The Biyuti Collective has a wonderful post On Manners, Etiquette and the White Man’s Rules.
It is important that so many white people use standards of etiquette to judge how civilized and human some people are. It is important that within the last ten years there is an incident like this in Canada. That children of colour are being held to and judged on some arbitrary white standard of etiquette. That they are being shamed and policed.
I have trouble eating with a knife and fork. I’m always awkward with them and often end up creating a mess. I never use them. I’m a pro with a spoon and a fork. With chopsticks, even. Knife and fork? Clumsy, awkward, and just not the best utensils for the sorts of things that I eat.
The “cutlery controversy” in Canada incident is referenced.
The boy’s mother pursued a formal apology, reporting that, in a telephone conversation with school principal Normand Bergeron, he had told her “Madame, you are in Canada. Here in Canada you should eat the way Canadians eat.”
The story first appeared in the West Island Chronicle. According to the Montreal-area newspaper, “When (the boy’s mother) questioned Bergeron about punishing students for their table habits, she says he replied that, ‘If your son eats like a pig he has to go to another table because this is the way we do it and how we’re going to do it every time.’”
“I don’t necessarily want students to eat with one hand or with only one instrument, I want them to eat intelligently at the table … I want them to eat correctly with respect for others who are eating with them. That’s all I ask. Personally, I don’t have any problems with it, but it is not the way you see people eat every day. I have never seen somebody eat with a spoon and a fork at the same time.”
It doesn’t need to be reiterated of that this is racist as fuck, and disgusting. And have you ever considered how inefficient it is to eat many dishes with a fork and knife? Stupid even, and inefficient? The spoon-and-fork way is both superior and more decorous: it’s neat and lets you gather up all the things you want to gather up. It lets you clean the plate. If occidentals want to find dirty primitives to sneer at, they need only to look into a mirror.
Rochita Loenen-Ruiz guest-posted Decolonizing as an SF Writer at Kate Elliot’s blog.
In the course of this journey, I have been told that I need to learn English better. That I can’t possibly grasp the nuances of the English language the way a native English speaker does and that I will never be published as an SF writer.
And then, there are people who say that because I write in English, my narrative is contaminated and no longer true to the culture I come from.
People who follow me on twitter may have been watching a particular exchange yesterday. I now feel that it is necessary to clarify some things, since people appear to misunderstand me about a very crucial matter–to wit, that I’m an advocate of some strange form of feminism that is an all-human, encompassing movement in which the rights and identities of weeaboos, otherkin, furries, fandom, geeks, nerds and their ilk must be respected and campaigned for. Now I’ll say, and dispel this misconception once and for all, that I do not give even one single shit about the fake oppression and the martyr complexes enjoyed by weeaboos, otherkin, furries, fandom, geeks, nerds and such ilk.
You might think this is not a thing which requires clarification. So did I! Well, both you and I are wrong.