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May 03 2008

Spinster aunt reads blog, cracks sad smile

If it’s education people need, school must go.

Check out hellonhairylegs’ synopsis of a day spent imprisoned in a modern institution of patriarchal indoctrination.

Of course, it is astonishing to discover that there are any feminists in high school at all. This kid may well survive the dread junior English major year without looking like an ass.

[Via Lauredhel]

27 comments

1 ping

  1. PhysioProf

    Well, you know that the reason that all of this edumacation shit is so skewed in favor of maintenance of patriarchy and male privilege is because girls are just different from boys, and they don’t want to do stuff like math and science, and they don’t want to be famous authors, and anyway, they are just better at stuff like cooking and cleaning and taking care of babies. It’s got absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with male privilege. No sirree!

    http://physioprof.wordpress.com/2008/05/03/explanations-of-under-representation-by-privileged-assholes/

  2. Joanna

    A very sharp person with excellent blaming skills! I wish I had been able to articulate my incoherent feelings as clearly as this young woman when I was her age. I “knew” a lot of this stuff in a visceral way, but spent too many years being confused about it.

  3. DeNatured

    “I “knew” a lot of this stuff in a visceral way, but spent too many years being confused about it.”

    Me, too. I can remember having all sorts of conversations with my friends around the lunch table, where we’d dance around concepts like patriarchy and oppression, but in the end we’d just come back to, “men are so stupid!” And girls would try to convince themselves that being publicly ranked on their oral sex skills (yes, a list was circulated at one point; the authors remained anonymous) was a point of pride. Whee.

    I’m going to have to make sure that my sister gets some blaming lessons before high school. I’m making myself a note.

  4. Izzy

    Unfortunately, I can’t read the linked post because my residential high school’s banning system deems it “inappropriate (Thank you, CIPA). I would like to attest to the existence of high school feminists, however. In fact there are about 4 of us here (myself included) and we’re working on building the ranks everyday. In a school of about 200 in the deep south, I’d say we’re doing pretty well.

  5. Twisty

    I’m sort of bummed, Izzy, that your school doesn’t ban my blog, too. Makes me feel so unpleasantly mainstream.

    But I am delighted as heck that you young women are out there. When I was in high school, all I knew about feminism was that feminists were nuts and burned their bras. I literally had no idea why.

    The bra-burning turned out to be a myth, of course, which I didn’t find out until about 5 years ago. Yipes.

  6. Izzy

    Don’t be bummed, Twisty. I know if the MS Dept of Education found out we could access a blog that promoted such insane ideas as the humanity of women, it’d be blocked faster than you could say IBTP.

  7. rootlesscosmo

    Hellonhairylegs and Izzy illustrate a point that Catherine MacKinnon makes, I think in “Only Words,” which is that in spite of the pervasiveness of the patriarchy, and the violence and threats and mind-fogging it practices to maintain itself in power, women still find ways to figure shit out and communicate with each other and resist. There aren’t a whole lot of things I feel hopeful about, but that’s one right there.

  8. bee

    Being a radical feminist in high school earns you no friends, I tell you what. After my sophomore year I decided I couldn’t cope anymore and switched into an independent study program. I still don’t have any friends, but at least I’ll graduate before I’m 17.

    Good for you, hellonhairylegs. Your schedule sounds horribly similar to the one I used to have.

  9. lauredhel

    Izzy, the post is brief (yet pointed); you can get to it all through the link at our place. Unless that’s blocked too.

  10. HistoricUpstart

    As a feminist on the brink of earning my secondary social studies teaching license in the state of Minnesota, I am extremely excited to totally rock some high-schooler frat boy douchebag minds with my radical subversiveness. All according to the rules of educator professionalism, of course. I figure the best way I can make a dent in the inadequacy of the public school system is from the inside.

  11. the Omphaloskeptic

    Another high school feminist here! We exist, I assure you! My friends even sing along when I start in with the “t-t-too-tool of the patriarchy” song. They would still rather cut off their toes than call themselves radical feminists, but hey, what’s in a name?

    While high school is, undeniably, a cesspool of petty unkindness and ill-considered outfits, it turns out that sometimes you run into pretty good people, teens and teachers alike. I’m lucky in that I have several particularly excellent teachers, who support me in my occasional bouts of stridency.

    Also, the part where I avoid everyone else like the plague? That helps too. Eavesdropping can be hilarious (cf. “Everything tastes better with schnapps”), but it can also be sickening, like the choice little anecdote about that girl, the one with the super hot ass that someone should, like, make a videotape of, just the ass, anyway she passed out drunk at a party and this guy who was like, totally obsessed with her, he almost raped her, she was just lying there, so yeah.

    There’s a kind of art in blocking that stuff out enough to get on with the good parts. I guess everyone here knows that already.

  12. EKSwitaj

    Izzy, may I suggest using anonymouse.org and, if you’re using Firefox, downloading the gladder extension? The latter is designed for getting over the great firewall of China, but it should help you with your repressive regime too.

  13. radicalteach

    i hear you loud and clear historicupstart. i’m supposed to be teaching books written only by (dead) white dudes next year. lets just say things are going to change. education is totally fucked by i hope that there are some young women in my new school like hellonhairylegs and lzzy, or maybe i’ll just have to bring the ruckus all by myself.

    viva la revolucion.

  14. PhysioProf

    It’s so fucking cool to see radical teachers here! Children’s education is specifically designed to suck the life out of them. We so need teachers with a sense of irony who can help students resist!

  15. T.O.

    I was a high school feminist not too long ago… and made feminists out of two male friends of mine, then, too.

    The great thing about being in high school these days is that you can learn tons about feminism from the internet/blogosphere. You don’t even have to tell anyone you’re a feminist, which is really the hard part. Then again, you also have to hear people call themselves feminists while advocating the empowerfulment of pornstitution. And you have to hear guys talk about porn. All. The. Time.

    Now, my boyfriend’s sister is in her first year of high school, and frankly she could use some feminism in her life. I don’t know how to introduce it to her without being awkward/intrusive… advice, anyone?

  16. Lieutenant Reverend B. Dagger Lee

    I, too, would like to say it’s some comfort that when me and Miss Patsy are ancient, tottering crones, these perspicacious young onions like hellonhairylegs, the Omphaloskeptic, bee, and Izzy will be our doctors, lawyers, senators, rocket scientists, neighbors and whatnot.

  17. PhysioProf

    I don’t know how to introduce it to her without being awkward/intrusive… advice, anyone?

    Well, duh! Send her to IBTP!

  18. Dwyn

    Also a high school feminist here! I’ll be graduating come the end of this month but I’ve been trying to spread the feminism around my school. It’s all girls catholic, which does not mix well with feminism but I’ve actually had some fairly interesting discussions with other students who have been starved of feminism. I even got an art teacher to read IBTP!

    We do get taught about feminism in Women in relationships, which is a one semester religion class. The teacher spends all of ten minutes on feminism, summing it up in this way: feminism is believing women should have equal pay and anything more radical is too unfair to men.

  19. TP

    After reading just the first five pages of Catherine MacKinnon’s Only Words I thought it could change anyone from feminist-friendly porn-lover to radical feminist instantly. It’s just irrefutable, laegally, ethically and common-sensically.

  20. RKMK

    Well, duh! Send her to IBTP!

    Uh, I don’t know about that. IBTP is advanced-level blaming; it requires a sophisticated palette.

    I havena gotten around to reading it firsthand, but Jessica Valenti’s first book is supposedly very good for entry-level blaming. Her new one is coming out in a couple of days, and the title alone seems indicative of being very useful in the hellscape of high school.

  21. Edith

    She’s biding her time till university? Because university is better than high school?

    Ha. Ha. I had that dream, once.

  22. TinaH

    I’ll join in the woot!ing for radical feminist teachers and radical feminist high school students too. Huzzah!

  23. TwissB

    It seems that high school feminists are not only absurdly wise for their years but very cool and very funny as well. I salute you, young onions.

    Orthographic note: CathArine A. MacKinnon. The Wahington Post which would go openly tabloid rather than misspell the sacred name of its sainted publisher, KathArine Graham, always misspells MacKinnon’s.

  24. TwissB

    Would I be believed if I stoutly asserted that I deliberately misspelled the name of the Washington Post as an expression of contempt. No, I suppose not.

  25. lenor

    As a high school blamer myself, I have almost no hope for university being a better experience than this hellhole. But I like to dream that maybe, just maybe I won’t have to “name at least three reasons why abortion is morally wrong” in a test, like I was supposed to today in Ethics class. I skipped that question, and the next one(“list three cases in which abortion might be justified”). Oh well, I think I’ll hold on to that smidgeon of hope lest I go mad with despair.

  26. Lara

    I feel ya lenor. A lot of these “ethics” classes and what not are bullshit. My junior high class taught me that it’s my fault if I am raped since I am getting “mixed signals.” Two weeks later I was molested 5 times by some asswipe in my French class. I thought it was my fault….
    So yeah, we need radical teachers and students big time.

  27. kage

    On the subject of introducing young teens to patriarchy blaming, a technique I found useful with my much younger sister was to begin with conversations about the restrictions polite society likes to place on teenage girls, while the boys are tacitly encouraged to run wild. Eg sexual behaviour, drinking, going out at night, simply having a good time in public etc.

    We have since moved on to concepts like she has no obligation to make friendly responses to unsolicited advances and that politeness in women is over-rated.

    She made me proud a few months ago by coining the term ‘cock-slapped’ (as compared to pussy-whipped) for boys/men who will do whatever their male friends tell them into. I also overheard her recently calling someone out for victim blaming. My heart sang.

  1. In which I describe who I am, what motivates me, and what this blog is about « Patriarchal Load

    [...] to find. I never did find the book list, but I did find Twisty’s blog. From her blog I found a link to Hell on Hairy Legs, the feminist blog of a high school student in Australia who had linked to [...]

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