"Teachers are often unaware of the gender distribution of talk in their classrooms. They usually consider that they give equal amounts of attention to girls and boys, and it is only when they make a tape recording that they realize that boys are dominating the interactions.
Dale Spender, an Australian feminist who has been a strong advocate of female rights in this area, noted that teachers who tried to restore the balance by deliberately ‘favouring’ the girls were astounded to find that despite their efforts they continued to devote more time to the boys in their classrooms. Another study reported that a male science teacher who managed to create an atmosphere in which girls and boys contributed more equally to discussion felt that he was devoting 90 per cent of his attention to the girls. And so did his male pupils. They complained vociferously that the girls were getting too much talking time.
In other public contexts, too, such as seminars and debates, when women and men are deliberately given an equal amount of the highly valued talking time, there is often a perception that they are getting more than their fair share. Dale Spender explains this as follows:
The talkativeness of women has been gauged in comparison not with men but with silence. Women have not been judged on the grounds of whether they talk more than men, but of whether they talk more than silent women.
In other words, if women talk at all, this may be perceived as ‘too much’ by men who expect them to provide a silent, decorative background in many social contexts. This may sound outrageous, but think about how you react when precocious children dominate the talk at an adult party."
As a teacher, I give girls what I hope is a lot of attention. I don’t know if I give girls their fair share, but I aspire to, especially after noticing that boys are willing to use their greater share of teachers’ attention to get girls who they feel aren’t being quiet and docile enough punished. I have therefore acquired a reputation for “caring more about the girls.” This has had two marked results: Some straight boys have gotten more hostile toward me, and most girls have gotten more confident around me. This makes me think I’m doing something right.
Longer thoughts on how this phenomenon relates to sexual harassment in classrooms, if you’re interested: The girls figured out I won’t report them if they hit boys who are sexually harassing them, I’ll only report the boys. This led to an increase in how often girls got the last word and boys got smacked in my classes, and, also, to a DECREASE IN HOW OFTEN GIRLS GOT SEXUALLY HARASSED. The sexual harassers seem to have been depending on the sort of “equal blame” and “retaliation is never warranted” and “don’t hurt others’ feelings” perspectives so many schools try to instill in kids; the sexual harassers were usually the ones bringing me into the situation by saying, “Miss, she hit me! You should write her up!” Once they figured out I was only ever going to respond, “If you don’t treat girls like that, they won’t hit you,” the girls got more confident and the sexual harassers largely shut the fuck up.
In schools, fighting against sexual harassment is often punished exactly the same as, or more severely than, sexual harassment — a lot of discipline codes make no distinction between violence and violence in self-defence, and violence is ALWAYS the highest level of disciplinary infraction, whereas verbal sexual harassment rarely is. Sexual harassers, at least in the schools I’ve been in, rely heavily on GETTING GIRLS IN TROUBLE WITH HIGHER AUTHORITIES as a strategy of harassment — creating an external punishment that penalises girls for and therefore discourages girls from fighting back. Sexual harassers are willing to use their greater share of floorspace to ask to get girls who won’t date them punished. By and large, teachers do punish those girls when they swear or hit. Schools condition girls to ignore sexual harassment by punishing them when they speak up or fight back instead.
Once the sexual harassers in my classes understood that girls wouldn’t be punished for rejecting them, they backed off around me. And there started to be a flip in what conversations I get called into — girls are telling me when boys are being nasty (too loud and dominant), instead of boys telling me when girls are being uncooperative (louder and more dominant than boys think they should be).
(Source: colinfirthhasmoved, via petitedeath)
"What people don’t understand is when we say “Teach men not to rape,” we’re not talking about telling them not to jump out of the bushes in a ski mask and grab the nearest female. We’re talking about the way we teach boys that masculinity is measured by power over others, and that they aren’t men unless they “get some.” We’re talking about teaching men (and women) that it’s not okay to laugh at jokes about rape and abuse. We’re talking about telling men that a lack of “No” doesn’t mean “Yes,” that if a woman is too drunk to consent they shouldn’t touch her, that dating someone - or even being married to someone - does not mean automatic consent. We’re talking about teaching boys to pay attention to the girl they’re with, and if she looks uncomfortable to stop and ask if she’s okay, because sometimes girls don’t know how to say stop in a situation like that. We’re talking about how women have the right to change their mind. Even if she’s been saying yes all night, if she says no, that’s it. It’s over. That’s what we mean when we say “Teach men not to rape."
CAN WE TALK ABOUT THIS?
I mean, can we just talk about how this parallels the actual education system? Where they’re so concerned about teaching us things like logarithms and graphing that we don’t know shit about what’s actually out there in the adult world, like doing taxes or writing checks or anything? I mean, “It is the view of the Ministry that a theoretical knowledge will be sufficient to get you through your examinations, which after all, is what school is all about.” School children are often under the impression that getting A’s in all their classes ensures a successful future, but really, it’s so ignorant because the real world isn’t just one big question-and-answer paper. There is so much more to the world than being able to give back information like some kind of super-computer, and brainwashing children into thinking that theory is key is just going to lead to a bunch of children falling flat on their faces when they’re pushed into the adult world and feel as if everything new they try to do is wrong because it wasn’t taught to them step-by-step. I just really love Harry’s line, “And how is theory supposed to prepare us for what’s out there?” because I feel as if sometimes we just learn things for the sake of knowing them, despite whether it is actually useful. Yes, school is important, and getting bad grades isn’t a good way to start your future, but it’s so much more than that, you see.
this sounds a lot like something Hermione would say
I think that’s the reason why everyone has such strong negative feelings toward Umbridge (as a person, not a character). I can’t tell you how many times I heard people say that they wanted Umbridge to die more than Voldemort. And I must say that I feel the same.
Voldemort is a racist dictator. While these have existed, and still do, the majority of us don’t live under such a tyrant. We’ve heard about them in history books and on the news- but they’re already dead or on the other side of the world. While we can be horrified at the terror such a person can spread and how, well, evil they can be, a character of this archetype doesn’t strike a personal chord with most of us.
But Umbridge does. As stated before, she represents everything that we hate about the public school system. Most of us know or have a teacher, professor, principal, or school administrator who, to probably a lesser degree, personifies what Umbridge is saying. They teach only to the test, or tell teachers to do so, they insist on including useless things in their curriculums, they PASS LAWS SO THAT SUCH A SCHOOL SYSTEM CAN CONTINUE. This is something that affects nearly every public school in the US, (and I’m guessing the UK as well). Nearly every student has to go through school learning things that they will never use in real life and that in no way prepare them for the real world, just so the various boards of education can use the higher test scores as ‘proof’ that we’re ‘smarter’ than other states, countries, etc., and therefore deserve more funding.
We hate Umbridge so much (again, as a person, not a character) because she represents a villain we all have in our own lives. Possibly every single person who has read this book can connect with the frustration Harry and the other students feel.
We hate Umbridge so much because everything she is, everything she represents, is very real and very personal to every single one of us.
(Source: dracoharrys, via saffronsugar)
"Education is the silver bullet. Education is everything. We don’t need little changes. We need gigantic monumental changes. Schools should be palaces. The competition for the best teachers should be fierce. They should be getting six-figure salaries. Schools should be incredibly expensive for government and absolutely free of charge to its citizens, just like national defense. That’s my position. I just haven’t figured out how to do it yet."
"People think of education as something they can finish."
Malala Yousafzai, in a 2011 interview with CNN, discussing her activism on behalf of girls seeking education in Pakistan.
YES YES YES!! I love this. FOREVER REBLOG!!
YOU GO GIRL!
I’m going to point out again for those who don’t click links: This young woman was shot in the head and neck by the Taliban for speaking out on behalf of women’s rights in Pakistan.
She is fifteen years old. She is also still alive. It is likely that she will suffer lifelong language and coordination difficulties given where she was shot (left side of her head) but she hasn’t given up her fight.
While Islamic clerics in Pakistan have issued a Fatwa against the men who tried to murder her, the Taliban has re-iterated its intent to murder her and her father.
I can’t express how much of a hero this woman is. She’s only fifteen, and yet she’s faced such impossible odds, and she’s still fighting. I just wish there was something I could do to help her.
It’s symbolic, but it would send out a big message of support: nominate her for the Nobel Peace Prize.
guys, sign the petition. it takes you 5 seconds to honor the bravery of this strong girl.
(Source: lalondes, via booklover)
"Women and men do not receive an equal education because outside of the classroom women are not perceived as sovereign beings but as prey…. the capacity to think independently, to take intellectual risks, to assert ourselves mentally is inseparable from our physical way of being in the world, our feelings of personal integrity. If it is dangerous for me to walk home late of an evening from the library because I am a woman and I can be raped then, how self possessed, how exuberant can I feel as I sit and work at the library? How much of my working energy is drained by by the subliminal knowledge that as a woman, I test my physical right to exist every time I go out alone."
Adrienne Rich, feminist writer who recently passed away. It is from a chapter called, “Taking Women Students Seriously” from her book called, On Lies, Secrets and Silence. (via iamyourlung)
(Source: theselam, via booklover)
"It bears mentioning that nations with high-performing school systems—whether Korea, Singapore, Finland, or Japan—have succeeded not by privatizing their schools or closing those with low scores, but by strengthening the education profession. They also have less poverty than we do. Fewer than 5 percent of children in Finland live in poverty, as compared to 20 percent in the United States. Those who insist that poverty doesn’t matter, that only teachers matter, prefer to ignore such contrasts."
"For the first eight years of our marriage, [Michelle and I] were paying more in student loans than what we were paying for our mortgage. So we know what this is about.
And we were lucky to land good jobs with a steady income. But we only finished paying off our student loans—check this out, all right, I’m the President of the United States—we only finished paying off our student loans about eight years ago."