Time To Change (Her Perceptions)

| Friendly | May 27, 2015

(Our dorm room is on the second floor. Passersby can’t see very far into our room, but I still like to change clothes while the window blinds are closed. I am not comfortable letting anyone see me in my underwear. I am American, and my roommate is Afghani, which I only mention because she is from a culture where women dress conservatively. One morning, the blinds are open, so I close them before I start changing. Before I’m done, my roommate goes to the window and opens the blinds. I move rapidly to the back of the room, completely out of view of anyone passing by outside.)

Me: “What are you doing?”

Roommate: “It’s dark in here. I wanted light.”

Me: “I’m changing! I don’t want anyone to see me!”

Roommate: “Why not?”

Me: “What do you mean, why not? Close the window! You can open it again after I’m dressed!”

Roommate: *completely unconcerned* “Just change back there. No one can see you back there.”

(I gape at her. Furious, I do just that. She turns away to give me ‘privacy.’)

Roommate: “What do you care if anyone sees you? [Former Roommate] didn’t care. She happily changed where anyone could see her.”

Me: “[Former Roommate] was from Panama. Maybe that’s normal in Panama, or maybe she was just a free spirit or something, but she wasn’t me!”

Roommate: “She had no problem with it. You shouldn’t, either.”

(Yes, my roommate did base all of her opinions about Western women on the behaviors of her former roommate… without any regard to personalities, cultures, or other differences.)

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