Going on.

A lot of posts today, and a lot of words, but I had to make a decision over the last couple of days as to whether I still felt comfortable blogging about things like discrimination in education and the myth of meritocracy when I am a member of the exceedingly privileged group of well-educated, comfortable, white men.

I’ve debated long and hard whether continuing to frame things as I do is an overall positive act or whether it just reinforces the idea that it is people like me who need to define what has to be done and what change has to be made. Are my ideas and writing of sufficient value to make up for the fact that I’m still the same old face on the television? Would it be better for me to stand back and let others take over the vacant space because it’s far less intimidating than having to step into a filled area?

I’ve spent the last three days thinking hard on this and I think I’ve sorted out where I am useful and where I am not, and what that means in terms of the way that this is presented.

I’ve decided to continue because I’m not trying to talk for or instead of the people that I’m not, I’m talking to try and help to make more space for those people to talk. So that more people like me can listen when they do speak. And I would never want to represent myself as an authority on much, except for knowing what it’s like to be a middle-aged man with deteriorating eyesight and bad knees, so please never think that I’m an authentic voice for the people I talk about – I’m trying to help make change, not pass myself off as something I’m not. As always, if you have a choice between reading someone’s authentic experiences and a reported view, you must go to the source. If you only have time to read one blog, please make it someone else’s and make that person someone whose voice you really want to hear.

Thanks for reading!

I'm not there yet but the educational impact on hair rental may one day be something I can talk about with authenticity.

I’m not there yet but the educational impact on hair rental may one day be something I can talk about with authenticity.

4 Comments on “Going on.”

  1. lenandlar says:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts (and struggles of late?). I’ve had a rough time lately and it’s to do with being bullied and have world views I do not shared shoved down my throat via email.

    The point you raised about tone is so critical. I felt like I’m being slaughtered as a result of interpretations of my tone.

    I contemplated and then spoke to a trusted colleague and he said to me “don’t change, be yourself”.

    Thanks again for sharing. I’ve interpreted your recent posts as an expression of core struggles and in that tone I feel comforted.


    • nickfalkner says:

      Thank you for your thoughts! Tone is so hard because it’s not just your intention that is read into the final text – writing is like telepathy but filtered through two (often very different) brains. It’s great that you went to talk to someone else because that’s the best way to work out if you’re being misinterpreted (which it appears you are) or you’re just having a bad day (because we all do). Glad that you got some good advice on this!

      Yeah, it’s very much an expression of struggle so I’m glad that came across although I could do without the struggle! (But, as always, my struggle is from a position of such privilege that it’s more of a wiggle compared to real struggle. I have the luxury of intellectual conflict where others have war and starvation so I never lose sight of how lucky I am.)

      Thanks for writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lenandlar says:



  3. I just had the problem a couple of days ago where I commented on something and another commenter took my tone 180° from the way it was in my head. Reading that comment made me re-read what I had said, and I could totally see why. As you said, tone is so difficult in text. I was absolutely mortified. I hadn’t meant that, at all! I wanted to MAKE the other commenter see how wrong their probable opinion of me was.

    I must have written and rewritten a follow-up comment a dozen times, and I could find absolutely no way to make it sound like anything but “YOU’RE WRONG ON THE INTERNET AND I MUST FIX IT” to the other person.

    Leaving it alone was a struggle, but I finally managed to just let it go. Well, mostly. Clearly, it still bugs me at least a little. 🙂


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