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).
reblogging again for the wonderful commentary.
Holy crud, so glad I read this. Reblogging for other educators.
As a girl who would not be shut up and would not tolerate teasing or abuse from boys in my class and was several times sent to such higher authorities for it, reading this is extremely, extremely vindicating. I was lucky, though, because being a particularly bright, advanced student for those grades, they generally took my side and I never got into any severe or lasting trouble. Again ,this was luck, and shouldn’t be the rule.
I was going to write that exact last paragraph; WOW.
E3 was great! Just look at all brand new games they give us!
Just look at protagonists! Isn’t it great, how modern technologies let developers create so many different characters?! Just look at divercity of facial hair! Or how many hues of dark brown used for their hair!
If you are a man and you use intimidation techniques to win arguments/debates with women, I cannot and will not trust you. Yes, even without you realizing you’re doing it.
Are you a male? Are you winning the debate? I’ll accuse you of using intimidating tactics and shut down the conversation. No, I don’t have to actually prove you were using intimidating tactics. In fact, I could just say I perceive you were doing so, Mind you, *I* can use intimidating tactics all I like, and that’s okay. But not you. That power is reserved for me. Also, if I hit you repeatedly and you call the cops you’ll go to jail. Not me. Because my feminist sisters ensured all the criteria that determines who the police take away are male oriented. So it’s okay if I hit you. But you can’t hit me. That power is reserved for me.
You privileged and oppressive fucking male.
See mr-cappadocia in action. Notice how he puts words in her mouth, with a sweeping generalized point that to criticize male intimidation techniques must mean she wants to hog intimidation techniques for the female gender’s exclusive use. Let’s not even consider the possibility that to engage in debate without any party having to feel intimidated might be an aspiration of the OP’s. No, when mr-cappadocia finds your posts in the feminism tag, he gets to invent all kinds of ulterior motives for you and still call you unreasonable.
What exactly is mr-cappadocia’s objection here? A blogger in the feminism tag is frank about a bias of hers, and—rather than live with his privileged position over those who would hold such a bias and be content with the fact that most folks in and out of these debates will never critically examine whether or not this bias is justified—he has to bully her and make the conversation about the legal ramifications the poor oppressed men must face when they hit women. (And prove her point in the process with no irony intended. Wow!!)
We can deduce that his aim here derailing her post is not to posit any sort of challenge to the OP’s argument itself. Actually, his aim is to discredit specifically her experience. This is not for her benefit or his own, so much as reinforcing the patriarchal dynamic of debate in general, to keep women silent about their experiences. This is implied gaslighting on an epic scale, to the effect of: “Do you feel intimidated ladies? Well too bad, I’ve got debates to ‘win!’”
How exactly does one “win” a debate?
I mean, sure, in school they have debate teams, and one team “wins” based on how well they present their arguments according to a classroom’s criteria of what constitutes skillful debating. But when you win according to that curriculum, you only prove that you know how to pass a class. And on the internet when you “win” a debate, that just proves you know your audience and you know how to milk them for approval. And in politics when you win a debate, it means you know how to get your way.
But isn’t there a point to debate beyond getting your way? Isn’t that kinda what the OP is trying to get at here? The function of debate beyond “winning” and “losing,” to actually convince folks to rethink things, and get each other to question things?
You’d think mr-cappadocia, a self-styled skeptic, would’ve worked this out for himself by now, and moved past the idea that debates are for “winning” and “losing.”
But of course, as dearly as mr-cappadocia holds skepticism and the importance of questioning everything, there is one thing he will always refuse to question: his own misogyny.
You feel bad that someone is angry at you for having male privilege?
Try having it proven to you every day of your life when you read the news and hear what has happened to your fellow women
That men will murder, rape, abuse, deny employment, take away decisions about my body from my control, and treat me like dirt
Simply because of my gender.
Bev Jo (via marjchaos)
And then you’ll see that it’s really men who are the irrational and hyper-emotional ones (p.s., anger is an emotion and males with an entitlement complex excel at expressing it, especially towards women and girls who don’t or refuse to succumb to his bullshit).
Whenever a few of my male friends make sexist jokes or remarks in my presence, they then turn to me and say something along the lines of ‘oh, yeah, we can’t say that around you, you’re a feminist’.
Male privilege is the inability to recognize the inherent problems with what you are saying, even when they are repeatedly pointed out to you.
If you think that representation doesn’t matter, that’s probably because you’re already represented.
fuck i love this so much. fucking BOOM