Re: what constituted discrimination? -Reply

Linda Purrington (
Mon, 16 Mar 1998 21:38:05 -0800

Adri, your description of public school as "singlesex education for boys
makes me chuckle (a bit sadly)--and I'm wondering if you have read the
last chapter of Peggy Orenstein's Schoolgirls? Orenstein has some very
good portraits of girls in middle school--and although like most such
books she lacks a solid last chapter of political leadership/strategy,
she does have a great description of a teacher in Everett Middle School
in San Francisco, who teaches all her history classes only from the
viewpoint of women (she says, in defense of this policy, that it is no
more than what women have had to deal with, and that sooner or later all
the mainstream male history gets covered anyway. Apparently the boys vye
to get into these courses, because they are so interesting! Linda
Linda Purrington <>
C123S105L wrote:
> Dear Linda:
> Perhaps Iam suffering from a ''neurotic flare up'' but in the past there days
> I have been feeling ''anger'' and a certain amount of deep frustration. The
> fact and the matter is that I cannot sit ''too still or too calm'' when
> Ingrid's entire social studies/history book has 587 pages and out of those
> pages only 10 mention women and two of those ''as wifes of Presidents cast in
> a totally gender biased stereotyped light.'' you are absolutely right. These
> goes behond ''a simple bias'' these curriculums and these textbooks are
> creating a totally hostile environment for female students because
> not one should have the slightest doubt that teachers in Ingrid's school are
> ''resisting''
> the inclusion of women in their studies and that the only reason you see a few
> women displayed this month is because of the pressure we been puting on the
> Principal for some time now, and we asked her to please be aware that this
> month's
> was Women History. But as soon as it is over whatever slight recognition women
> received will be FORGOTTEN untill next year. So lately I have been discussing
> very
> seriously with my husband that if this type of discrimination continues in
> curriculum
> next year at the MIDDLE SCHOOL I cannot in good conscience allow my daughter
> to continue being taught in what we consider ''single sex education'' (that of
> boys.)
> And I don't call a teacher's refusal to include women in a list of composers
> ''a bias'' I call it discrimination because my daughter, even at the age of
> ten, is beginning
> to feel quite uncomfortable and there is not doubt that curriculums like these
> give ''boys'' a great sense of superiority over the female students and that
> even at this age my daughter is beginning ''to take it all in'' and to find
> herself in a position
> to ''have to defend'' herself and ''assert herself'' in an unfriendly
> environment. The worst of this, of course. is the fact that at least in
> Ingrid's school, some teachers are being hostile. One 4th grade teacher put
> the picture of a man outside her classrooom and directed her students ''to do
> this man'' apparently as a response to the Principal's suggestion to ''do
> someone fot this month) Tuesday we are meeting with Dr.Safffer assistant
> superintendent of schools and also TITLE IX coordinator. We have not received
> official reply as promised regarding music teacher's refusal to include
> women. We want to concentrate ALL effort in forcing these teachers to look at
> these deplorable curriculums but what frustrates me is that it does not seem
> we have a great case ''legally'' under TITLE IX to rely on to continue forcing
> them to confront this problem in a professional manner. We care. We care
> greatly that girls are not coming even close to being ''equally represented in
> the clasroom. We have got to find a way to bring it to national attention.
> Count us in in whatever effort it takes.
> Lesemann

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