So I’m currently teaching a Gender & Spirituality unit as part of the religion class I’m taking and I am really enjoying it a lot. I basically gave Feminism 101 on Monday (“What is male privilege and why the heck do we need feminism anyway?”) and even the guys in my class have been surprisingly receptive to things.
That said, as a cis dude I have to be careful how I go about it. I try to avoid mansplaining, and I try to incorporate women’s perspectives where possible. But it’s really fascinating to see how many of the girls in the class have internalised their own misogyny. And, on the flipside, in just one week many seem to have gained this of air of empowerment from realising they don’t have to conform to society’s bullshit. One of the reasons I became a teacher, yo.
It’s also fun to call out the guys on their stuff when they make jokes. Like, we did this profiling test to see how we conformed to traditional gender roles/expectations. I showed them my results just to show what they looked like, and one kid was like: “Hah! I’m more masculine than you!” and I simply replied by being like “Isn’t it interesting how you are trying to laud your masculinity over me as a kind of status symbol. What do we think this says about [Student]’s beliefs of men, women and the superiority of masculinity over femininity?” That got a laugh.
That’s great! I wish we got something a bit more like this in school, like gender in the media was touched on a bit in English class, but just barely. I had to figure everything else out later on the internet. Go you expanding tiny human minds.