Brian Simpson has an excellent post up at Rense.com on the gender situation in the Canadian schools where he has taught. The post is quite complete – he catalogs a whole range of misandry and gender discrimination he has experienced or witnessed in that time.
Local Superiority is Superior Enough – I remember back in the days when I had to do my song and dance briefing whatever commander, one of the questions the Air Force would always get was “Will we have air superiority?” It was so predictable that it became almost a laugh line. And sometimes the answer would be “We’ll have local superiority” and the answer would be “I can live with that as long as you are locally superior over our location.” It was like a set of dance moves.
It doesn’t matter how much you enemy has you outgunned if he can’t aim those weapons at you or if you manage to get your one little, pitiful pistol aimed at the side of his head. That’s how local superiority becomes superior enough.
So if we are presented with the argument that sexism requires actual power along with gender bigotry, fine I can go with that – as long as we identify who actually has what power when and where. And reductionist, simplistic grand global models of gendered power relationships are not going to cut it.
Women control the entire public education system in the United States and I imagine the situation is about the same in the rest of the Anglosphere. Women don’t control the financial industry, and don’t control the foreign policy establishment or the legislative process except indirectly, but none of that matters when you are a six-year-old boy going to school. To that six-ear-old boy, the only power that matters is who is in charge of the building where he spends most of his waking hours.
Brian Simpson catalogs his own experiences as a male teacher. They include hiring discrimination, gendered blaming of violence on men, gendered concern only for female victims of violence presented as Truth in professional settings, bigoted rape awareness indoctrination directed at boys, open expressions of viciously anti-male sentiment tolerated and even encouraged, dismissal of male issues with lies and derision.
And what can a boy in these schools expect to experience:
He will experience being told he is less mature than the girls, and yet to be punished more severely when he misbehaves, and he will be punished more often. If a girl mistreats him, he can expect that to go unpunished. He may even find himself being punished for it.
He can expect to find girls’ behavior called more mature and his behavior labeled as immature.
He can expect to find learning activities structured to emphasize repetitive tasks, compliance with administrative rules valued over mastery of subject matter, and to be evaluated more on how comfortable the teacher is with him than on his academic performance.
He can expect to find competitive activities of the kind that motivate him to learn to be de-emphasized and even stigmatized.
He can expect to hear masculinity itslef stigmatized – to hear expressions such as “testosterone poisoning” and references to “the fragile male ego” and to hear men blamed for all violence and oppression and to hear women identified as the only victims.
Of course primary education is full of teachers, mostly female, who respect and care for all their students, boys included. But the culture of education is against the kind of equality they want in their classrooms. This is the hand that is rocking the cradle in public education. If “children are the future”, that is power indeed.