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Girls School?

This article annoys me for a variety of reasons. Check it out. I’ll wait.

I’m not denying that female only (or male only) space can be a good thing in certain contexts, but this suggestion that we’d all be better off if we go back to gender segregated education is just plain wrong.

For starters, there’s the underlying heterocentric pretense that completely negates the experiences of gay and lesbian students. A gender segregated school system would increase the possibility of sexual and romantic distraction for them, rather than eliminating it as the author suggests.

Second, it puts even more unfair pressure on young transgendered people, who have enough battles to fight on a daily basis and don’t need yet another opportunity be catastrophically misgendered.

Then, here we go again with the pervasive idea that all men are slavering rape monkeys who just can’t be trusted. And according to this article, the answer isn’t to teach our sons not to rape people, it’s to send our daughters to what the author apparently imagines would be a peaceful, penis-free utopia where nothing bad, scary or mean will ever happen to them.

Which brings me to the last and most deeply personal reason why this pissed me off. Because I was never date-raped or sexually harassed in school, but I was relentlessly physically and psychologically tortured by other students. Female students. So you’ll forgive me if I find the idea of being sent to an all girl school to be less than fucking idyllic.

Instead of sending your daughter to Barbie’s Malibu Dream School, how about teaching her to handle herself in the real world, where there are male people, good, bad and indifferent. Where things aren’t always going to be easy and she will need to be strong and focused and confident enough to handle whatever comes her way. Where not everyone she meets will fit into the standard pink and blue cliché of what “girls” and “boys” are supposed to be.

But that would require actual parenting.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 20th, 2012 02:54 am (UTC)
The article is a straw-woman: There are both kinds of colleges, so if she found she wasn't suited to a co-ed college and thought another sort would do, then transferring is always possible. Don't know what her alumni dad would have said, tho', and her article mentions this is all in hindsight for her.
Given the stats she uses for date and otherwise, rapes, I'm pretty sure strength and confidence comes into play only so far, and then being attacked, especially from someone they're dating, it's just out of the blue.

Because she doesn't back up her article with what I think of as real scholarship, just her musings, I don't think there's much to her points. Maybe that's my just being an egotistical white male... or maybe it's just that I felt like she'd simply held up a straw man and threw a drink at it.
Sep. 20th, 2012 03:03 am (UTC)
Yeah, but if you are a heterosexual female who actively dates males, isn't it just as likely that you could be raped on a date with someone who doesn't go to the same school? My point is that the solution to rape, date and otherwise, isn't gender segregation any more than it's the solution to racially motivated or homophobic attacks.
Sep. 20th, 2012 06:28 am (UTC)
I am more thinking about this in terms for the Orthodox Jewish community where I now live in which you get this very awkward version of gender relations where these people did not socialize in high school with the opposite gender and are now playing the kind of sad high school games that people are supposed to get over in college.

It's worse in the more Chasidic communities where the only time these guys interact with women who aren't their wives is the strip clubs.
Brad Mengel
Sep. 20th, 2012 11:16 am (UTC)
THe argument I hear is that boys and girls learn differently and that the current system favours the "female" style of learning which is why boys are falling behind. But everyone has their own style of learning, mine is different to my brother's for example. It's the teacher's job to work with all the styles in their class regardless of gender.

I've taught at an all boy's school, an all girl's school and co-ed schools and all three are very different places. Each has their advantages and disadvantages but generally I prefer the co-ed.
Sep. 21st, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
Learning styles
Learning styles do vary quite a bit from male to female. I think some classes may work better done single-sex - an all girl math class for instance. But, that would be one or two classes per day in a co-ed school.

I have no comment related to Faust's posting since I agree.

Oct. 9th, 2012 09:03 pm (UTC)
For some reason I couldn't post a comment earlier. But, as I told you elsewhere, this contains much wisdom. You ought to teach a course in responsibility and waking the fuck up to reality.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )