Re: women composers controversy

Linda Purrington (
Fri, 20 Mar 1998 17:27:45 -0800

True, Adri holds lots of cards in this situation, and it is often (not
always) best to go through channels before going to court. But she holds
those cards because someone was willing to go to court at some point.
The sixth grader named Eve Bruneau went to court because she was
sexually harassed in a classroom objecting to her teacher's biased
choice of magazines for boys and girls. Her court suit and victory helps
protect other girls. There is often a stereotype about "trigger-happy"
girls going to court on any provocation--I do not know a single one of
our cases where the decision to go to; court was not reached after years
of stonewalling, much grief, indelible trauma, and where the long
process of court case and retaliation was not way more miserable than
the rather paltry local successes racked up. The only way these girls
could ever be considered compensated is by knowing what they had done
for other kids, both boys and girls--they themselves rarely reap much
from the process. Some people feel well compensated by having made life
better for others, though, and by getting some justice.
Linda Purrington, Title IX Advocates

Mary Ann Duffy wrote:
> 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
> assignment.
> 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
> > 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
> > and I ) seem to be in total agreement regarding how we think TITLE IX must
> > 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
> > in
> > person now. You can answer me privately if you prefer.
> > Lesemann <>

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