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institutions

dear god. I just spent the morning at the Faculty of Education orientation at the school I’ll teach for this fall. It was supposed to go to 3:30, but i left after lunch. Which was delicious.

what the fuck is going on? Every christly institution of power is relentlessly “inclusive” — it’s fucking madness. there’s this thing, I don’t know, it’s a focus of the teacher ed program or a study focus or some goddamn thing, called “Teacher Education is for Everybody” — I don’t even know what that means. this dude, some teacher guy, talked about how terribly marginalized and endangered are the non-binary trans youth, and told us a heart-warming story about his daughter who is trans — and so smart and wonderful of course — and another young woman in Prince George who eschews all things girly, so she must be a boy (named Milan, who has said she was a boy since she could talk and has been relentlessly bullied her whole life) — but now thanks to TEEB or whatever the fuck this thing is, she’s a well-adjusted teenage boy (which is in itself an oxymoronic concept, but never mind) and thriving in her school because the goons are surrounding her and criminalizing anyone who would dare to say, “um, the emperor, there, has no clothes”.

i could barely contain myself when he was speaking, especially when he talked about his son (daughter, he called him–but no social worker is going to investigate mr. mulligan for child abuse because a. he’s white and middle class and b. Inclusivity! Diversity! ffs), I nearly stood up and yelled “He’s a boy who likes dolls fer cryin’ out loud,  you are conducting a creepy experiment on your own kid, ya weirdo!” And of course promoting similar experimentation on other kids as well. Then some other jerk presented about something like community engagement or whatever and talked about getting his students to make an “inclusive” bathroom — including a black flag for the ‘asexuals’. which sounds like kids who are going, “fuck off. I’m not ready to be sexual or genderual or any of this weird bullshit”.

I swear to god. thankfully I was sitting next to a couple of Aboriginal women, who were a bit mystified by this whole thing, as well as a curious about my frustration — I couldn’t contain myself–and one of them, she said, “i’m Algonquin, and we don’t have distinctions between ‘he’ or ‘she’ in our language. The older people always get mixed up”. Made me think of what one of my Indigenous friends told me about the We’tsuwet’en language having no word for prostitution, either. Or the Gitksan, I think–in any society where women and men are equal, there is no concept like prostitution, no one is commodified. maybe no one is ‘gendered’ either. that would be nice.

I did talk to another friend who is just lovely, and she’s teaching a bunch too this year, and she was similarly impatient with this bullshit. Not as ‘set yer hair on fire’ mad as I am, of course, because she didn’t have as much coffee and most people are a bit calmer than I am in general, but she agrees with me about this stuff. that was refreshing.

this is it, right, the institutions of power are in cahoots — Education, Medicine, Social Services, the Justice System — all these big things that run how we are supposed to think and relate to each other, and what we are supposed to value as equality and justice. They’re smart, these big machines–they know how to reproduce their domination. it’s in the interests of the rulers to push this so-called inclusivity and identity. Not solidarity, affinity, analysis, resistance and comradeship, nope. But individuality, diversity, choice, identity — nothing will change with that emphasis. jesuswept. Diversity, Division, Diversion — and the powerful stay right where they are, giggling fiendishly as they keep climbing and scooping up all the land and the stuff and the power they can.

I had to leave after lunch. I only had one dessert, too. But i have some ideas about how i’m going to deal with this when it comes up in class — and it will come up. I’m going to outlaw the use of words like “cis”, “identity”, “inclusion” and “diversity”. And GENDER! Don’t say the G word! you mean sex, so say sex. ffs. These highly educated people at this orientation, I tell you what, they’ve mainlined the kool-aid, they’re swimming in it-talking about ‘binary’ this, and ‘gnc’ that. I was sitting there muttering to myself, the other people at my table kinda leaned away from me, I think…

Tell me what you really mean when you say those words, I’ll say. and when you pick an education policy upon which to present, take a critical look at it. Don’t say, “the trans-inclusion policy is good because”, tell me what problem it’s meant to solve, and then go about discovering why it serves only the interests of the powerful and in fact limits the possibilities and opportunities for the children those who imposed it claim it’s supposed to protect.

I have, every time i’ve taught this course, for the last five years or so, deliberately not included anything about this madness in the curriculum. But every year, more and more, some students want to address this trans stuff in a laudatory way. So I tell them, “okay. but read this, or this”, and now I tell them to go to 4thwavenow.com and look around, too. This year, I’ve added a couple of readings to the syllabus — one by Rebecca Reilly-Cooper for instance, (here).

I’ve been a bit nervous to bring it up, but every year it comes up, and now the pressure is ENORMOUS to shove every damn kid into a gender box. This year, I’m going to really push the structural analysis, and talk about sexism, racism and classism — and compare it to this i-dentity ideology — I hope I can do it in a way that’s accessible and that will awaken their curiosity and build solidarity. we’ll see. Maybe i’ll let you know how it goes. I anticipate some discomfort for everyone. Oh well. No pain, no gain.

wish me luck.

 

 

 

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About easilyriled

My mom was Edith, my dad was John. I have a brother, who is Shawn. I have many friends and allies and mentors in my life. I'm white, over-educated, under-employed, messy, funny, smart, lesbian, feminist "Not the fun kind", as Andrea Dworkin said. But I, like the feminists I hang with, ARE fun. I play accordion better than I did, and i'm learning the concertina. Slowly.

6 responses »

  1. Reblogged this on There Are So Many Things Wrong With This and commented:
    I do wish you luck! And better yet: teach them that “gender” is a transitive verb, it’s something done to language, and thusly to people.

    Reply
  2. donesoverydone

    could I reblog this onto the WordPress page/Facebook page Stop Trans Chauvinism 2.0?

    Reply
    • Oh yea, i’ve seen stuff like this–opportunistic, narcissistic, pointy-headed bs. Ugh. Meanwhile, boys are still sexually harassing and assaulting girls and girls see it as normal because pornography tells them it is so, and the only answer offered is special snowflake identity and ‘inclusive’ (aka open season) bathrooms.

      Reply

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