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Posts Tagged ‘Feminism’

Sometimes It’s Worth Risking a Fight With a Parent

September 27, 2014

cookies

I’m glad the teacher didn’t let this most unreasonable parent have her way:

A crazed feminist told a second grade school teacher that she hopes she gets beaten on a nightly basis by an abusive husband because she refused to hand out vagina shaped cookies to her class. 

The unnamed teacher asked a friend to post details of the bizarre encounter on her Reddit account. 

According to the story, the teacher regularly invites volunteer parents to cook snacks for her class on a Friday when the children have been well behaved. 

The teacher said the woman arrived at the school and handed over a plate full of treats and said: ‘I decided you can use these to teach the kids about the woman’s vagina today.’

According to the teacher: ‘Baffled and completely caught off guard I slowly peel the aluminum foil off the pan to behold a plethora of sugar cookie and frosting vaginas. 

‘Not just any old vagina, but ALL KINDS OF VAGINAS. There were small, puffy, white, brown, shaved, bald, and even a fire crotch with beef curtains. Perplexed I give the parent the most professional look I can muster and quietly reply “I’m sorry, but I can’t give these to my students. This just isn’t appropriate.”

The teacher said the outrage parent started shouting at her in front of the class of seven-year-old children. She said ‘I should be proud of my vagina and ‘I am settling for a women’s role in life’. 

The feminist, according to the story, shouted the word vagina repeatedly before storming out of the classroom. 

Later that afternoon the teacher received several phone calls and emails from parents wondering how their child learned the word ‘vagina’ while at school.  

Then, the crazed mother sent a series of abusive emails to the teacher, wishing domestic violence upon her. 

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Our Education System Betrays Boys

December 16, 2013

boy

It bothers me when, as a result of girls outperforming boys on standardised tests, the assumption is made that girls are better equipped to succeed as they are inherently more academic.

Perhaps that assumption is true, but has it been thoroughly tested? What, if anything, has been done to change the way boys are being taught?

Dr. Kevin Donnelly, one of the sharpest minds in education policy and analysis is right to raise a few challenges which have, in his view, prevented boys from having an equal chance to shine in the classroom:

As to why our education system discriminates in favour of girls the reasons aren’t hard to find. As argued by the American author Michael Gurian “male and female brains learn differently” with girls maturing before boys in terms of academic ability, being able to socialise and interact with others and being more articulate expressing emotions.

When it comes to teaching primary school children how to read the most popular approach, called whole language where readers are told to look and guess, favours girls.

Boys need a highly structured, systematic model of reading based on phonics and phonemic awareness where they learn the relationship between letters and sounds and combinations of letters and sounds – the very approach no longer taught.

Since the late ’60s and early ’70s, mainly due to the rise of feminism and the fact that there are so few male primary school teachers, the way teachers teach and the way classrooms are structured have been feminised.

Teachers no longer stand at the front of the room and children are expected to direct their own learning in open, mixed ability classrooms. As a result, boys are easily distracted, become behavioural problems and soon fall behind.

The fact that a lot of learning adopts an open-ended, inquiry approach where teachers become guides by the side and facilitate instead of directing what should happen also works against boys’ preferred learning styles.

Boys need clear direction, explicit goals, timely feedback and an orderly classroom environment where they know what they have to do and what constitutes pass and fail.

Boys also need to be taught to respect authority and to have teachers prepared to enforce a disciplined environment where there are consequences for misbehaviour.

While there is no doubt that many women are still discriminated against and that significant issues like domestic violence must be addressed, it’s also true that making education more girl friendly shouldn’t mean that boys lose out.

Click on the link to read  Are Kindergarten Teachers Biased Against Boys?

Click on the link to read Should We Include Feminism in the Curriculum?

Click on the link to read Arguments For and Against Single-Sex Education

Click on the link to read The Perfect Example of Courage and Self-Respect

Women Teachers Lack Confidence in Teaching PE: Lord Coe

July 28, 2013

 

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Was Lord Coe being sexist or merely relating the findings of research? You be the judge:

Lord Coe was plunged into a sexism row last night after saying that most women teachers lack the confidence to take PE lessons in primary schools.

The former London 2012 chairman blamed their failings on training colleges that offer only six to ten hours of sports tuition over two years.

Although he was simply highlighting research carried out by a sports charity, his comments drew an angry backlash.

‘It is entirely unacceptable to be peddling such sexist nonsense,’ said Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

‘I’m sure Jessica Ennis and all those other female Olympians would be outraged by such views. To imply that female primary school teachers don’t have as much ability as men to teach sport isn’t right.’

But Lord Coe, the Government’s Olympic legacy ambassador, insisted it was not a question of ability, but one of training.

‘I was shocked by how little they get,’ he said.

‘Eight out of ten teachers in primary schools are women. And this is not remotely pejorative but I think that something like 80 per cent of them said they just did not feel confident taking physical education.

‘I am guessing that there will be a lot of men who will feel the same way.’

Lord Coe has long emphasised the ‘crucial’ need to provide better PE teaching in primary schools.

Click on the link to read my post, Do experienced teachers give enough back to the profession?
Click on the link to read, ‘Teachers Trained Very Well to Teach Very Poorly
Click on the link to read my post 25 Characteristics of a Successful Teacher

 

The Levels People Go to in Order to Make a Profit

March 3, 2013

rape

How despicable is this for a t-shirt?

A company is selling t-shirts with the slogan ‘Keep Calm And Rape Them’ emblazoned across the chest on Amazon.

The online clothing store, Solid Gold Bomb, sells the short-sleeved t-shirts for between £15 and £17 on the warehouse website.

But potential customers are clearly not willing to buy the deeply offensive t-shirts, slamming both Amazon and the clothes shop, which has its headquarters in the UK.

Users branded the shop and its message ‘disgusting’ and ‘disturbing’.

The brightly-coloured tops’ message are a twist on the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ morale-boosting slogan used in World War II by the British Government.

The message has experienced a boom in popularity in recent years, and sparked a trend in shops producing products such as tea-towels, posters and cushions, bearing the slogan, or a play on it.

Solid Gold Bomb, who produce the t-shirts, was created and launched from Melbourne, Australia, and describes itself as a ‘small global t-shirt company’.

They write on their website about their range: ‘We managed to list our Keep Calm and Carry On parody series on the site.

‘Bake On, Beat On and Teach On are Proving Very Popular! Rock On!’

School Official Allegedly told a Teacher to Train her Breasts to not Make Milk at Work

November 15, 2012

Some school officials have a love affair with the word “no”. Any time they are asked a question by a teacher the answer is a predictable – “No”.

In the rush to satisfy politicians, donors, board members and parents, looking after teachers and responding to their wants and needs takes a backseat to all other stakeholders.

Teaching is supposed to be a flexible, family friendly career. But it isn’t in the hands of officials and their favourite two letter answer.

One former teacher allegedly found out that the word “no” is not nearly as bad as advice on what she should do with her breasts!

A former California school teacher accuses school officials in a lawsuit of failing to accommodate her breastfeeding schedule.

The Monterey Herald reports that Sarah Ann Lewis Boyle has sued the Carmelo School, where she worked, and the Carmel Unified School District, alleging discrimination and wrongful termination.

The lawsuit was filed on Oct. 30.

Boyle says before returning to work, she told a manager at the school that she would need about 15 minutes every day between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. to pump her breasts.

Boyle claims the manager told her to train her breast not to make milk then, and the district made no accommodations to allow her to feed her newborn. According to Boyle, she later received a negative evaluation and was urged to resign.

District spokesman Paul Behan said the district does not comment on litigation.

I am glad you don’t comment on litigation. I also hope for your sake your schools don’t comment on breasts and breastfeeding either.

 

Click on the link to read Who is Going to Stand Up For Bullied Teachers?

Click on the link to read 12 Tips for Managing Time in the Classroom

Click on the link to read If Teachers Were Paid More I Wouldn’t Have Become One

Click on the link to read Different Professions, Same Experiences

Click on the link to read Our Pay Isn’t the Problem

 

This Can Only Ever Happen in a Co-Ed School

October 20, 2012

The beauty of teaching in a co-ed school is that if done properly a mutual respect develops between the genders. It is the perfect forum for dispelling myths and forming respectful relationships between the sexes.

Take this above video for example. A young girl in Norway is teased by a cocky male classmate. He refuses to bend over to avoid her soccer kick. Instead, he remains standing, defiantly sending the message that since she is a girl she is incapable of kicking the ball with any real force.

As the video shows this tactic was not very wise.

I am not posting this video to belittle the boy. Instead I want to comment on the lessons he and his classmates may well have taken from the incident. This was a brilliant showcase for demonstrating the boundless capabilities of the opposite gender and how nobody deserves to be taken lightly in any sphere or circumstance.

Teaching in a co-education environment, we see examples of this every day. It does more to enhance the relationships between genders than any bogus speech delivered in parliament can ever achieve.

 

Click on the link to read Why do Boys Score Better than Girls at Maths?

Click on the link to read Should We Include Feminism in the Curriculum?

Click on the link to read Arguments For and Against Single-Sex Education

Click on the link to read The Perfect Example of Courage and Self-Respect

Are Male Teachers Subject to Sexual Discrimination?

June 30, 2012

I believe that it is very hard for male teachers to get a job in the public system. Often public schools are female dominated, to the point where a token male would have some effect on the staff-room dynamic. I feel that it was a major factor in my inability to secure a job in the public school system. As I recounted in an earlier post:

I applied for 30 Public School positions over the summer and none of these possibilities turned into a job offer. Nobody in the State system was prepared to take me on. Sitting in the job interview, I couldn’t help but wonder whether I was leapfrogged because of my gender. I know it seems rich for a male to cry sexism, but the selection panel was nearly always all female and on walking around schools, I noticed that nearly all the teachers were female. In the name of a close-knit staff dynamic, it wouldn’t have been such an easy proposition to disturb the status quo and invite a male into the staff room inner sanctum.

But while males might be discriminated in the public system, I have it on good authority from people high up in other private schools, that males are preferred over females in the private system because they don’t go on maternity leave. So it goes both ways.

Still, after all women went through (and to some extent still do) when it comes to being overlooked for jobs, you can understand why it doesn’t feel right to have a male shouting sexual discrimination:

A MALE primary school teacher has alleged he was the victim of sex discrimination after losing out on a job to a young woman.

Glenn Telfer claims he was the top candidate for a permanent post at an Edinburgh primary after doing the job for several months and earning plaudits from parents and his boss.

But the 55-year-old ended up out of work after the job went to Louise Hunter, 25.

Mr Telfer is taking Edinburgh City Council to an employment tribunal claiming sex and age discrimination.

Click here to read my post about the absence of male teachers in public schools.

Make-Up Lessons for 14-Year-Old Girls Draws Outrage

January 19, 2012

You would have thought we were stuck in the 1960’s. Honestly, to offer make-up classes to young girls is such an outdated idea.

A school has triggered outrage for giving make-up lessons to girls as young as 14.

The classes at Mount St Mary’s Catholic High School in Leeds even teach the youngsters how to get ready for a night out, the Mirror reports.

Teachers claim they help pupils learn how to make a good first impression and can boost their self-confidence.

However, family campaign groups and parents yesterday criticised the school.

The Family Education Trust told the paper: ‘At a time when there is growing public concern about the sexualisation of children and young people, it is irresponsible for schools to provide make-up lessons.

‘Parents don’t send their daughters to school to learn how to put on make-up but to receive a decent education.

‘The fact that some of the pupils asked for these lessons is no defence.

Indeed, it is not for students to dictate what is taught in class. My issue here is it sends the wrong message. True confidence doesn’t come from the ability to apply make-up, it comes from achievement. Far more worthier programs can be undertaken by the school than this one.

Whilst I don’t feel it’s necessary to condemn the school for this error in judgement, I think it’s time they concentrated on making these girls feel good about themselves within their charter of educational outcomes.

Children’s Books Deemed Sexist

May 6, 2011

It turn out the classic children’s books I have grown up reading have “enforced gender equality.”  Books I appreciated as a child have been among those labeled sexist for featuring a male hero instead of a female one, according to a recent study:

A large-scale study of children’s books published between 1900 and 2000 revealed that they were almost twice as likely to feature a male central character than a female one.

The gender bias was even worse when it came to books with animal characters – often favoured by publishers as ‘gender neutral’ with male animal heroes featuring in three times more books than female animal heroines.

And female characters were even overlooked when it came to star billing – kids’ books were twice as likely to include a male character’s name in their title as a female name.

Researchers from Florida State University, USA, also discovered that while books printed during the 1990s came close to equal representation of male and female human characters, animal characters were twice as likely to be male as female.

In a conclusion that will baffle fans of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, researchers said their findings indicated a ‘symbolic annihilation of women’.

They warned that the role of kids’ fiction as a ‘dominant blueprint of shared cultural values, meanings and expectations’ could send a message that ‘women and girls occupy a less important role in society than men or boys.’

Evidence of this inequality was noted in how readers ‘interpret even gender neutral characters as male’ and in the way mums ‘frequently label gender-neutral animal characters as male when reading with their children.’

And in books where the characters are animals – such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Fantastic Mr Fox and Winnie-the-Pooh – leading and positive female roles are scarcer.

The likes of Jemima Puddle-Duck and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle had key roles in just 7.5 per cent of children’s books. Male rabbits, bears, owls, dogs, foxes and toads were more prevalent – they were the lead characters in 23 per cent of books.

The study, results of which are published in Gender and Society journal, looked at almost 6,000 children’s books published between 1900 and 2000.

Books were chosen from three different sources, including those which had won the prestigious Caldecott Medal, awarded annually to American kids’ fiction.

Study author Professor Janice McCabe, professor of sociology at Florida State University said: “We looked at a full century of books.

“One thing that surprised us is that females’ representations did not consistently improve from 1900 to 2000; in the mid part of the century it was actually more unequal. Books became more male dominated.”

And on the problem of animal characters, Prof McCabe added: “Together with research on reader interpretations, our findings regarding imbalanced representations among animal characters suggests that these characters could be particularly powerful, and potentially overlooked, conduits for gendered messages.

“The persistent pattern of disparity among animal characters may even reveal a subtle kind of symbolic annihilation of women disguised through animal imagery.”

The study found that the imbalance has worsened since the turn of the 20th century, when the split was even.

In the early 1900s there was a move away from books about fairytales based on heroines such as Cinderella. But there were numerous strong female characters. Nancy was the captain of the Amazon in Swallows and Amazons, and What Katy Did was a major series. Male characters such as Harry Potter and Alex Rider now dominate.

I have no issue with the general findings, and I fon;t think too many would be suprised that there is a disparity between central male and female characters in children’s story.  What I do have a problem is with two statements:
As a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz in all forms, I find it absolutely mind-boggling that the researchers have called it a ‘symbolic annihilation of women’.  Talk about over analysis!  I find this label deeply offensive.

And then there’s this bold statement“The persistent pattern of disparity among animal characters may even reveal a subtle kind of symbolic annihilation of women disguised through animal imagery.”

Annihilation?  Is that the best word they could come up with for books that didn’t pass the gender test, but surely passed the good intentions test?  Is it not possible that while these classic books are a sign of the times when it comes to gender disparity, they are also largely brilliantly written and conceived stories that were written to entertain and engross children rather than to symbolically annihilate women?

Girls Performing Much Better in the Classroom

May 1, 2011

It is no surprise that girls are out doing boys in the classroom.  This has been the trend for quite some time.  But it should focus our energies on how we can teach boys in a more effective manner.

Girls are teaching their male classmates a lesson, blitzing them in almost every subject in Victoria’s classrooms.

Details of NAPLAN tests conducted last May also show Melbourne students narrowly outscore their country cousins, while those with highly educated or professional parents get the best marks.

Girls scored better than boys in 19 of the 20 categories measured in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.

Nationwide, boys fell behind in almost all categories. Overall, Victoria’s students placed second in half the categories and lead the nation in three.

Year 9 boys were cause for the most worry – 15 per cent failed to meet the writing standard. However, their struggles matched those across Australia, meaning Victoria was still the best in the subject.

There are matters I would like to raise on this topic:

1.  We must do more to engage our boys.  Whether it’s a lack of male teachers or a teaching style that doesn’t work as well with boys, we must get to the heart of the problem and help mend the disparity.

2.  It is absolutely mind-boggling that in todays age we do not have more women in high positions and on multi-national company boards.  It is insane that we even need to talk about employing a quota system to get more female C.E.O’s.  Whilst it isn’t always the choice of women to sacrifice other aspects of their lives for a time-consuming and stressful career, there are many who are keen to get as far as they can go up the corporate ladder.  The argument that positions should be filled by those who are most qualified and capable is true.  However, that should result in females overtaking males in these leadership positions, because they are proving how much better they are in critical areas of learning and thinking.  Unfortunately, I suspect competency has nothing to do with it.


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