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Dumb Broad

I am taking a few days away from Nashville Public Schools as I am having health issues that may be related to them or I am so exhausted from the endless dysfunction I experience it has placed me in a precarious position of asking myself "who am I and what kind of Woman have I become?"

I moved here to find myself again after years of horror in Seattle and I thought miles of country would be one way to accomplish it, as putting distance is one measure, time the other.  It has only been six months and the transition has been challenging, exhilarating and frustrating. 

But as I have said before I do not like the women here at all.  The younger women I have found to be kind and progressive and accepting, that is youth. I have found the young men the same but they share one thing - most are transplants.  And it becomes an almost badge of honor to say, "I'm not from here."  My discussions with most of the locals I find lack in intelligence and in turn humor that one needs to have a vibrant dialog and in turn friendship.

I said to a Barista yesterday that these next few days I just am focusing on my health and writing. I need to step away and out of the schools which I believe distract from the latter and affect the former so it seemed as if it was a good time to do so.   And largely it was because of the two schools I was at earlier this week.  Thankfully I was at a high school on Tuesday and I did not speak other than to get attendance and that ended my encounter and responsibility for the day.  I then walked out and left without the usual stain of rage on my soul.

Monday was the school of horrors that I have already written about where the two boys in "jest' picked up a book and/or chair to fling at me when I offered to be the class pinata in order to move forward.  In 20 years it is something no class has ever done until then.  The two boys were of color, the girl that said I needed a nose job was white but the girl who ratted her out, black.  Then we have the middle school that is down the street from me where a Teacher spoke to me like I was a moron and even the other sub who was black herself even rolled her eyes in response.  It escalated as the Teacher I was covering for was late returning and in turn making me late to cover her class.   So she then yelled out the door to a student to find out where the Teacher was, then yelled to me not to leave until she arrived and that to get a student to get that Teacher out of the bathroom. Okay then. I had to ask to speak to an Admin and sure enough the Teacher kept up the berating in her presence which led to shrugs and nothing more. 

 This was not the first time as this happened at an Elementary school where again a black Teacher late for a meeting arrived to her class, saw me, berated me like a dog in front of her Students and stomped out. All of this was witnessed by the School Secretary who called an Admin to talk to me about this encounter. 

I have repeatedly spoken to Admins about their odd policy of Substitutes both black and white, male and female and a few have concurred that there is a major problem in their schools and little to no support regarding Substitutes, much of it training, experience and of course compensation. When you are paid shit for wages expect shit and that is another reason I need to extricate myself from this farce.

But when I begin to actually analyze and digress over the day I break it all down to race and that is something I have never done before.  I truly see all kids as kids and then I came here.

The most troubling kids are black males followed by Latino ones.  The endless talking, walking around, constant need for attention and disruption is a pattern that is consistently exhibited and seemingly normal as I ask children if "they are always like this."    And then there is the sexual component.  It is nothing that I have ever heard or seen outside a porn film and that crosses gender and age but again largely children of color. 

And by the way all of this is done while smiling, be it adult or child.  I am frequently asked, "are you crying?" by children of color as they are so used to this fake contrived smile that is affixed to their faces as they insult you it is as if you are in a horror film starring Jim Carey.  Again, it is something you have to experience to fully understand.

Girls are a whole other story and often depends on the school. They have asked me if I have had a nose job and disappointed when I said no so to black kids my nose is perfect to white not.  I have been visually dissected  down to the color of my nail polish. A girl faux attempted to sucker punch me, another opened the door and said "I am going to get you you fucking bitch" another who said "you're so cute" in an almost sexually provocative way that at the end of the day I ask myself if I have become a racist as this is something I have never in my life experienced at this level or is this regional/cultural and perhaps I am simply not getting the dynamic here?

I do think it is a little of each. It is raced based and the kids feel compelled to do this to the white lady that is a stranger as there is little to no repercussions. I have had white children do this to some level but nowhere near the same as the kids who are black.  Latino girls simply ignore me and Latino boys the same or they try to posture but rarely direct anything at me personally.  I have had children tell me point blank that the school is this way due to the "black kids" and another say that anyone white who does this is because they are afraid of the "blacks."  So yes this is racism and sadly I find myself agreeing with them but I also know that this because they are poor and that comes first in my thought process. Poverty is the first and primary measure of why children have behavioral problems and the schools here are filled with poor kids to about 85% of their population being kids who qualify for free or reduced lunch. 

But you can only make excuses so long. I truly believe the problems here are systemic and deeply rooted both in culture, economics, race and gender.  This is the old South and nothing will ever change it.  And then I read this and thought well at least this view is everywhere I just chose to ignore it.  We hate women in this country.  We really do and it explains the election, the view of Ms. Clinton by women and the reality is that when women reach a certain age they have already decided your worth and it is unforgiving one. 

And people wonder why I distrust women so much and why I have spent most of my career focusing on young girls.  This is something we really need to understand and what it means to self hate. That is part of this problem and it crosses race and economics.
I am not sure this comforts me but it at least it allows me to forgive myself for being so guarded.

Research shows young girls are less likely to think of women as ‘really, really smart’
By Nick Anderson
The Washington Post
 January 26 2017

Girls as young as 6 years old are less likely than boys to label people of their own gender as “really, really smart,” according to new research that raises questions about how stereotypical notions of male and female mental abilities shape the paths students take in life.

The findings, published Thursday by Science magazine, also show that 6-year-old girls tend more than boys to avoid games said to be for children who are “really, really smart.”

Researchers said their experiments suggest that gender stereotypes about brainpower take root at a pivotal point in childhood — around first grade — and can profoundly influence academic and career choices long afterward.

Small differences in daily choices about games and activities, starting at age 6 or 7, could accumulate over years, leading to life-changing gender gaps in experience and knowledge.

“That might put girls at a disadvantage when pursuing fields that are perceived to rely on brilliance,” said Andrei Cimpian, an associate professor of psychology at New York University who was one of the authors of the study. “That’s worrisome. These beliefs that seem to be present even in young children are the beginning of what might exclude girls from some of the most prestigious jobs in our society.”

Cimpian teamed on the study with Lin Bian, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois, and Sarah-Jane Leslie, a philosophy professor at Princeton University.

The findings were based on a series of experiments conducted with hundreds of randomly chosen children in Illinois aged 5 to 7.

In one, children heard a story about a person who was “really, really smart” and then were shown images of four unfamiliar men and women. They were asked to guess which image represented the protagonist. Many of the 5-year-olds, girls and boys, chose an image corresponding to their own gender. But 6- and 7-year-old girls were significantly less likely than boys to do so.

In another experiment, children were presented with two games — one for players who are “really, really smart” and the other for those who “try really, really hard.” Questions about their interest in these games found no gender differences in the one geared toward persistence. But girls were less interested in the one that relied on smarts.

Cimpian said the findings were revealing about young male attitudes. “There’s also an element of boys being overconfident in their smarts,” he said.

The findings could help illuminate the challenge schools face in combating gender stereotypes, even though girls often outperform boys in school. Girls drop out of high school at a lower rate than boys. Women are more likely than men to enroll in college, and they earn more college degrees each year than men.

But educators, business leaders and policymakers are seeking to draw more women into higher-level studies in fields ranging from physics to philosophy. To varying degrees, stereotypes about brilliance, genius or brainpower can hinder girls and women in those and other disciplines.

Images of Albert Einstein or bearded ancient Greeks, reinforced by other notions on gender and braininess conveyed in media, can loom large in the minds of children, adolescents and young adults.

Andrew N. Meltzoff, a psychology professor at the University of Washington who has studied gender stereotypes, likened them to a disease that kids can “catch” through observing other people. He said the new study is “an excellent paper” that contributes to the quest for a cure.

“The stunning fact is that we are role models for our 6-year-olds,” he said. “They want to be ‘like us.’ If we hold stereotypes or biases, they are induced to hold them too. Our children are ‘taking data’ on how the adults in the culture act. Our stereotypes become their stereotypes.”

This post first appeared on Green Goddess VV, please read the originial post: here

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Dumb Broad


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