In a way it seems apt to start with a post written by another teacher. One of the aims of this blog is to expose the ‘foma’ or harmless untruths within our education system. I will add more detail about the school within which I work during another post. But here is an example of a conversation during a lesson with a certain stereotype of student. Chance of changing views: zero.
Mehmet Quiz:- Which of these statements would have come from Mehmet’s during a lesson about gender inequalities in Uganda.
a) Let’s get together and empower the women of Africa.
b) It’s a women’s job to cook, clean and look after children because it is tiring being a man.
c) I feel sorry for women.
Teacher: But women do all the farming, cooking, cleaning, firewood collecting, water collection and child rearing. What do men do?
a) Probably nothing as their society sees men as more important than women.
b) They are probably working from 2am to 11pm as taxi drivers like my dad [Mehmet was studying a picture of people pushing bikes on dirt tracks. Completely random statement and out of context].
c) The lazy b**** nothing.
Teacher: Did you take no notice of assembly? [This assembly happened to fall on International Women’s Day and was about persisting gender inequality around the world].
a) Yes, I think it is awful that this day and age 90% of the poorest people around the world women.
b) “I was bl**** outraged- its all lies. Modern women get paid at least £6.50 an hour what is their problem?”
c) I think I am feminist.
Teacher:- It was INTERNATIONAL Women’s Day. What about women in more oppressive societies?
a) I think we should look at bottom-up development strategies.
b) All lies-it was what we should be like. I wish it was ten years ago when all women did housework. Miss, you probably don’t have a husband as you work.
c) Let’s form a revolution and empower the undervalued.
What was he his closing statement to this discussion?
a) I am going to tell all my friends and start a campaign to help the oppressed in society.
b) All a woman has to do his say her husband hit her and she takes the man to court and WINS-JOKES!
c) I am so upset I want to cry… those poor poor women.
Scores: If you answered mainly:
As: According to Mehmet you are extremely deluded.
Cs: Mehmet would think you need sectioning under the Mental Health Act.
Spare period spent well.