You walk, talk, dress, speak, or carry yourself a certain way. You turn vernacular off and on. You stay in constant awareness of your tone. Even the way you laugh might be a little different depending on where you are.
These are all a part of the regular behavior for most human beings. We adapt to the “norms” of the environments we are in. We tailor our talk and dress for different environments. It’s rational to an extent. To an extent. Because “norms” are not always right or rational.
We have talked about adjusting and code-switching. We have discussed that fine line between adopting a certain manner in an environment in a way that is reasonably expected AND having to do too much in an environment that is just not inclusive. We have talked about the pressure to remove a lot of who you are in order to be acknowledged and respected, and how acknowledgement and respect are not always extended.
“Respectability politics” is a phrase whose definition encompasses how people determine who is or is not worthy of respect. As the well-degreed, proven to be intelligent and (UGH!) articulate, making contributions to advance society, thriving in environments in which few look like us – as the #BLACKandSTEM – I want to hear your stance on respectability politics.
Today’s question: What is your stance on respectability politics? How do they impacted you?
Remember to use the #BLACKandSTEM hashtag!
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