Thursday, December 6, 2012

Two things caught my eyes this evening on Facebook.

One was the news that Gina Davis' foundation just got a great grant from Google to study gender roles in the media. Read the Wired article here.

The other was a syllabus from a new online poetry course from Yale University.

Ok -- first off, I think both of these things are terrific.

Girls in the media -- it's overwhelming sometimes how little things change -- how the images are still shockingly damaging, and the roles incredibly narrow still...

And the open classroom thing -- fabulous! Some of the best universities in the country -- probably the world -- opening their virtual doors to anyone who has the inclination. Education for education's sake -- purely -- from both directions.

But each -- and both within the span of the five minute news feed -- lead me to crystalize a few other thoughts I've been having.

There are a lot of amazing things for girls on the web -- social media seems full of them. I post a lot of them on the Facebook page. Girls are doing great things, and using the internet to broadcast their brilliance. As a former girl -- and a graduate of a women's college, ta boot -- I understand that this is a new access granted our daughters. It's stunning and world opening and exciting.

As the mother of both a boy and girl, I wonder where are the chances for my son. While I do not have any doubt that society will take care of my privileged, white boy creature -- I'm not sure where the growth and the excitement and the enthusiasm will come from. I want him to do some of the things I seem my daughter embracing -- thinking about the whole world, and changing it through social media and his own actions!

And then they Yale poetry course:
Plus two white women and one black man.

I honestly believe that until we change the way we teach boys to view the world -- and teach the world to view boys -- nothing can change all that much...

1 comment:

  1. A dear friend asked me to elaborate on the last line... here's what I said.

    Well -- in the particulars I was talking about... As long as we continue both to hold old white dead men up as the History Figures -- and don't give boys anything different to learn from, about or strive towards -- we are going to remain stuck. I was thinking of some of the things I'd posted lately... what if a white boy wore a burka for a day? What would he learn? What would he tell the world in his blog? And what if Matt Damon got a grant to study and change the roles of white men in the media? The idea that we can change power and leadership circumventing white men seems not only not holistic or kind, but also a tactical error to me. Change the view of the powerful and things are bound to change quicker than expecting a coup, perhaps...