerund and a participle. Now, it just seems like the purpose of standing up to grown-ups is to get a video on You Tube and to be an asshole.
I’m just being honest.