In-Class Reflection: Postmodernism
The following is from a slide from English 4300 on July 6, 2016.
We are Very 2016— We are a product of our generation and the rhetoric that has been taught to us.
In discussion of Michel Foucault we discussed the case of a young girl who had to go to the bathroom while on an airplane. Because the rule says that passengers must remain in their seats when the remain seated light is on. The little girl ended up peeing on her airplane seat. Her mother (along with other passengers) were outraged that the little girl was not permitted to use the washroom.
The full story can be read here.
The modern perspective says: The rule serves the fast majority and therefore can not be changed.
The postmodern perspective says: Anti-burocracy and there are exceptions to rules.
Is the above image the final word on whether or not a small child can use the bathroom? Why do airlines have rules? Should there be exceptions to these rules?
In consideration of the story and all the factors, it would seem that the child was unjustly held to a rule. To allow her to be above the “law” and go to the bathroom would have been inconsequential to everyone involved. Safety would not be put at risk by getting up. The only risk was a herd mentality of thinking. If the child can go to the washroom, then why can’t everyone. To say that she can bend the rule is to say that everyone can– which defeats the purpose of having the rule in the first place. But really? As humans we have the ability to put the needs of others into consideration. We are capable of seeing the value in allowing some to bend the rules while staying within them ourselves. Sometimes “fair” is not equal. Fair is ensuring everyones needs are met.
I think that rules are put in place and expected to be followed. But (as a postmodernist) I believe that rules need to be evaluated and adjusted as seen fit. There needs to be flexibility and understanding. There is no question in my mind, the flight attendant should have let the young child go to the washroom. The purpose of the rule was to ensure safety and order. Safety and order were not jeopardized by allowing her to go to the bathroom.