Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Safe Space

I did Safe Space training today. It's the first time our campus has had Safe Space training, and I'm a little excited that we had it. But also a little weirded out by some of the comments. I know, however, that I probably sound as stupid at diversity ally training.

Safe Space training is training to support GLBTQ community members and allies in hopes of changing campus communities for the better. (I think they mostly work through educational institutions, but maybe other communities, too?)

So I changed one of my old rainbow stickers in the door window for the new "Safe Space at NWU" one. So now I have a rainbow sticker that still has stickiness (since I had it in the inside of the window looking out, so to speak). My office door proclaims, as it were, that I've at least had the training, and so should be an ally. I'll get a "certificate of completion," too; the idea of a certificate of completion seems a bit meaningless, because you could sit through the training without actually learning anything. But the rainbow sticker seems more positive, somehow.

I thought about putting the old rainbow sticker on my car.

During the training, we were asked to think about our biases. One of my biases is that I think my car is going to be trashed or I'm going to be beaten up in a parking lot somewhere for having a rainbow sticker on it. It's not that I think that everyone in the upper midwest is hateful and violent, but all it takes is one person, and I'm a whuss. On the other hand, my Darwin fish doesn't seem to have provoked anything more than the occasional smile.

My campus window feels pretty safe; even the jerks on campus tend to limit their jerkitude. But off campus doesn't feel safe for a rainbow sticker.

What do you think? Sticker on the car with my Darwin fish and Flying Spaghetti Monster thingy?


  1. I vote for the fish and flying spaghetti monster thingy. Rainbows just make me think of Sesame Street ( you know, the rainbow connection) song) and Lucky Charms Cereal.

    I love real rainbows - actually have seen double rainbows twice now - but hate the rainbow cartoon image.

    Then again,it's your car...

  2. Anonymous3:55 PM

    Only if you've been truly touched by his noodly appendage.

  3. Seriously, I don't think that most bigots and homophobes actually understand that rainbows are about gay pride or being a GLBTQ ally. If you've already got the darwin fish, I seriously don't think that you'd be in more danger with a rainbow added.

  4. Anonymous5:11 PM

    Dr. B: last semester, my tires were slashed, windows were busted, and doors were keyed (each incident separate) each time I parked on campus.

    The most offensive sticker on my car said "4-legged baby on board."

    So I think you are pretty safe.

    And moi? Dropped out of that school and left that doctoral program to join an online program where having my car vandalized is NOT something I have to worry about.

  5. I thought the rainbow connection was a muppets song?

    I'm not a huge car-bumper sticker fan, really, so I'm not one to listen to. I do like flying spaghetti monster thingy though...

  6. TBTAM, The Darwin fish and FSM thing are already there. And wow, I've NEVER seen a double rainbow. Cool! (I'm just too old to have watched Sesame Street, and not having kids, never watched it from the other side, either. Do they do rainbows?)

    Roaringgrrl, I have, indeed, been touched! In the head... err...

    Dr Crazy, Thanks. I was actually warned before I took a trip to the south a couple years ago that the Darwin fish would be trouble, but so far as I could tell, it wasn't.

    Kathy, Oh, ugh, I'm sorry to hear about your problems. Do you find the on-line program gives you what you need? I ask because I learned so much sitting around drinking coffee and talking about stuff during my PhD program, and I wouldn't think you'd get that so much.

    MWAK, I've actually never put a bumper sticker on my car before, except this car with the Darwin fish and FSM thing. My folks were against bumper stickers because of resale value, but it finally struck me that my last car was 20 years old when I got rid of it, and a bumper sticker really wasn't a big issue for resale value.

    Thanks for your input, all!