Re: Gender Equality

Richard Bennett (richard@bennett.com)
Sun, 19 Oct 1997 02:00:07 -0800

On 16 Oct 97 at 7:32, Sheri Ponzi wrote:

> Well, this makes sense, except that it has been shown again and again
> that boys are given MORE attention and MORE encouragement and
> opportunities to answer etc.

Pardon my butting in here, Sheri, but I think you might want to look
into this claim before accepting it at face value. There haven't been
that many studies on gender and callouts in schools, and those that have
been done are much more mixed than you say here. The Sadkers, who
researched this for "Failing at Fairness" originally said that boys get
more NEGATIVE attention than girls, but the latest spin out of the
feminist oligarchy has somehow decided that all attention is positve.
If you haven't read "Who Stole Feminism" by Christina Hoff Sommers, I'd
suggest you do for a challenging insight into the manufacture of
"alarming studies" on self-esteem and related issues.

My understanding of the Sudbury Model is that it's incompatible with any
form of social engineering, whether for causes good, bad, or
indifferent, and I know several people who have chosen a school of this
kind because they feel the public schools have gone overboard with
political correctness. When you force children to sit in a circle and
bear their feelings to each other, and then proceed to crtiique them for
gender, ethnic, and disabiltity sensitivity, you come very close to
brainwashing, and that's a common practice in many public schools.

Finally, I think that the central values issues are still the
responsibility of parents, and not the schools, even the democratic
schools. Certainly, as a "strong feminist" it's your right to attempt
to raise your children as "strong feminist's children", but I don't
think you can ask the school to work with you on other people's
children.

The school has a core set of values which include treating people with
respect, and as individuals. Philosophies which emphasize
identification with a group, whether by gender or some other
classification, may conflict with this.

It's an interesting question.

RB


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Richard Bennett                          http://www.bennett.com         
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