One of the blogs I troll is called In Socrates' Wake, written by teachers about teaching, especially the teaching of philosophy. I'm not a teacher, except by the abhorrent personal habit of forcing my wisdom on others, unfettered by their acceptance or appreciation of same.
Usually, ISW is instructive, even enlightening, and always thoughtful.
This post, while instructive and enlightening, just made me want to scream.
I dare you to read it all.
Instead of screaming, I wrote this:
The most interesting aspect of this is how self-absorbed and myopic is the entire field of feminist and race theory. I am critical both of your methods and your goals, either of which you may accept or reject.
Because while you complain to young learners how difficult life is for someone who is not white and male, millions of non-white non-males are out in the world ignoring, sidestepping, or overcoming the hurdles placed in front of all of us, striving, excelling, and winning.
With the assumption of systemic "oppression", you doom all who buy into your world view to a life of learned helplessness. All of their hopes and dreams must go into cheating the system which they have been told oppresses them, or into the ballot box, which is cheating by official means.
Because individuals are not bound by the nature or the common limitations of the groups to which they belong. It is profoundly racist or sexist to say that they do.
I was struck by your statement that the students coming in had a remarkable lack of diversity, listing as your only evidence that four of them were open-minded white males. That displays an amazing lack of introspection, even hypocrisy. Because I'm sure you would agree that people are not defined by their skin or gender.
On another level, by stating a priori that there is "systemic oppression", you as the authority in the classroom establish that principle as an inarguable tenet of the class. This puts the student on the defensive. That's great for establishing the power of the teacher in the classroom, but not great for actually learning anything other than that racism and sexism are bad, which your students already seem to have known coming in.
Further, it makes the students feel guilty for being who they are. If that is your goal, you're nothing but a jerk with a lectern.
So I will assume it is not your goal. But it appears to be your major accomplishment.
As I said, it's one of the blogs I troll.
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