As long as they are equally valued »« Epiphenomenal

Charlotte Allen redux

I missed the part where Charlotte Allen replied to her critics. It’s a treat.

It’s no small thing, of course, to stop a gunman, whatever his size, but there might have been more of a chance with a few men on hand. I asserted that the “feminized setting” that prevails at elementary schools and the education schools that train their personnel creates a culture of “helpless passivity” that puts women and small children at risk when a psychopath like Lanza decides to blow out the doors.

And an admiring audience failed to materialize, so she is explaining it all again.

No, I was not blaming any of the 26 victims or the parents who enrolled their kids at Sandy Hook. I am, however, blaming our culture that denies, dismisses, and denigrates the masculine traits—including size, strength, male aggression and a male facility for strategic thinking–that until recently have been viewed as essential for building a society and protecting its weaker members. We now have Hanna Rosin at Slate urging parents to buy their little boys Easy Bake ovens so they’ll be more like little girls. Women are less aggressive by instinct, and they are typically trained to be nice. I praised and continue to praise the courage of the Sandy Hook principal, Dawn Hochsburg, and the teachers who gave up their lives along with her, but with some men on the scene who knew what to do, some of those lives might have been saved.

Might have been – well sure, but you could say that about anything. If Adam Lanza had tripped and fallen then lots of people could have jumped on top of him, too, and all the lives might have been saved. If things had been different they would have been different. Very true, but we already knew that. There have been other mass shootings where there were men present and many people were still killed, including men. It’s not even clear why Charlotte Allen assumes none of the women present “knew what to do” – and of course it’s completely unclear what she thinks there is “to do” in the face of automatic weapons.

I am also responding to David Weigel, who told me I gotten my facts wrong: that there are actually two men, a custodian and a fourth-grade teacher, on Sandy Hook’s 52-person staff. He’s right, and I stand corrected. This does help prove my point, though: just two adult men in a building containing 500 people — and it’s not clear that both of them were at work that day. Indeed, a visit to Sandy Hook’s staff website is a depressing experience, the sea of women’s names. Why aren’t there more men? Perhaps not enough want the job? But why? Because they are tacitly discouraged from careers in elementary education? It’s certainly not the money, because union rules typically require kindergarten teachers and high-school chemistry teachers to be paid on exactly the same salary scale. Another depressing page on the Sandy Hook website is the “Safe Schools Climate” page. It’s a page of links to “anti-bullying” resources. Yes, the Sandy Hook staff’s idea of a “safe school” was a school where kids didn’t say mean things about each other on Facebook! The Sandy Hook massacre was a tragedy, but it was at least in part a tragedy of the collision between feminist delusions and reality.

Jesus H Christ almighty – what is she talking about?? Is she claiming that feminism keeps men out of elementary schools? Wtf? Since when does feminism claim that elementary school teachers should all be women? The point of feminism is more that university professors should not all be men. And then, she finds a sea of women’s names depressing. I find that depressing. Same old shit – imagine her saying that if you replaced “the sea of women’s names” with “the sea of black faces.”

And then the sneer about anti-bullying – and I feel like throwing up.

Maybe it’s some kind of Sarah Palin “shake up those pesky liberals” shtick. Hooray for bullying.

Comments

  1. Randomfactor says

    the masculine traits—including size, strength, male aggression and a male facility for strategic thinking

    Hasn’t she just named the things which enabled the shooter to kill so many? I think she missed one–high-efficiency weaponry.

  2. briane says

    A 7 foot tall, roid raging martial artist hung like an elephant is just as vulnerable to automatic weapons fire as some fetishized petite, feminine, nurturing damsel in distress. It must be the feminazis fault.

  3. Aratina Cage says

    Another depressing page on the Sandy Hook website is the “Safe Schools Climate” page. It’s a page of links to “anti-bullying” resources. Yes, the Sandy Hook staff’s idea of a “safe school” was a school where kids didn’t say mean things about each other on Facebook!

    Great Scott! That’s almost as ridiculous as what Mike Huckabee said. Almost. There is no connection between anti-bullying initiatives and that massacre of women and children at all.

  4. says

    “But why? Because they are tacitly discouraged from careers in elementary education? It’s certainly not the money, …”

    Of course it is the money. If you want more male teachers, you will have to pay a lot more. And the women teachers deserve more, too, but our society is too cheap to pay them what they are worth.

  5. amyjane says

    My Dad and the janitor were the only 2 men in the building during his last 10 years teaching in an elementary setting. Men are discouraged from teaching at that level. There is a lot of suspicion about their sexuality. Why would a real man want to spend his days with children? It’s very like the nonsense male nurses deal with. He retired in the 70s.

  6. Beauzeaux says

    “He’s right, and I stand corrected. This does help prove my point….”

    I was wrong and that just proves I was right!!

    Yes, things could be so different if they were not as they are.

  7. Pierce R. Butler says

    All will be well soon, Charlotte – at least in Utah: 200 Utah teachers take free firearms training class.

    “I just bought a bra holster,” said Jessica Fiveash… “Women can’t really carry a gun on their hip.”

    The accompanying picture, fwiw, indicates a large minority of estrogen-Americans in that classroom, but a distinct deficiency of melanin.

    [Apologies if Fiveash's ungrammatical pearls of wisdom don't appear in proper blockquote: the new formatting somehow disables Preview with NoScript's "Allow all..." mode]

  8. Aratina Cage says

    I would pull my kid out of a school that armed any of its faculty or staff so fast you could hear the sonic boom.

  9. bobo says

    We now have Hanna Rosin at Slate urging parents to buy their little boys Easy Bake ovens so they’ll be more like little girls

    Why aren’t there more men? Perhaps not enough want the job? But why? Because they are tacitly discouraged from careers in elementary education?

    1) she doesn’t want boys to be feminized. Easy bake ovens = bad

    2) she wants boys to be feminized and turned into elementary school teachers.

    ooo kkkkk then

  10. Stacy says

    @bobo, yup.

    People like Allen can’t grasp that the fight against rigid gender roles cuts both ways. The segment of “our culture” she’s railing against opposes stereotypes, not the characteristics that comprise them. Men can be nurturing and tender, and into pop culture ephemera, women can be tough, and brave, and think strategically. Golly, the same person–male, female, or other–can be all of those things!

    I’m sure that’s beyond Charlotte Allen’s comprehension. Along with many, many other things.

  11. bubba707 says

    Allen can be dismissed as a fool. After all, she doesn’t even know the difference between strategic and tactical.

  12. iknklast says

    Why don’t men want to be elementary teachers? My fundamentalist parents might be able to answer that! For many right-wingers, men elementary school teachers are “gay”. I grew up in a household where my mother automatically reduced any male teaching below the level of high school to the status of gay, which is, of course, a bad thing (in her eyes). Women doctors? Gay. Male nurses? Gay.

    I don’t think this is the case, necessarily, at Sandy Hook. Sometimes it just happens that way. The entire biology department at the college where I teach consists of one male and three females, and the male has never shot a gun in his life. Should we be out looking for some macho men in case one of our students goes on a shooting spree? All that would accomplish is a more equitable distribution of gender among the deceased.

  13. Jay says

    “Jesus H Christ almighty – what is she talking about?? Is she claiming that feminism keeps men out of elementary schools? Wtf? Since when does feminism claim that elementary school teachers should all be women?”

    I don’t know if you’re honestly interested in the answer, my sense is that you are not, or else you would already know the answer. If I am wrong about this, let me apologize.

    Here is one representative link: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-arent-men-teaching-kids/

    “The interesting bit comes from General Teaching Council for England (GTCE) chief executive Alan Meyrick: “One of the principal concerns that men considering teaching feel is the worry that they will fall foul of rules which make normal contact between adults and children a legal minefield.””

    There is a lot of stranger danger that is encouraged and amplified by feminists. There is a lot of propaganda about always, always, always believing what women and girls that claim sexual abuse say. If you question that, you are a misogynist and a rape enabler and a rape apologist.

    So schools have all sorts of rules that keep men out. Always have a door open. Never be alone with a student.

    And lives are ruined, and men are falsely accused, and they do lose pay, and they are humiliated and wrong accused, and they lose careers and family and children, and it happens shockingly frequently.

    And all of this occurs under a Feminism that has insisted over the years that there are no such things as false accusations, that we must believe every accusation, that women and kids must be trusted about this, and that have gone on literal witch hunts.

    If you are interested in learning more, I recommend you place Community of the Wrongly Accused on your RSS feed.

    I am certainly not agreeing with Charlotte Allen about what more men might have been able to do. But if you think that Feminism has no role to play in why there are fewer men in schools than we might like, than you are misinformed, or willfully naive.

    That said, when I was in elementary school many decades ago, we had only two male instructors, a principal and one teacher that everyone boys and girls wanted to have for their teacher. There were other men, janitors, maintenance, etc. But the problem isn’t so new that the problem can only be left at Feminism’s doorstep.

  14. Aratina Cage says

    I hadn’t heard of this whole chapter in Homophobia, the Book yet: the male elementary school teacher. Sheesh! I thought they were against, you know, actual gay people (men and women) teaching primary and secondary school, now it seems they were really against ALL men teaching kids with the bigoted assumption that any man teaching kids is gay (which is made even worse since “gay” is the bigots’ code word for “child molester”).

  15. smrnda says

    Knowing how to defend yourself or others from a violent attack is a rare skill, and I’m sure that your Average Man, or even your Traditionally Manly Red-Blooded man, is pretty incompetent in that department just since very few people outside of the police or the military really have this type of training.

    If a less aggressive climate is bad because it means you’ll get one shooter who runs in on people who have no idea what to do (like anybody really would), how is a school climate where aggression is accepted and endorsed supposed to be better? Instead of one shooter you’d have kids dueling with pistols?

    Also, what about Marc Lepine ordering the men out of the room so he could shoot the remaining women in the École Polytechnique massacre? I mean, did the men present become superheroes capable of doing the ‘women and children first’ act, or were they just more scared people with no idea what to do?

  16. Tony the Queer Shoop (owner of the pink cotton ball of death) says

    Jay:
    After dealing with MRAs infesting Ed Brayton’s blog, I really don’t have the patience for more of you. Please take your unevidenced, anti-feminist, statistic skewing smegmarmalade elsewhere.

  17. Stacy says

    And lives are ruined, and men are falsely accused, and they do lose pay, and they are humiliated and wrong accused, and they lose careers and family and children, and it happens shockingly frequently

    Citation needed on that “shockingly frequently” bit.

    And, no, linking to an MRA site does not count as a citation.

    (Shall we compare the lives ruined due to false accusations to the lives ruined due to sexual abuse?)

    But if you think that Feminism has no role to play in why there are fewer men in schools than we might like, than you are misinformed, or willfully naive.

    After which you admit that:

    That said, when I was in elementary school many decades ago, we had only two male instructors, a principal and one teacher that everyone boys and girls wanted to have for their teacher. There were other men, janitors, maintenance, etc. But the problem isn’t so new that the problem can only be left at Feminism’s doorstep

    Erm, yes, when I was in elementary school in the 1960s, most teachers were women.

    But feminism is still to blame for not enough men in elementary schools–even though nobody thought not “enough” men in elementary schools was a problem until feminism started questioning gender roles?

    And feminism is also to blame for the fact that people trying to compensate for centuries of child sexual abuse being ignored, were too quick to dismiss the possibility that adults could lead children into confabulations about molestation?

    You MRA dudes are self-centered jackasses.

  18. Jay says

    “Citation needed on that “shockingly frequently” bit.

    And, no, linking to an MRA site does not count as a citation.”

    Sorry, if you refuse to read sources that are given to you, if you prejudge sources, you are not allowed to consider yourself skeptical, and I have no obligation to provide you sources to your unstated unneccessary standard.

    But just google it.

    “(Shall we compare the lives ruined due to false accusations to the lives ruined due to sexual abuse?)”

    No of course not. This is not a competition. Where on earth did you grow up thinking that these sorts of inequities are subject to cost benefit analysis or a competition?

    Do you think you can morally say one sort of inequity is okay because you think another sort of inequity is worse?

    The right answer is to stop all inequities, and to refuse to play the game that pits one group against another.

    “But feminism is still to blame for not enough men in elementary schools–even though nobody thought not “enough” men in elementary schools was a problem until feminism started questioning gender roles?”

    There are measurably fewer men in elementary schools these days, than when you and I were in school. Male teachers are at a 40 year low.

    http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/story?id=6070282&page=1

    As you yourself note, even as you badger, harass, name call, and bully me, I was honest and stated that feminism was not all to blame.

    Now can you be intellectually honest and accept the responsibility that feminism has for amplifying stranger danger, and creating very realistic fears among men that their careers can be ruined with a false accusation of sexual assault by a student or parent?

  19. S Mukherjee says

    Jay says: ‘Now can you be intellectually honest and accept the responsibility that feminism has for amplifying stranger danger, and creating very realistic fears among men that their careers can be ruined with a false accusation of sexual assault by a student or parent?’

    No Jay, I don’t accept this responsibility because it simply isn’t true. Feminists don’t spend their time ‘amplifying’ stranger danger, you dishonest fool. If anything, feminists stress that sexual abuse can come from any quarter, including from people who are well-known to the victim. Do you know anything at all, or have you just come here to spread your MRA farts? First you say that feminists are responsible for the low rates of male teacher employment in schools, and then you claim that they are amplifying stranger danger. The two are not the same thing.

    And you completely forgot about the very realistic fears among women that their careers, even their lives, can be ruined with actual sexual assault by anyone (almost always male) around them.

  20. bobo says

    Feminists fought to have the age of consent raised from 10 to whatever it is now. *Men* fought this tooth and nail. Now why is it that men did not want the age of consent raised huh?

  21. carlie says

    The school is kept locked at all times.

    Every single teacher knew how to shield and protect and hide their kids as soon as it was clear that a threat was happening.

    Those teachers knew of the threat because a) the custodian ran around telling people and b) the principal turned on the intercom so that the teachers could hear the commotion.

    Those are exactly the “safe school” things that are supposed to be done. Just because the school didn’t advertise every safety initiative on their website doesn’t mean they didn’t have them. On the contrary, the evidence is that they certainly did.

  22. Stacy says

    Sorry, if you refuse to read sources that are given to you, if you prejudge sources, you are not allowed to consider yourself skeptical

    Bullshit. Prejudging sources is part of being a skeptic. Well, not “prejudging” as in “never encountered that source before and I’m rejecting it out of hand.” But sources that are known to be dishonest can indeed be rejected a priori. It’s part of evaluating evidence. It’s not that it’s impossible they can be right–a stopped clock is right twice a day–but there’s a great big world full of sources of information and part of being a critical thinker is knowing how to judge which ones offer good evidence. If we’re discussing evolution and you link to Answers in Genesis, I’m going to prejudge that source.

    If your MRA site has links to an original source, link to that, and I’ll read it.

    Where on earth did you grow up thinking that these sorts of inequities are subject to cost benefit analysis or a competition?

    As I’m sure you know, my point was that while some men and women’s lives have been ruined because of false reports of sexual abuse, many, many more children have been sexually abused than adults have been caught in a miscarriage of justice. Understanding how to investigate claims is important in order to minimize future injustices. I empathize with anyone who’s been wrongly convicted of a crime, but I’m not sympathetic to people who whine about false claims while ignoring the fact that child sexual abuse happens all the time and it used to almost never be prosecuted.

    It is ridiculous to blame feminism and the fight for children’s rights, which fought to wake people up to the reality of sexual abuse, for the “satanic panics” of the 1980s and early 1990s.

    Now can you be intellectually honest and accept the responsibility that feminism has for amplifying stranger danger, and creating very realistic fears among men that their careers can be ruined with a false accusation of sexual assault by a student or parent?

    Feminism is responsible for “amplifying stranger danger”? (Funny, I can’t recall a time when feminists didn’t emphasize the fact that most child sexual abusers are known to their victims.) Feminism is responsible for false accusations of sexual assault? (How does that work, exactly? Are we blaming The Courage to Heal for all false accusations and conflating TCTH with “feminism”?)

    Feminism holds some responsibility for false accusations of child sexual abuse if the Enlightenment holds some responsibility for the Reign of Terror. If you can see why the latter comparison is a ridiculous over-simplification, you’ll see why I don’t share your opinion.

  23. Stacy says

    Funny thing is, Jay’s “source” (which is just a brief speculative column) doesn’t even support his claims.

    Teaching, especially pre-teen children, has always been a predominantly female field, so I’m not sure how surprising this is. The numbers are pretty much the same in the U.S. Whatever the reasons are, that’s just how it’s always been. . . .
    The interesting bit comes from GTCE chief executive Alan Meyrick: “One of the principal concerns that men considering teaching feel is the worry that they will fall foul of rules which make normal contact between adults and children a legal minefield.”
    In the Edutopia story (linked above), the lack of male teachers in the U.S. is mostly attributed to the lack of pay at lower levels of education, but the parents-will-think-I’m-a-pedohile problem is also mentioned. (Italics added.)

    “All time low”? “Shockingly frequently?” Onerous rules about keeping a door open at all times keeps men out of the profession? Yeah, right.

  24. dobber says

    I was a primary school educator (lectured and researched on pre-teen education) for about 16 years. A great deal of energy and resources and research was devoted to trying to attract more men to primary education. The two main obstacles were the money and the fact that looking after small children was seen as women’s work. Feminist scholars fought hard against this stereotype trying to encourage more young men in primary education. This was despite the fact that the whole “more male teachers in primary schools” initiative was started by a (sexist) Prime Minister who thought that with all the single mothers, boys needed more male role models.

  25. dobber says

    Women are less aggressive by instinct, and they are typically trained to be nice.

    Which is it, Charlotte?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>