When your daughter’s school is anti-woman

I don’t do a lot of blogging.  I prefer to lose myself in creativity but something recently pissed me off and I wanted to vent about it.  It’s going to make me jump off of a cliff of ranting but it’s frustrating and doesn’t seem to be changing, despite the bullhorn placed to its mouth in today’s society.  I’m afraid it’s just going to fade away.

My 11 year old daughter told me on the drive home from school last week that a boy called her a Stupid Ass Bitch in class.  She said it without any emotion and it didn’t seem to upset her but it made me mad.  I asked why he did that.

She said, “because I wouldn’t let him use my glue stick.”

I seethed during the ten minute drive home from school.  I ran things through my head about just letting it go because it didn’t bother her, but the more I thought about it the more angry it made me.
She wouldn’t let him use her glue stick and that’s the natural response he gave?  It was extreme and vulgar considering it was a boy calling a girl these names.  The word bitch has much worse connotations when directed at women, so there is no “it’s awful when anyone gets called a bad name” nonsense.

I asked my daughter if she told anyone and she said she did, she had told the teacher but the teacher was busy and didn’t hear it.  The only answer my daughter was given was “okay, sit down,” and a passing “I don’t want to hear any cussing” to the class in general.  This boy’s verbal assault was not addressed individually.

So I decided to email the teacher and I wasn’t satisfied with the response.  I didn’t tell her the exact words that were used, simply “some vulgar language was directed at my daughter.”
The teacher’s first line was apologetic in favor of the boy.  She said that the girls were rude to him but she would investigate further (this despite her saying she didn’t hear what was going on).   At that point I decided to let her know what words were used and was further let down by her follow up response.

My daughter is a rule follower.  She is pushed to tears if we’re going to be late for school because she doesn’t like the attention of walking in after the bell rings.  She finished homework well before its due.  I’ve asked her numerous times to skip half days because no work gets done anyway and she refuses to stay home.  The information that the teacher gave in response to my email and her follow up goes against everything I know of my daughter.

The teacher said that the boy had his feelings hurt by nearby girls not wanting him to use the glue stick.  The boy then lashed out with “you stupid…” but managed to hold back the nasty words.  Yet, according to the teacher, the “bolder and more outspoken girls” filled in the blanks and spread rumors of what he said.  They then went onto harass the boy at lunchtime so he had to go to the Vice Principal.
The teacher followed this asinine description of events by informing us that she told the boy to ask other peers or her for supplies if needs them in the future to avoid these kind of triggers.

I was floored by her response to this situation.  I was not expecting them to string this boy up on the flagpole by his underwear, but she completely ignored any wrong doing of his and took his words as to how the events occurred!  She called my daughter a liar by saying he never said mean words.  (We confirmed that she heard the “stupid ass bitch” part first hand and she said yes, she heard the words out of his mouth).

The way she categorized the other girls as bolder and outspoken made it come off as a negative trait.  That these were mean girls picking on this poor, little boy.  That they were a scourge of the playground and the boy needed to be coddled.  How can a woman in today’s society be taking this position?  Outspoken behavior should be encouraged when constructive.  Boldness should be cheered.

I didn’t respond to that email.  There was no point in doing so.  I wanted to.  I wanted to email the principal and ask if this is how the school sees the female population.  I wanted to ask why the boys take on events were accepted as what actually happened.  I wanted to cause a fuss and make problems about this incident.
The reason I didn’t was my daughter.  She didn’t care.  She didn’t want the attention and I didn’t want to cause problems for her with a month left in school.

Which is a shame because I wanted to be her guardian.  I wanted to defend her and if she said this boy spoke those words then she isn’t lying.  I wanted the school to know that this kind of bullshit is unacceptable.  I feel like I should have kept pressing and made a bigger deal so the next time a boy verbally assaults a girl a proper punishment will be applied.  I wanted this boy to know that he can’t get away with talking to girls like this because he’ll grow up and it’ll be acceptable if that’s his initial response to adversity with women, to call them a nasty name.

I’m glad my daughter wasn’t bothered by it because, unfortunately, I’m sure it won’t be the last time some neanderthal male calls her something awful.  I just hope she knows that I will always be there to defend her when she needs it.

Women Wednesday

I don’t know how long I’ll be able to keep this up because my memory is garbage but I thought I would like to dedicate an entire day to celebrating women in whatever way I can think of whenever I can think of it.  Of course most of my rambling writings are about women and me pining for them, but that’s different.  This isn’t going to be going on about lost love or potential romance but positively embracing a culture that includes women as equals and not merely sex objects and baby makers.

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It’s funny how a male-centric society twists everything.  It really isn’t funny, it makes sense.  Most things that are female oriented are seen as less than or second rate.  Cute.  Quaint.

Women’s sports, for example.  Growing up in a sports-loving household we only really watched baseball and football.  Every sport has its own female offshoot that isn’t as popular for a myriad of reasons but nobody ever thinks as to why.  The main reason given is simply because men are better at sports then women.  It’s science, right?  Man is strong, woman is weak.  Grunt.

Perhaps it could be because society funnels millions upon millions of dollars into training these male athletes to perform at the top of their ability while women athletes get the bottom scrapes of the barrel.  Boys are shown from a young age that their heroes can be sports stars while women have had few athletes in the past to look up to, and those they did have either had to go through hell to get to where they were or were physical marvels that had a physique that not every girl could reach.

Men are just better at sports, right?  If this were true then offshoot leagues of baseball and football and basketball that start up and fail, or are highly diminished in quality of play, shouldn’t happen.  There should be an endless supply of amazing athletes to feed these leagues.  But that isn’t the case because what happens is the trove of dollars set aside to scout, train and develop these athletes is mainly spent on men and in some cases twice as much.

If the dollars were spent more equally by college sports and professional perhaps the quality of play that is seen as less than would be improved?  Or does it even need to be?

Think of the best tennis player you can think of right now.  My first thought always goes to Serena Williams.  She is incredible, to put it lightly.
I don’t watch soccer but I will never forget the 1999 FIFA Women’s Cup Final with Brandy Chastain’s winning kick.  Not because of her reaction afterwards but because of the intensity of the game and how much of an amazing match it was.  Outside of that I can’t recall a single soccer game aside from the one where the French player head butted the guy in the chest like a psychopath.

So, again, maybe it’s all just false beliefs we’re believing that we were told as children that women’s sports isn’t as good as men’s sports.  Maybe, with a little more support, they can be just as entertaining.  Perhaps not in the form of raw power across the board but as an equally entertaining event.

There are a lot of false or errant beliefs I was fed when I was younger.  Parents often end up doing that to their children.  Political views.  Religious views.  Societal views.  When we get old enough to ask questions a lot of the time we still accept some of what we were shown as being fact when we really don’t know.  During the civil rights movement people didn’t accept that non-whites and women shouldn’t have a voice even if they were told those lies as they were growing up.  We should continue to question our own lies, no matter how trivial seeming because they always lead deeper.