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Today in Imaginary Feminism: The Slap Circle of Misandry

The We Hunted the Mammoth Pledge Drive continues! If you haven’t already, please consider sending some bucks my way. (And don’t worry that the PayPal page says Man Boobz.) Thanks! And thanks again to all who’ve already donated.

 Over on the Men’s Rights subreddit, the neverending struggle against imaginary feminists continues apace. Today, one brand-new Redditor, a self-described former feminist, won himself several dozen upvotes from the regulars by bringing them a literally unbelievable tale of his adventures with a coven of slap-happy feminists.

I stopped calling myself a feminist a few years ago when I went to a meeting and was told “men are inly allowed in this safe space if they participate in a slap circle.”

The idea was that it would be harder for me to intimidate with my six foot stature if all the women had a chance to slap me in the face. I left.

Another guy actually did it.

It’s all true. I WAS THAT GUY.

BUT WHO WAS PHONE?

Actually, no. If this dude’s story is true, I will literally eat my cats.

While most of the Men’s Rightsers commenting in the thread seem to have swallowed this story whole, “slap circles” aren’t actually a thing in feminism.

They are a thing, though, amongst bored and/or drunk young men (and sometimes women) around the world, as countless videos on YouTube can attest.

As as site called Hungry Teen explains, a “Slap Circle” is

A great way to bond with friends, release aggression and stimulate the face. The Slap Circle is a game made for the more hardcore, daring person and can be used as a test for finding the manliest of the group. Although adopting female fighting techniques, the slap circle appeals far more to men. Nothing is required for this game, other than a hand, a face and a set of balls.

All you do, is stand in a circle and slap the person to your right in the face, while waiting for a slap from the person on your left. If you’ve had enough, you step out of the circle and the last two standing fight it out for the winner.

I eagerly await stories in the Men’s Rights subreddit detailing Andrea Dworkin’s demand that all men and boys be forced to take the Cinnamon Challenge and all those insidious mandatory nut shot seminars being forced upon all college students unfortunate enough to be born with a pair of balls.

Thanks to Cloudiah for the heads up, and the good people of the AgainstMensRights subreddit for the Hungry Teen quote.

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Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@Suzy

Also, on good things in the US, I know they have classes for the GED if you have to prepare, which is cool. So even if you didn’t get the material covered before you dropped out/ whatever’s making you take it, you can see it.

Fade
7 years ago

@auggz

that does sound skeevy (making the disabled kids clean). I remember in my school, they segregated most of the disabled kids from most of the abled kids. And the abled kids kind of looked down on them. It got to the point that when I got diagnosed with a developmental disorder in fifth grade (PDD NOS which may have changed it’s name now. it’s on the autism spectrum IIRC), I convinced myself that my parents were lying and using it as an excuse to ignore me, and that they’d send me to class with majority disabled students and i wouldn’t learn anything and would be made fun of (I was pretty ableist back then :/). Anyway, but the general attitude the kids had towards disabled students made me pretty scared if they found out i wasn’t “normal”.

The shitty one. We were only allowed to miss so many days of school before it hurt our grades, yet they wouldn’t excuse the days I missed.

wow that is super crappy. “You are getting kicked out today but we’ll still punish you for missing this day” its like… are they *trying* to make non-neurotypical kids fail?

Ally S
7 years ago

Long comment about homeschooling ahead:

I probably mentioned this before, but I was unschooled. I didn’t have any formal education whatsoever (until I was 16, in my case) No curriculum, no scheduled material – nothing. My mom did have some involvement in my education in that she helped me learn whatever I wanted to learn, and I did make some progress in things like geography. But I wasn’t proficient at all in math, writing, or science (save for meteorology, which I only became “interested” in as a result of having a phobia of tornadoes). I mostly just studied things on my own and then ask for help from time to time. Most kids my age would have done anything to be in my situation since I had zero obligations. I just did what I wanted. None of that made my life perfect (obviously I still faced abuse) but at least I felt free.

The problem with my unschooling, aside from the fact that I knew little to nothing of what my peers learned in school, was that I had to deal with severe loneliness due to the lack of social interaction with peers. I know this is a trite, often ill-informed criticism of homeschooling and unschooling, but it was true in my case. Despite having some friends in my neighborhood, I rarely spent time with them because they were in school all day. From a very early age (like 6 or so) I had to cope with being lonely. Whenever I wasn’t playing with my friends or doing something similar, I retreated to my room and just played on the home computer or with legos all day, wishing that someone was there with me. That wasn’t a very happy childhood, putting aside the abuse from my dad as well.

I could have joined clubs, karate classes, etc. in order to get more chances to hang out with peers, but I was extremely shy. I felt that wherever I go in public I’d inevitably run into a mean-spirited kid my age, so I didn’t want to take any chances. I think I would have had a much easier personality development – and maybe even a much easier life – if I weren’t unschooled.

I started to live with my dad in California when I was 13 because he knew I had a severely deficient educational background and he wanted to homeschool me. I hated the idea, but I had no say in the matter. I would rather go through the loneliness in my childhood twice than have to endure what he put me through in his attempts to improve my education. I was yelled at, threatened, and abused whenever I wasn’t progressing fast enough. He did help me catch all the way up to 9th grade curricula, but that was at the expense of my emotional well-being. I learned to hate quadratic equations because my dad told me that I was a failure if I didn’t know how to solve them. And then he had me write these summaries of books and articles in order to improve my writing, and he reviewed them with the most ridiculous standards of writing ever. Finally, he made me loosely follow an 8th-grade curriculum from a charter school and try to learn all of the material on my own without any of his help (even though I was bad at studying on my own).

And that was all before my abusive experiences of being forced to study for the SAT. I felt so ashamed of myself, being a 15-year-old pretending to be of value by saying “I’m in the 10th grade now! I’m a lot smarter and I really caught up a lot” (even though it was 2 grades lower and I still knew very little). I cheated on my self-administered tests and skipped huge sections of the curriculum so that my dad could believe that I was doing well.

In light of all of these experiences, I’d say that whether homeschooling, unschooling, or public/private school is better depends entirely on the children, their living environment, and their parents. It’s relative. Had I lived in a more loving, non-abusive home environment and was encouraged more to study, I wouldn’t regret being homeschooled or even unschooled. But because of so much I missed out on and the inevitable proximity with abusive family members, I really wish I was educated outside the home. In any case, it’s not my place to judge other parents for how they educate their children as long as they are loving, supportive, suited for teaching/guiding, and not abusive.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

“It shouldn’t be dependent on the local property tax base.”

So much THIS. BF and I both went to public school, but since mine was in a rural university town and his was in an extremely affluent Boston suburb. Guess which one of us got the better education? All our parents have advanced degrees, which helps a lot, but my school literally couldn’t afford to offer some of the classes he got to take. We got excited when they added a second year of art!

But don’t you dare suggest that there’s some kind of “cycle of poverty” where class inhibits your education which limits your job options which keeps you poor. Anyone can go to college and become a majillionaire if they just work hard enough!

If you want to learn, nothing’s going to stop you.

Except disability. Or living in a car. Or not having food at home. Or living in a violent or abusive home. Or having to work because your parents’ incomes alone aren’t paying the bills. Or having no light to study by because your parents spent the money on drugs. Just to name a few.

Real life isn’t a heartwarming movie.

Anonymouslazycat
Anonymouslazycat
7 years ago

@ Marie

I’m sorry. I didn’t completely think through what I was saying. I didn’t mean to say something offensive, but I did, and I sincerely apologize.

I do agree with you that what you’re learning about matters a lot. I guess I just thought that was implied, but I realize now that I wasn’t being very clear.

Suzy
Suzy
7 years ago

*high five*

The option to take classes is great! I prepared for my GED on-line and got a pretty awesome score.

Ally S
7 years ago

Oh, another thing about my dad “teaching” me: he would often threaten to send me to the local high school as a punishment for not being academically successful. Part of me felt that such a punishment would be a good thing because it would finally enable me to spend some time with peers (and hopefully make more female friends as well). But he made public school sound like it was a deathtrap filled with meth addicts and potheads.

Anonymouslazycat
Anonymouslazycat
7 years ago

The same at @emilygoddess. I didn’t think things through, or take all the possibilities into account.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@anonymouslazycat

I’m sorry. I didn’t completely think through what I was saying. I didn’t mean to say something offensive, but I did, and I sincerely apologize.

I do agree with you that what you’re learning about matters a lot. I guess I just thought that was implied, but I realize now that I wasn’t being very clear.

Eh. Well thanks for the apology.

@suzy

You prepared for your GED? 😛 I was too lazy/depressed. I only did mine cuz my sister did it, and I figured I should to get jobs. Luckily I was pretty fortunate with schooling before I dropped out, so I knew most of the material, but yeah. I totally didn’t bother preparing.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@Ally

I know it’s been said many times before, but your dad was shitty. 🙁 All the internet hugs from me you want.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@auggz

Idk if it’s what fade meant, but what I remember from the school it wasn’t just different classes for kids who were mentally disabled, it was that we barely ever saw them or interacted with them. It’s like we didn’t even go to the same school, except for physical location.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

@Suzy, wow. Both my high school and my uni required you to take a well-rounded selection of courses: science, arts, math, English, humanities, and foreign language. All of which I was able to meet without even trying, as I happen to have a wide variety of interests.

I mean, the downside is that American students can obtain an education that makes us well-rounded individuals and utterly fails to prepare us for the work force. As an intellectual and curious person I’m extremely grateful for the education I got, but I can’t say it did me any good work- or money-wise.

Suzy
Suzy
7 years ago

@ Marie

I read a couple of prep books and practiced a little bit on-line. I needed a good score for college.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@Suzy

ah. I just wanted the GED done, any passing score would do. But I didn’t really want to go to college, at least not for a full degree or to a fancy one.

I have been more interested in college since I learned that our local community college has a culinary school though 😀

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
7 years ago

Auggz — what Marie said is about true for my school experience too. To the point I don’t remember EVER interacting with disabled kids in HS, despite being friends with one of them in middle school who should’ve been in my HS (seeing how he’s not in my yearbook, I guess maybe he went to private school?)

Grade school they’d send the special ed kids to art and gym and maybe music? with the rest of the students, middle school only lunch was shared, HS I don’t remember ever interacting with any special ed students. Not even passing them in the halls. And we only had the one HS in the city, so they had to be there somewhere. Really creepy now that I think about it.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

@auggz

I think abled is the right term.

Fade
7 years ago

@auggz

It might have been different classes for mentally disabled kids, but I don’t recall seeing any physically disabled kids in the “normal” class, either.

So this is just based on my impression. But the impression I got was that they were all in the same class, regardless of learning level (like ninth grade disabled kids w/ 12th grade)so they had more limited course options. I may be wrong, but that’s what i absorbed, and waht i was afraid of

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

If you wouldn’t mind my asking, why do you think changing the way schools are funded would help?

Since poor areas have low property tax bases they are less well funded than schools in rich areas. It would be better to have a statewide fund with schools being funded according to the size of the student body and the number of students with special needs.

ABLED PEOPLE maybe can get a shit out of their educations. But public schools in the US are set up towards the able bodied and the neurotypical.

That’s a good point and I apologize for forgetting to bring it up.

Unfortunately, some districts are either unwilling or unable to accommodate students who aren’t abled or neurotypical properly. My school district actually had great programs in our public schools for my autistic brother. We have smaller alternative high schools for students who don’t thrive in a more traditional public school. I don’t know enough about them to comment on how good they are though.

A neat thing Minneapolis schools does is let parents decide which school suits their kid best. Kids don’t have to go to their neighborhood schools. I never went to the same school as my brother. He went to the schools that had the programs for neuroatypical students. I went to the schools that offered open programs which allow for the students to have a little more control over their curriculum and were a little more informal.

I remember in my school, they segregated most of the disabled kids from most of the abled kids.

Ugh. My brother was in a class for disabled kids only in elementary school but he was mainstreamed starting in middle school. He’s not high functioning enough for advanced math and science and isn’t capable of analyzing literature. But he did take regular classes when he could and was able to make a few neurotypical friends and graduate from high school only a year behind.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: disabled students

I remember having disabled kids in my classes. There was one guy who I think was autism spectrum in my math class, back in middle school, because while his handwriting was abysmal, his math skills were fantastic, and he was a nice guy. One of the disabled kids actually ended up winning the school history bee, and our student body was quite excited about this. There was a CP girl in my art class, and I shared gym class with some folks.

It was far from perfect, but at least we knew they were there and that they were just as decent as other people, even if they operated differently than us. (There was one creep, but thank god I only had to share one gym class with him.)

RE: emilygoddess

But don’t you dare suggest that there’s some kind of “cycle of poverty” where class inhibits your education which limits your job options which keeps you poor. Anyone can go to college and become a majillionaire if they just work hard enough!

One of the smartest decisions I ever made was to quit grad school and move to Boston and have top surgery instead. At the time, it was an extremely tough decision, and a lot of people really wanted me to stay in school, but now I am so glad I quit while I could, since I know three folks who got my degree. One is a bookshop retail worker, one works two part-time library jobs, and the other, last I heard, was leaping from temp job to temp job. My top surgery was well worth the price, and NOBODY can take its worth away from me.

That said, I kinda wish I’d had better options. Quitting school so you can have surgery is pretty shitty. Being GLAD because the degree would’ve been an expensive piece of paper is pretty shitty too.

Suzy
Suzy
7 years ago

Hmm In Europe accommodation for disabled children is mandatory I think. My school had an elevator, disabled children took all classes with the abled and teachers were required to give them extra time to take all the exams. There are actually special ed schools in every city, but a parent can choose to send their child to a “normal” school.

historophilia
7 years ago

In the UK, at GCSE which are the qualifications done over two years at 15-16, there are certain subjects that everyone has to take, which include maths, science, english literature and language and at least one humanities. The idea is that GCSE’s ensures everyone has a basic standard of numeracy and literacy. It used to be that taking a modern foreign language was compulsory as well but that was gotten rid of years ago (and surprise, surprise, we now have a shortage of people taking languages at university and a shortage of people to teach them at school level).

So yeah, while you then tend to narrow down a lot at A Levels (taken at 17-18 and designed to prepare you for university level study), you still keep options open at the age of 16. Especially as pretty much any and all university or higher education courses (and jobs as well) require at least a C grade in Maths and English at GCSE level. So you HAVE to take maths at that age.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

When I was in the 10th grade I was told that I had to choose to study either Social Sciences and/or Humanities or Science and/or Technology. I chose Humanities and was not allowed to take ANY science classes, not even math. My classes were: Philosophy (ew), Latin, Ancient Greek, History, Psychology, Modern languages. Boooringg (for me) I was fifteen then. I wouldn’t be able to go to university and study anything related to science and technology, only SocSc and humanities I didn’t realize that then, though. Even if I went to uni there, I wouldn’t be allowed to change majors ( I would have to drop out and take entrance exams all over again and re-apply). Science majors would not be an option because of that choice I made when I was 15.

You may want to narrow things down to specific countries rather than just “Europe”. I went to both high school and university in the UK, did entirely humanities subjects at A-level (grades 10-12), and graduated with a BS rather than a BA. My high school was private, but most of my cousins went to public school, and what you’re describing doesn’t sound much like the British system at all.

historophilia
7 years ago

@Suzy, remember “Europe” means many, many different countries and while EU legislation may make provision for children with disabilities a legal requirement, not all European countries are in the EU.

historophilia
7 years ago

Seconded, Cassandrakitty, that system doesn’t bear any resemblance to the British one and oh my gosh it is infuriating when people appear to forget that Europe is a continent not a country! All the countries in Europe are separate, sovereign nations with their own laws and their own education systems. All of them are different.

I am going to start a petition for people to stop talking about continents as if they are a country and ban all generalisations.

Suzy
Suzy
7 years ago

I specifically said that I speak for some European countries. I have travelled a lot and lived in several.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

But I guess the meanest thing I could say now is that I think public/private schools and their brand of socialization are actually a breakdown of individual consciousness meant to drive conformity and stifle creativity.

But I’m only half serious about that. That’s American-style schooling, and I hope there are better ways being explored to teach children.

Can we not swing the offensive pendulum all the way to the other side and insult public/private schools and those who went to them? I don’t really appreciate the implication that I’m a mindless automaton because I went to public schools.

This conversation has been about as pleasant as our religion conversations are.

Well, firstly, this is a religion conversation, as well as an education conversation, because of how it got framed.

Secondly, I apologize. As I indicated, (“meanest thing I could say,” “only half serious,”) I phrased that in an inflammatory way on purpose, because I was feeling attacked and belittled and I took it personally, and I really should have unplugged and considered it before I added that part in.

I do think there is a systemic problem in education that needs to be addressed, but I also know lots of individuals doing their best to combat it at the level they’re at.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

@ Suzy

Then if you’re going to discuss European education in the way that you have been you need to specify which ones. Europe is big, and there’s lots of variation in the way education (like many other things) works in different part of it.

Suzy
Suzy
7 years ago

I’m sorry if I didn’t make that clear. The system I described is definitely true for Spain, Italy and other EU countries.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

@ Howard

I wonder how class size plays into all this. I would guess that bigger class = teacher has less time to give to each student, which probably isn’t helping with the whole treating students as unique individuals with unique interests and skill sets and potential life paths thing. Like a lot of the other stuff people have been discussing funding would have an impact on that.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Part of the reason I’m being pedantic is, well, the former Soviet bloc countries are part of Europe, right? And I’m guessing their educational systems look a bit different to what you’d find in a lot of EU countries.

historophilia
7 years ago

Again Suzy, Britain is an EU country, and what you describe definitely doesn’t fit the system in the UK.

And having gone through a Europe education system, and known many people who have, what you describe doesn’t fit with everyone’s experiences that I’ve heard.

The system you are describing is specifically the Baccalaureat, which is the French secondary education qualification. All European countries have different systems, for example in Germany they have the Abitur, and they all function differently.

historophilia
7 years ago

And also to point out, the EU is not really involved in the education systems of individual member states. There isn’t a Europe wide national education system and member states have pretty much 100% control their education systems.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Yeah, I was going to say, my aunt taught in Germany for a while, and what Suzy is describing doesn’t match what I remember her saying about her experiences either, nor those of the German people my age who I know.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: cassandrakitty

Part of the reason I’m being pedantic is, well, the former Soviet bloc countries are part of Europe, right? And I’m guessing their educational systems look a bit different to what you’d find in a lot of EU countries.

Yeah. I’m kinda confused why Suzy, when asked to explain, said “other EU countries.” Uh, that’s a lot of countries, Suzy. And they probably have pretty wildly different schooling things. (I mean, the USA is ONE country, and schools vary a good bit!)

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

I also think that the horrible state of schools these days is highly exaggerated for the benefit of the corporate funders behind the school reform movement.

This is very, very, very true, and also very, very, very scary, because I firmly believe that everything wrong with schools today? Those guys want to make it worse.

But whatever the intent, the comment did read to me as a judgment that one couldn’t possibly have received a good education at public school. IME people who are relatively intelligent, want to learn and have halfway decent parents manage to get plenty out of their educations.

Welp, I want to emphasize two things; one, I’ve known loads of people who got plenty out of their educations and went to a public school, so I agree with you completely there. Secondly, a lot of my criticism of education methods comes from a very layman’s-level dabbling in educational psychology and a frustration that it seems a lot of the stuff that’s exciting and new is being kept out of classrooms in the US–in large measure because of people who want to go backwards and still complain that corporal punishment is no longer allowed.

Plus, other stuff. Which rhymes with “institutional prejudice.” And “imbalanced funding sources depriving already-deprived classes.” And stuff and stuff and stuff. And when you start looking at them all together it starts to sound like somebody, somewhere really likes the idea of a class-stratified society where the poorest receive an education that’s high on discipline and rules and low on opportunity.

But now I’m getting a little Teal Deer of my own going on over here.

historophilia
7 years ago

Ah Suzy your description of your education sounds like the Baccalaureate which is French, I’ve just realised you weren’t in France.

And having done a bit of digging into various education systems in European countries, there are similarities between the French and Italian systems but they still aren’t the same and both, though they do aim to make pupils specialise, still allow a range of subjects to be studied including science.

But anyway, despite similarities, you still can’t generalise about “european countries” and their education systems. For example, the French Baccalureate offers three paths of specialisation, whereas the Italian Liceo offers at least 6, and that’s not including the other educational paths which are more aimed at job skills rather than theoretical education.

And while continental school systems may have some similarities (unsurprisingly), lumping the British system in with them really doesn’t make sense.

historophilia
7 years ago

Also, as a basic historical fact, if you are ever talking about “Europe” always be very careful as most European countries were constantly at war with each other about 60-odd years ago and just over 20 half of it was under Soviet rule. And even now within the EU, things are dominated by a small group of countries (mainly France and Germany) so when people talk about “Europe” when they mean the EU, they aren’t even talking about all the countries that are member states, as the power and the money and thus the political clout and whose views are heard are concentrated in just a few nations hands.

Basically, Europe is only 90% of the time useful as a Geographical term.

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

Yeah, I’m kinda staying out of the school stuff, just because… well, I was a high-achieving over-functioning crazy person who was desperately using public school as a way to maintain a patina of functionality, even when the eating disorder started taking over my life.

I feel like I can’t say ANYTHING useful about school experiences.

Howard Bannister
7 years ago

I feel like I can’t say ANYTHING useful about school experiences.

My personal mantra is this: I have no stake in this game. I’m never going back to school, and I don’t plan to have any kids. The only reason for me to ever raise my voice about schools is to try to help all the kids out there in the world to have something better.

And I don’t have any personal tools for measuring what makes a school better. I can only look at studies and surveys and other tools, and try to suss out what works best for kids along those lines, because I don’t know. I had some years of home-schooling and some years of college, but it was only one experience and that’s not nearly enough to figure it out.

And once I’ve said all that I feel less like I have to defend my parent’s decisions or sort out my own problems and more like maybe that’s something I’m allowed to have an opinion about.

Mileage may vary.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

LBT,

I know three folks who got my degree. One is a bookshop retail worker, one works two part-time library jobs, and the other, last I heard, was leaping from temp job to temp job.

Was it library science? I, too, am glad I chose not to pursue that degree. My MLIS friend is cobbling together part-time jobs – and this is in Boston, city of universities!

Suzy,

In Europe accommodation for disabled children is mandatory I think.

It’s mandatory in the US, but not every school can afford to provide what the student needs.

emilygoddess
emilygoddess
7 years ago

Howard,

My personal mantra is this: I have no stake in this game. I’m never going back to school, and I don’t plan to have any kids. The only reason for me to ever raise my voice about schools is to try to help all the kids out there in the world to have something better.

I hear what you’re saying, and there’s wisdom in it, but I disagree. To paraphrase John Green, I care about the education of current and future students because I will have to share a country with them, and I don’t want them to be stupid. They will eventually be voting, and working, and creating, and some day they’ll be the politicians and the CEOs and the journalists and media makers, and the quality of all of that, and by extension the quality of all our lives, depends on their educations. /rant

LBT (with an open writeathon!)

RE: emilygoddess

Was it library science? I, too, am glad I chose not to pursue that degree. My MLIS friend is cobbling together part-time jobs – and this is in Boston, city of universities!

Yup! A shame, because I actually was pretty passionate about that career and hubby loved the idea of working with kids, but well, we quit, and then our health fell apart, and now we’re disabled…

So yeah. I’m kinda sad, but it really was a bullet dodged there. Especially since while disabled, I COULD in theory go back to school (though I never want to) but I could NEVER afford top surgery. *pets nice flat chest*

Fade
7 years ago

re accommodations

they *have* to offer them, but only they have it be as little as possible

i didn’t know i was disabled during high school, so i couldn’t have gotten them any way, or any help at all with my depression.

now i go to a public college, so they have to offer accommodations, but only for things required. Like, there’s a way to get between two campuses, but it’s completely inaccessible. since it’s not legally required, they didn’t bother to give it a wheelchair ramp/lift and highly discouraged me from taking it even though i could climb on the bus if someone else moved my wheelchair for me. there might be other examples but i’m really not involved with the student community; i just go to my classes and go home.

one thing i understand, but don’t like, is the doctors note for any accommodation you might need. because my doctor *hates* giving me accommodations. I’m like “so…. can i have a disabled parking card since i can’t walk 200 feet without excrutiating pain?” “No i can only assign those for people with rheumatoid arthritis”. “is there anyway i can get insurance to cover a wheelchair?” “no i can only tell your insurance you need it if you have rheumatoid arthritis”. So idk if she would even vouch for me if i asked her to tell the school i’m disabled. but thats more of an ick doctor thing than a school thing

she is infinitely better than my old general doctor because at least she didn’t judge me for getting a wheelchair. old doctor w was like “how can you get a wheelchair? you’re eighteen? What if you loose the ability to walk? What if you get fat? why can’t you just pretend your not in pain and push through ti?”

that got out of hand and off topic, sorry

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

*threadruption*

IME people who are relatively intelligent, want to learn and have halfway decent parents manage to get plenty out of their educations.

Nope.

As to parental involvement making or breaking the quality of public education, that’s a cop out.

If the student does well, we say it’s because the school is so wonderful.

If they don’t, they are lazy or stupid and they have bad parents.

Can you think of any other government institution that can get away with excuses like that?

Meanwhile, if my involvement is worth so much, why shouldn’t I school my kids myself?

Schools are paid between $14,000 and $20,000 per student per year. If my free labor is what makes that money well spent, something is amiss.

As for people being able to learn if they want to and people who can’t learn in a given sitting just being lazy, that’s a big “NO”.

Look, sing the praises of school all you like, but as a former foster parent and I’ve dealt with a variety of schools and how they treat kids with PTSD, learning difficulties, diabetes, a sexuality not generally approved of ’round these parts, etc. It can be great. It can be a nightmare. Certain kids are not able to learn in a certain setting or by a certain method. Some kids have needs that schools are unable or unwilling to meet. I mentioned earlier that there are no programs for teaching dyslexic students, not testing available. Dyslexics can make up 10 to 20 percent of a population. Our local drop out rate is about 25%. Coincidence? Maybe.

No, I don’t think publicly school kids are mindless automatons, but it isn’t for lack of trying. Do you not know why kids are trained to come and go at the sound of bells or why they are taught to ask permission to use the toilet? Why does it seem like homogeny is rewarded and individuality discouraged and even punished?

Our public educational system was designed to make a better class of workers. It’s still based on the Prussian model of schooling that was designed to ensure the compliance of subjects to their king. The students were meant to fuel the industrial revolution. Students are still trained to see learning as a passive, mandatory and often unpleasant experience where they are constantly judged, evaluated and ranked. Their time, behavior, and exposure to information is tightly controlled. There is no science behind why we do that. It is not the best way to encourage a student to learn or to teach them to love learning. We do it, because it’s the way we’ve always done it.

…and don’t even get me started about bullying, sexual harassment*, racism* or the way trans or gender queer kids are often treated in schools. *Home is often no better in my area. Most kids are still forced to live in the closet. But for some, homeschool means getting to be themselves without being under threat all day, everyday.

Sure, it’s an excellent education for some people. It isn’t for alot of others. Writing those people’s experiences off as a personal failing or the failing of their parents just does not jive with reality.

Yea, homescholers can be “sensitive” about these things. Maybe that’s because we’re so often told that our lived experiences don’t happen or that we’d be good parents if we’re involved in our kids’ educations, but not TOO involved, because that makes us bad parents yadda, yadda, yadda,..socialization, yadda, we’ll ruin our kids’ lives.

This is why I don’t like to discuss homeschool. The very concept is threatening to some people, because questioning the status quo always is. I don’t like to be overly critical of public schools. Most Americans could not choose another way of learning if they wanted to. There are good schools and good teachers. Standardization is a must for a system so large that serves so many. But one size fits all education doesn’t work for everyone and seeking other options isn’t unreasonable.

*Which I lived with in school from the time I got tits (fifth grade) to graduation.

*The school to prison pipeline is a thing that exists. Institutional racism is in our schools and it does cost kids their lives.

*Parents threaten and beat their kids for things like that here and all over the states. LGBTQ kids are not served much better by DCBS as most of the foster families are also bigoted against them. I know of an adoption that was dissolved several years after it had taken place after an adopted child came out as gay. It’s getting better, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t bad now.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

Blockquote fail!

Oh well. Here’s a film I watch about once a year. Maybe you’ll like it too.

http://www.atouchofgreatness.com/

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

Lea,
I get what you’re saying but it takes a certain amount of privilege to be able to successfully homeschool a child. It is not an option for a lot of families. Public school is absolutely necessary for a functioning democracy. I’m troubled by the movement in recent years, both on the left and the right to just sort of give up on public schools. There are definite improvements to be made, in some districts more than others, but it can be done. It has to be done.

I’m absolutely not attacking your choice or questioning the decisions you’ve made for your kids. But attacking public schools gets us nowhere either. All I asked was that the thread not go in the other direction towards trashing public schooling and people who use it. My disabled brother got a great education in public schools. It is possible if as a society we prioritize it.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

Ally,
I’m so sorry that you were only given a choice between loneliness and mental abuse. That’s not ok.

But he made public school sound like it was a deathtrap filled with meth addicts and potheads.

I would not call it a deathtrap, but students do vape right in the classroom now. My daughter has had to explain to people that A) it still smells and B) “We can all see your pupils, so cut it out” to other students. I’m not concerned. That’s high school. *shrug*

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

I get what you’re saying but it takes a certain amount of privilege to be able to successfully homeschool a child.

I don’t deny that. That’s why I specifically stated:

I don’t like to be overly critical of public schools. Most Americans could not choose another way of learning if they wanted to.

It also, as I pointed out, takes a certain amount of privilege to be successfully publicly schooled. So, I don’t get your point.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

Public school is absolutely necessary for a functioning democracy

Maybe that’s why I said,

There are good schools and good teachers. Standardization is a must for a system so large that serves so many.

Again, if you aren’t attacking my choice or my criticism, what are you trying to say? It’s like you didn’t read anything I wrote.

Lea
Lea
7 years ago

I’m troubled by the movement in recent years, both on the left and the right to just sort of give up on public schools.

It is possible if as a society we prioritize it.

Yeah, I’ve gotten this so often. I should fight the system! I should spend all my time and effort fixing a system through my free labor that isn’t likely to get a result. My kids are to be sacrificed on the alter of public schools because democracy.

No.

If speaking the truth about a system is “trashing it” the problem is the system.

Let me remind you again that most of my kids are in public school.

…where in high school many kids in my daughter’s history class had never heard of The Holocaust.

…where I have been told by teachers of two of my kids now, “I cannot teach this child”.

Speaking of my lived experiences is not attacking yours.