It is my opinion that you should only have to learn about the “isms” in the world once. Social studies/history teachers should spend one year teaching students about racism, sexism, etc and call it good. I believe this because I had to read at least one book every summer and spend countless hours listening to lectures in class about American slavery. In one if my college English classes we just finished reading Frederick Douglass’s personal narrative.

My opinion and personal experience is that after the second time around people stop caring. I know that during those units I spent a lot of time thinking, “I get it. Slavery is bad. Can we move on please?” It wasn’t that I thought it was no big deal, but it seemed that the schools were trying to make us feel guilty for the fact that we were white, I am not accountable for what southern slave holders did over 100 years ago.

Feminism also drives me crazy. I understand that at one point in time women weren’t allowed to vote or work or go to school. The fact of the matter is that 60% of the students at my college are female. My dad’s entire team at the bank is made up of nearly entirely women. The problem is that feminism has gone so far that it often turns into sexism against men. So many commercials nowadays feature independent women coming to the rescue of their stupid or incapable husbands.

I understand that in many places racism and sexism are still big problems, but my belief is that instead of trying to make people feel guilty for things they were not involved in or fighting in out of date ways for put of date causes, schools, parents or whoever else should teach students about the places where slavery and oppression of women still exist and teach them about what people are currently doing to try and solve the problems.

4 thoughts on “Isns

  1. Regarding Racism in the modern curriculum of modern high schools: most of the lessons taught about racism are simply products of teaching about events in history. Ask yourself, is it possible to teach about the Egyptian enslavement of Hebrews, the American slave trade/civil war, the 1960’s civil rights movements, etc. without mentioning racism? While kids may get the point after learning about just one of these examples, it is impossible to teach about literally hundreds of events without mentioning racism in some facet or another.
    Also, feminism is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as:
    “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”
    To say that women that are nearly to the point of being anti-male are feminist is simply a blatant disregard of the difference between feminism and sexism.

    1. I’m sorry, I should have thought a little more before I posted this. Something got me fired up when I wrote it and I wasn’t thinking as clearly as I could have been.

      The point I was trying to make on the racism issue wasn’t that they should teach events without addressing racism. My point is that at least in my high school, they taught it in a way that was very repetitive because they almost exclusively focused on American slavery. Furthermore, they taught it in a way that seemed like they were intentionally trying to make us feel guilty. I personally think there should be a unit on American slavery before moving on to things that have happened and are happening more recently. I think they should also teach about some ways in which people are currently trying to resolve issues rather than focussing so much on the issues themselves as though they are so huge that nothing can ever be done.

      I suppose I have a bit of a hard time separating feminism and sexism. I think my real problem is with people who still believe that there is large scale inequality of the sexes in this country. I am completely aware that there still is inequality all over the world, but I was just focussing on the U.S. I truly think that inequality only really happens on an individual level at this point. There will always be that guy or that woman who hates someone for some stupid reason, but I don’t think that in this country large scale inequality is an issue.

      1. “…they taught it in a way that was very repetitive because they almost exclusively focused on American slavery.”
        Considering you are in America, it should be expected that you will spend most of your time in history class learning about American history, and it is very arguable that the most important time in American history is the civil war. It did shape the country to be largely how it is today after all. While I cannot speak to curriculum in modern high school very well, keep in mind that America is a young country, only being a little less than 237 years old. This means that there really isn’t much to be taught about it, and yet you have 4 years of high school to learn about it, with most of the key events being driven by racial segregation. “I think they should also teach about some ways in which people are currently trying to resolve issues…” And herein lies the issue: in places where racism is still rampant, little is being done. Take a look at Arizona, in the past few years (I can’t quite remember exactly when) a law was passed which allowed police officers to stop Hispanic people they feel may be illegal immigrants, with no evidence other than them being looking Hispanic.

        I am a man, but also consider myself a feminist, based upon the definition I gave earlier, and to say that sexism is no longer widespread in America is naive. Take a look at sports, when is the last time you saw a women’s football or baseball team? Also, compare the publicity of male sports compared to female sports…there are no TV times for women’s basketball or hockey games. Or perhaps take a look at the workplace…when is the last time you saw a female truck driver, custodian, or construction worker? However, perhaps the crown jewel of modern sexism appears in advertisement, see (one of the pics towards the end is NSFW):

        1. Well, I guess maybe it just seems to me that current world events are more interesting and more important than American history, which I know you will probably say is wrong. I’m just a very present oriented person. The past is the past, so let’s move on and fix our problems.

          I don’t watch any sports really, so I hadn’t considered that issue. I honestly don’t know why there aren’t many female custodians or truck drivers. I and probably most if not all the people I know and associate with believe that everyone should be able to work wherever they want, doing whatever they want. You’ll have to understand that I’m just getting past the stupid teenager stage and I live in a very liberal part of the country.

          Thank you for commenting.

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