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Traditional Roles Rant, 2002-02-06, 3:48 p.m.

Tired. Tired. Tired, so tired.

Long day at school. For some reason, many peoples nerves are fraying. In major ways. I don't want to get into it, but it's odd. And a little scary. Especially if you're on the recieving end, which, luckily, I wasn't.

I'm making up a unit for the Grade Eight Language Arts. Right now they already have some of it done, but I'm revamping and updating much of it. The unit is on boundaries and covered in the past physical and learning disabilities, religion, dating violence, home, school and society and other such areas. I'm including larger sections on gender equity and on sexuality. We have such a homophobic, sexist culture that we try to give the students some information on these areas in hopes that it will stick. I preach in my classroom everyday it seems about equality, about homophobia and about equalism. Yet students still call this 'gay' and that 'queer' and look at specific roles for gender.

Of course, society doesn't help. For example, we're considering getting bell express view. In 'Lifestyles' there is WTN. Now, while the Womyns Television Network assumes all womyn like the same television, it does have some shows that are about things like 'Her Money', 'You, Me... and the Kids' and 'Anything I can do'. These are shows that deal with issues specific to womyn and while they are on a womyn's network, they are educational, issue specific shows. In the variety package we could get 'Man TV'. This station shows 'Baywatch' and other such shows. Now... while I have issues with WTN, to me this sounds a little wrong. The goal is to have men and womyn considered equal by all. Gender equality. WTN, with it's problems, does have shows that deals with those issues. 'Her Money' is an occasionally good one for that type of concern. But, in working towards Gender Equality, we must also consider masculinity. We tell womyn it's ok to be strong, but we ignore the needs of young males - and older males - telling them to watch baywatch and listen to Howard Stern. This is simply men going further into the depths of traditional masculinity. The 'Man Network' doesn't seem to address the issue of the 'New Man'. Instead, it seems to be propagating the traditional, 'bad to be a nice guy' 'wuss if you cry' view of masculinity.

With media doing this, people have to learn somewhere. Even if it doesn't sink in right away. And that's why I'm trying to do.

Of course... I just wasted 20 minutes when I could have been working on it writing this and helping someone export their marks. Ah well...




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