It’s Roller Derby time boys and girls. Yet while I waited patiently for that 7pm whistle last sunday which started the rekindled sport my mind wanders to thoughts of gender equality. I know, boring, but hear me out. I’ve been noticing an upswing in articles related to the oppression of men and this all-women sport has rekindled my interest in the subject. Now before you go off laughing about how its impossible for men to be the subject of oppression based on their gender, I would have you stop and think about this for a moment.
I am, due to my own history with the state and childcare, an unflinching supporter of Father’s rights. In this instance I am absolutely convinced there is a biased view of parenting in this country which favors the mother. Does this happen all the time? Not hardly. Does it happen enough that it should be investigated? I say a resounding “yes.” While going through the custody process myself I encountered several avenues of assistance that were available to the mother, that were not available to me, which were based solely on her gender. Furthermore, the prevailing child development model at the time was one that claimed children were developmentally disadvantaged when separated from their mothers. This standard was absolutely biased against fathers and thankfully is beginning to change.
In part, I believe it is changing because of the drastic difference in education based on gender. Last year I read several articles and blog posts about how the current model of education; one that many believe is detrimental to boys’ learning, is not being studied on that basis of gender . In my own recent attempts to join the K-12 teaching ranks, I have found a great emphasis on race and class, but no one is talking about gender. For this reason alone I feel there should be an open discourse about it.
Now, it appears this may actually happen. (more…)
On occasion at my job that partially pays the bills, I have to monitor the calls of others to ensure they are doing their job and not giving away the company in free product. This is maddeningly mind-numbing work but it keeps me off the phone (which is even more mind-numbing). Today was one of those days where I requested to do the job.
On this particular day I had the wonderful experience of listening to a call between one of our female representatives and a female customer. Both were happy and laughing, but that is not the reason this story comes to mind. Neither woman seemed very aware of what they were doing (by the sound of exhaustion in their voices it was probably due to a shared long day on the job) and after uncountable minor hiccups, backtracks, repeated questions and statements, and good laughs shared by both; the customer popped off with “you know I’ve had this problem all day and I just tell people ‘I’m female, blond, and over fifty so back off.'” My representative replied with “I’m female, blond, and over fifty too so I understand.”
Most people would take that little exchange as a light-hearted example of working-class females bonding over shared work-related experiences. Had I been one of those people I’m sure this little diatribe would not be written.
I can not stand when people make statements that only reinforce the dominant and oppressive viewpoint that all women, all light-haired, and all older people are stupid and prone to making mistakes. It seems they expect us to take pity on them for a shortcoming they probably do not really have. Or worse yet, being so used to the same kind of patronizing from others they chalk up any mistake to the fact that they are a woman, or they’re blond, or they’re just old. Furthermore they are compounding the issue by adding up the unmistakable traits of all three in an attempt to justify a much bigger mistake. Where is this going to end?