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Archive for the ‘Feminist Rants’ Category

I am still grading — part of the problem here is that I got caught by AMC’s showing of the awesomely-80s “Christine.” My justification for watching it is that I am also Doing Work. So sad.

Anyway, I have discovered why the Dallas ISD decided to take only the 5th-grade boys to see “Red Tails”. The movie is about pilots and flying planes, correct? Well, despite the fact that a living Tuskegee Airman was horrified by the decision (and said that his wife would be MORE horrified), there is an excellent explanation for why such a seemingly sexist choice was made.

According to Jennifer Rubin’s interview with Rick Santorum, women are problematic in combat situations because they pose an emotional danger for the male soldiers who will feel compelled to protect the female soldiers from harm. Santorum acknowledges that there are women who fly for the Navy and the Air Force, and he generously admits, too that “women are fully capable of ‘flying small planes.’”

Well! thefrogman’s Tumblr page has a pictorial rendering of that statement…that, plus Santorum’s (delightfully ludicrous)  comment, are clearly guiding the DISD’s decision regarding “Red Tails.” Obviously, those planes in the film are not small enough for The Ladies to be able to fly, so the 5th-grade girls have absolutely no need to see the movie and its Big Manly Planes. You see:

Lady Planes!

So there you go. Silly me…here I was thinking planes were ungendered. Guess Rick Santorum cleared that up. But his view of the world truly worries me.

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I was surprised (because I always think we’re moving forward…silly me) to learn that the Dallas ISD took c.5700 students to see a movie today. Apparently, going to see the (very poorly written) movie “Red Tails” is equivalent to a history lesson about African-American contributions during WWII.

Matthew Haag, who writes a column for the Dallas Morning News’ website, received the following statement from Jon Dahlander, a spokesperson for the Dallas ISD:

Approximately 5,000 fifth grade boys in the district are watching “Red Tails.” The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African American pilots whose acts of bravery during World War II earned them the President Unit Citation in honor of their achievements.

Haag went on:

[Dahlander] said the district paid for the $32,000 field trip with Title I federal funds, which are earmarked for educating low-income students, and that the district’s Texas Education Agency monitor approved the field trip.

Dahlander said that World War II is part of fifth grade curriculum, and that teachers designed lesson plans to be used before and after the movie.

I hate to point out a flaw, here, but did anyone ELSE notice that Dahlander mentioned 5000+ BOYS? Do girls not need to know about the Tuskeegee Airmen?

So you ask yourself, do the girls get to go another day? And what are they doing? Fortunately, Haag has that information too:

Dahlander writes, ‘There is only so much available space at the movie theater, so the decision was made for boys to attend the movie. Girls stayed at school but principals were given the option to show them “Akeelah and the Bee”.’

Soooooooo….the boys see a movie about WWII, the teachers will take the boys back to the classrooms and then use curriculum materials to link the movie to the lesson, and the girls will be able to participate in the discussion through their POSSIBLE exposure to a modern film about a spelling bee?

And let’s not even discuss the utter laziness in using a BAD FILM to teach history. Why not spend some time in the library or watching a documentary or having a guest speaker or something that doesn’t involve going to a frickin movie in the middle of the class day? Why not use the $32,000 to provide classroom materials?

Why not use your flipping BRAINS, stupid stupid DISD?

I just….there are so many things I want to say about this, but I’m trying to keep my blood pressure within normal ranges. Can anyone help me here?

UPDATE:
(courtesy, again, of Matthew Haag)

Jon Dahlander earlier today told me that the boys-only field trip to see “Red Tails” cost $32,000.

This afternoon, Dahlander clarified. The $32,000 only covers the cost of movie tickets for the 5,000 students. The district spent another roughly $25,000 on the buses to take the fifth graders to the AMC 30 Mesquite.

Schools also had to hire substitute teachers for the girls who stayed behind in the classrooms. Dahlander said he didn’t know how much that cost.

Dahlander said interim Superintendent Alan King and interim chief of schools Shirley Ison-Newsome approved showing the movie.

How, exactly, is the educational benefit of watching a lame movie worth over $57,000?

My brain is starting to boil…..

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For various and sundry reasons, all of my posts are on private. What I expect I will do is reset (all 340+) to password-protected and give it to nice people who ask me.

I read in the NYT this morning, and heard on NPR this morning, and heard from friends this morning, (and saw all over the internet), that the Susan G. Komen Foundation will not be funding Planned Parenthood’s mammogram exams because of the foundation’s new policy of refund g or rejecting organizations under local, state, or federal investigation.

Consider the following items:
This only applies to Planned Parenthood.
When a new vice president of the foundation (Karen Handel) ran for governor in Georgia in 2010 as a strong anti-abortion candidate, she said that she was opposed to Planned Parenthood’s mission. Which is totally valid if, I suppose, you read:

  • to provide comprehensive reproductive and complementary health care services in settings which preserve and protect the essential privacy and rights of each individual
  • to advocate public policies which guarantee these rights and ensure access to such services
  • to provide educational programs which enhance understanding of individual and societal implications of human sexuality
  • to promote research and the advancement of technology in reproductive health care and encourage understanding of their inherent bioethical, behavioral, and social implications

as “abortions for everyone, and free sex for the kids!”

A lot has been said by other people who want to say a lot of words about it, but I’m still too irritated by all of this nonsense to say much. I shall say more later, most of it along the lines of wondering if this Ms. Handel is close friends with Mr. Let-Them-Wriggle-in-the-Net Romney.

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