Re: women composers controversy

Mary Ann Duffy (
Thu, 19 Mar 1998 10:44:02 -0800

I have been following this discussion with great interest and admire the
courage of the person fighting for inclusive curriculum for her daughter
(sorry, only numbers show in the line saying from whom it comes.) I
teach at a woman-centered school in Toronto and we have been working for
five years to develop inclusive curriculum as learning channels for our
young women and try very hard to share it with whoever is interested.
The public school boards aren't, the funding agencies to give us some
grant money to write it up aren't, but whenever we appear at
conferences, our sessions are crowded and lively.

As a parent, I'd like to say what I would do. I would send a note to
the teacher, returning the list and suggesting that in order for your
daughter to get the most out of the assignment, she would prefer to work
on a woman composer. I would present the teacher with a written list of
women composers and ask her to choose which one she prefers your
daughter to investigate. State in your note that if she does not wish
to choose one, your daughter will. Be clear, firm and polite. Copy the
letter to the principal and ass't superintendent. Ask for a written
reply immediately, since your daughter is anxious to begin work on the

I will always regret that what I know now about inequity in schools I
did not know in 1977 when my daughter, in a prestigious
university-funded school for gifted kids, was told that her French book
report could NOT be by a Quebecois author. We did not fight it, because
she didn't want to be singled out. We would now.

Good luck. I agree with the poster who keeps suggesting that you NOT go
to court, but try to build alliances. I know it seems hard, but as I
have worked as consultant and teacher over the years, I see much more
willingness to change when everybody saves face. You hold ALL the cards
here, as far as I can see. Good luck in playing them.
Mary Ann Duffy <>

C123S105L wrote:
> lINDA: tODAY MARCH 19 my daughter came home with another all male list of
> composers !!!!!that is after the incident of the previous list with the same
> music teacher, after this teacher had two conferences with the principal and
> after the
> assistant superintendent (also TITLE IX coordinator stepped in) I asked Ingrid
> if she would be willing to go to the teacher and tell her in her own words
> that she does not think this is fair because she knows there are women
> composers and will she please assign her one to to work on. Then I began to
> think that perhaps that is no fair
> for me to ask that Ingrid begin to do at this age. So Iam wondering two
> things. First is how you would handle it and the second thing is that we (you
> and I ) seem to be in total agreement regarding how we think TITLE IX must be
> used for changes in ALL
> male oriented curriculums and Iam wondering if you yourself as a parent have
> done
> this challenge at any legal level yet? We are going to ask to see this teacher
> in
> person now. You can answer me privately if you prefer.
> Lesemann <>

new message to this message