Parenting

You Will Practise Not Noticing

Further to recent rumblings in the comments, the Globe and Mail’s Phoebe Maltz Bovy offers what I believe is called a hot take:

Most will be familiar with the following scenario: a young girl, a teen or tween, gets in trouble with her school’s administration for a dress-code violation. Her supposed crime against decency: looking provocative. It will turn out that the girl was wearing some normal teenager outfit, jeans and a T-shirt or something equally boring, but had the audacity to attend school in a body with breasts, hips and a post-pubescent-looking behind… She is not choosing to draw attention to herself simply by existing. It’s the fault of the adults around her for sexualising her.

Given what follows, do keep that last line in mind.

But in a twist to the typical narrative, this time around, a high-school teacher in Oakville, Ont., made headlines for her curvaceous classroom presence.

That would be this chap’s curvaceous classroom presence.

“The conservative press and right-wing social media” are then mentioned, complete with implied hissing, on grounds that those irredeemable right-wingers have noticed something untoward:

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Victimhood Invoked, Victory Lap Indulged In

TIME spoke to Gender Queer author and illustrator Maia Kobabe about eir work, the efforts to restrict access to eir writing, and what ey make of the current cultural moment.

Captain, your signal’s breaking up. I’m getting a lot of static. Must be solar flares. That, or dangerously high levels of pretension caused by the proximity of Ms Kobabe, an activist and supposedly ungendered being, complete with boutique pronouns, and TIME’s Madeleine Carlisle. Given what follows, the words “restrict access” - and the subsequent claims of persecution - may seem a tad misleading. Ms Kobabe’s book, we learn, explores,

Questions around how to introduce nonbinary pronouns to people who might not be familiar them. And also how to be a role model as a nonbinary adult, especially in a setting like a classroom.

You see, our aspiring role model has produced a book combining hardcore self-involvement with dysmorphic cartoon pornography, with the results being made available to schoolchildren, including 11-year-olds. As one might imagine, there have been some, shall we say, reservations regarding whether a book of this kind should be circulated among children without their parents’ knowledge or consent. Readers may recall scenes in which parents attempted to read aloud passages from the book among fellow adults at school board meetings, typically resulting in reprimands, the shutting off of microphones, and threats of physical removal. Apparently, “vagina slime,” fellatio and “strap-on hotness” are inappropriate topics for adult discussion, even as an attempt to specify a problem, but totally fine for kids. Who apparently need to know about the joys of masturbating while driving.

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Just A Thought, But Hear Me Out

Maybe the racially neurotic should not be teaching children.

Say, the kinds of people who insist that maintaining discipline in class and ejecting those who seriously misbehave - thereby enabling the rest of the class to have some chance of learning something - is merely “upholding white supremacy,” and so, by implication, very, very bad. The kinds of people who, when their own words are quoted verbatim and they consequently encounter pushback, seemingly for the first time, complain about the stress of being disagreed with. 

As we’ve seen many times, when said neuroticism is made modish, statusful, and an institutional obligation, the practical results are not entirely inspiring. With six experiments in racial immunity from discipline, in six different cities, resulting in six surges in violent classroom assaults, up to and including actual riots. And with apologists for the policies doubling-down and subsequently claiming that “African-American boys” are more “physical” and “demonstrative,” and so punching teachers in the face, and groping them, and setting other students’ hair on fire, is how those students “engage in learning.”

And when educators have practised such dishonesties and have learned to perform the required mental contortions, the results can be quite eye-widening. We might, for instance, turn to Dr Albert Stabler, an assistant professor at Appalachian State University, whose thoughts are much aligned with those of our TikTok teacher linked above.

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Not In Fact An Optimal Situation

It was, like, so awesome.” 

Or, “Woman with mental health problems craves validation from other people’s eight-year-olds, whom she manipulates, seemingly with impunity.”

Readers may wish to devise captions of their own. 

Update

Via the comments, and somewhat related, this illustration of ideological capture.  

And so, a woman who has been raped and is understandably uneasy about cross-dressing men venturing into female-only intimate spaces, including changing rooms, showers, and rape support groups, is patronised and scolded – at length, on her own doorstep, by a female police officer - for not believing that “trans women are women.” And the police officer, this rambling fool, the one doing the patronising, is the one who claims to be offended. On behalf of dysmorphic and autogynephile men. “You’ve got in your head that a trans woman is not a woman. You need to educate yourself,” says she.

In another context, it could pass for black comedy.

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.


Reheated (70)

As I’m a little busy, more items from the archives.

How Dare You Not Defer To My Lack Of Self-Possession.

A “queer person and educator” is asked not to swear and scream in the workplace. Loud outrage ensues.

Objections to being shouted at, and sworn at, are framed with great haste as a sign of complicity in oppression: “Tone-policing is rooted in colonialism and white supremacy,” we’re told. In short, then, when a suitably black or gay person shouts at you, you “need to be quiet and listen” - and by implication, you should promptly defer, however wrong or ridiculous, or nakedly opportunist, the shouting person may be. You must “validate” their rage, and any incoherence, with lots of silent nodding, before rolling submissively onto your back. Because, being members of a Designated Victim Group, even if irrelevant or based on nothing whatsoever, they matter, and clearly, you don’t. What with all that “privilege” you apparently have. And because reciprocal courtesies just ain’t woke. It’s the progressive pecking order. Know your place. 

You’re A Monster, Just Admit It.

If you aren’t keen to become fat, activist William Hornby thinks you must be racist.

Mr Hornby is, of course, “raising awareness,” a mission that entails steering his followers to a Fat Liberation Syllabus For Revolutionary Leftists, where we learn that, “Fat liberation is a radical anti-capitalist, anti-colonial, anti-state movement that was started by fat Black and Brown disabled queer and trans people.” And where we’re told, quite emphatically, that a reluctance to become fat is “intrinsically entangled with white supremacy, anti-Blackness, settler colonialism, and capitalism.” And therefore, obviously, really, really bad. The goal, then, for all chubby-and-enlightened people, is to “abolish capitalism and settler colonial states like the US,” along with “abolishing prisons and police,” and dismantling the “fatphobic logic of productivity, discipline, and personal responsibility.” One can only hope that this revolutionary project doesn’t involve stairs or significant exertion.  

It Says ‘Poison’ In Large Red Letters

A reminder that the absurd and the sinister aren’t mutually exclusive.

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Miracle Occurs, Authorities Confounded

Two prisoners at New Jersey’s only women’s prison have become pregnant after having sex with a transgender inmate. The women had engaged in “consensual sexual relationships with another incarcerated person,” the state’s department of corrections told NJ.com. They were being held at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility at Union Township, about 16 miles west of New York City. The transgender prisoner, Demi Minor, 27, who is serving 30 years for manslaughter, has been moved to another prison for young adults.

Clearly, dad material.

As a result of the pregnancies, the New Jersey Corrections Department said it was currently reviewing the policy for housing transgender incarcerated persons with the intention of “implementing minor modifications.”

Maybe we’re the ones in the mirror universe, where everything is slightly askew.

Via Darleen in the comments.

Also, open thread. Share ye links and bicker.


Anthropological Snippets

Three items presented for your betterment:  

First up, “Kids and kink can coexist at Pride in a totally fine way,” we’re told.  

You see, exhibitionist displays of fetishes – say, transvestism, sadomasochism, nipple clamps and cock rings - constitute a “justice space” and “kids and youth voices are vital to justice movements.” “Kids,” we learn, “are a vulnerable and marginalised group” and must therefore – yes, therefore - be exposed to narcissistic psychodrama and the penises of creepy, damaged men.

It’s all about those “intersecting identities and oppressions.”

This second item reminds us, inadvertently, of two fairly obvious options. You could, of course, regurgitate pseudo-scholarly prattle in a condescending tone, complete with facial theatre. Or you could just, you know, dial back on the carbs and sugar, and thereby live longer without the serious health problems. Or the mental contortions.

Oh, and somehow, inexcusably, I’ve only today discovered this.

I think it’s safe to say that your cross-cultural interview isn’t going terribly well when the interviewee starts throwing his own faeces at you.

Also, open thread.


Your Children Will Tell Me How Pretty I Am

Further to recent rumblings in the comments: 

How do I look today?

Because, naturally, it’s all about him.

Oh, and let’s not forget the educational importance of those TikTok leggings.

Needless to say, one of many.

Update, via the comments, where Joan adds,

“Shirt –‘we are activists’ - is from my school...”

Indeed. Note too that Mr Man-Leggings has apparently been showing the children in his class his TikTok account and inviting them to read the comments, and to disapprove of any commenters who find his behaviour… suboptimal. Because elementary school children are now to be participants in their teachers’ cross-dressing psychodramas.

And on a side note - a fashion tip, if you will - I think it’s generally best that small children can’t easily determine the size and state of their teachers’ genitals. But maybe that’s just me.

Also, open thread.


When Having Standards Is The Problem

Speaking, as we were, of woke educators and the wreckage left in their wake, I have more:

Oak Park and River Forest High School administrators will require teachers next school year to adjust their classroom grading scales to account for the skin colour or ethnicity of its students… In an effort to equalise test scores among racial groups, OPRF will order its teachers to exclude from their grading assessments variables it says disproportionally hurt the grades of black students. They can no longer be docked for missing class, misbehaving in school, or failing to turn in their assignments, according to the plan. “Teachers and administrators… will continue the process necessary to make grading improvements that reflect our core beliefs,” the plan states.  

Teachers who question the wisdom of disregarding missed deadlines, general tardiness, and work not done – to say nothing of classroom disruption and repeated failures to show up at all - are, inevitably, accused of harbouring “unconscious biases,” which is tantamount to “racism.” You see, our fearless, forward-looking educators are “supporting the learning of all students” by reducing even further the amount of learning actually taking place.

The school’s “strategic plan,” in which we learn that 90 minutes is thirty minutes plus another thirty, can be found here.

Update, via the comments, where svh adds,

So black kids shouldn’t learn the importance of behaving, doing homework or turning up on time?

Expecting such things would apparently be unfair, an affront to “equity,” and damning evidence of “unconscious bias.” Instead, pupils should be spared the outrage of deadlines and time-keeping in general, and be given repeated opportunities to retake a test, and be given a license to misbehave with impunity, unlike their peers, depending on how brown they happen to be.

Needless to say,  during all of this, the word justice is deployed, unironically.


Can You Not Feel The Progress?

You know, I don’t recall my middle school’s library being quite this edgy:

A concerned middle school teacher in Loudoun County, Virginia couldn’t let the comments of fellow school employee Stefany Guido slide after reportedly hearing her say some students — the majority of which are 11-13 years old — could be considered “sex workers.” Guido, a librarian at Sterling Middle school, made the statement while defending a library book which said sex work is just like any other job, comparable to a store clerk, an architect, or a journalist. As sex workers, students could benefit from the book’s placement on library shelves, Guido said.

Apparently, eleven-year-olds need to know how to whore themselves - and to know that whoring is, like, totally valid and empowering - because they may be transgender and may have to pay for hormones and surgical mutilations. 

Oh shiny tomorrow.   

Update, via the comments: 

Lest you imagine the above must be an error or some one-off aberration:

Despite discussing sex work and other adult topics… the book is currently in the libraries of a number of schools in Virginia, including middle schools. In Loudoun County, the book is available at Mercer Middle School, Sterling Middle School and Stone Hill Middle School. It is also available at Dorothy Hamm Middle School in Arlington County.

Presumably, these other middle-school librarians didn’t find anything inapt about 11-year-olds learning about the glories of prostitution and its general awesomeness. Because “high-end escorts” can “pull in half a million dollars a year.” Though it seems to me that an 11-year-old “sex worker” would be an abused child, a child being trafficked. Not an ideal aspiration for the pre-pubescent. But maybe that’s just me and my uptight stuffiness.

Update 2:

Continue reading "Can You Not Feel The Progress?" »


Jam At The Intersection

At the switched-on woke paradise of Ontario’s Western University:

Western initially stood firm in keeping the picture up, noting it “understood ‘how complex and intersectional this topic is’ and that the ‘imagery may be upsetting to some Muslims.’” However, Associate Vice President of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Opiyo Oloya, announced on Wednesday the picture had been removed.

The pecking order of victimhood is still, it seems, under construction.

Update, two more via the comments:

It’s perfectly straightforward and nothing could ever go wrong.

Setting aside the practical, structural shortcomings of polyamorous entanglements, and the likelihood of insecurity and resentment, there’s also the fact that such arrangements tend to attract a very high concentration of, shall we say, psychologically marginal people. By which I mean, the kinds of people one wouldn’t generally wish to be in an intimate relationship with. Say, the kinds of people who need you to know just how fascinating and complicated their sexual arrangements are, and by extension how fascinating and complicated they themselves must be. 

Hey, kids! Come to the library for Pokémon, Lego… and drag queens.

I’m still not sure why proximity to drag queens – i.e., men performing grotesque parodies of women – is supposed to be both imperative and affirming for toddlers. But apparently these things are somehow aspirational and representative, a role model for later adulthood. As if cartoonish transvestism were an unassailable, not-at-all-insulting shorthand for being gay. As if “story time drag queens,” a remarkable number of whom turn out to be registered sex offendersthree in Texas alone - were natural objects of kinship. As if being lurid and grotesque, or mentally ill, would be an obvious ambition. A way to feel good about oneself.

Also, open thread