What do I call this? Feminism on the side?

by Yule Heibel on July 28, 2005

Darren Cannell has an informative blog called Teaching and Developing Online. He’s my source today for a bunch of links related to e-learning, several of which follow: here he links to an interesting abstract for a paper called Blogs @ Anywhere: High fidelity online communication by James Farmer and Anne Bartlett-Bragg. Anne B-B, incidentally, is one of the few female voices I’ve seen in this environment (aside from Catherine Howells of Ida Takes Tea). This e-learning climate is just about as bad as the situation Shelley has described often and describes most excellently right here: it’s almost all male. Is this why I can’t get this Arianna Huffington post out of my head right now: Women “Losing The Gender War In The Caring Professions”…, which points to this story in The Guardian? The paper reports that, according to a Brunel University business school report authored by Dr. Ruth Simpson, men get more respect for their “caring” work than women do:

“While the caring performed by a woman is often devalued as a ‘natural’ part of femininity, the emotional labour performed by men is often seen as an asset.” [More…]

So, women aren’t “good enough” for tech, and women aren’t “good enough” for “caring” if and when the men decide to exercise themselves in that field. Gee, kinda makes a person conclude that women aren’t …good enough?

This is a formula for disenfranchisement, and it’s therefore profoundly anti-democratic, fascist, backwards, and regressive.


Another pointer from Darren, this one to James Farmer, How NOT to use blogs in education. It’s a summary of the longer paper linked to above. I found the comments to this entry useful, especially since several included links to additional articles, and there was significant pushback and discussion over, among other things, the usefulness of blogs as tools for individuals or for groups. This is interesting for teaching, because as a teacher you’re dealing with the development of the individual, but (unless you’re a private tutor) you’re also dealing with a group dynamic. So, it’s an interesting problem of cohesion (which suggests following some purpose [?] — in teaching? — and hierarchy and control, vs a more …organic?, holistic? …nah, weasel words… — a more self-reflective development based in the individual’s willingness to learn, stretch, develop. (That this then raises other questions about assessment and so forth is a different matter.)

On the other hand, in Colorado it’s possible to go to the mall to go to high school: Digital School at the Mall Available to Homeschool Students. Fries on the side…

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: