Sunday, February 23, 2014

Safe Spaces

For this week’s article I chose to do the quotes option as my blog. My quotes are from the first section because as much as I enjoyed the entire article I felt the second part about HOW to integrate LGBT topics into society wasn’t as powerful as the part about WHY we need to integrate them into society. Actually my quotes are within the first five pages…awk. But out of all the ones I highlighted they really were my favorite.

Quote 1: “Heterosexism is one of those unexamined avenues of privilege. Assumptions that everyone is (or should be) heterosexual shape most classroom interactions, whether academic or social.” (84)
We talked a lot about privilege in class and SCWAAMP, which really applies to this quote that heterosexual is “the norm” in classrooms. People just assume that everyone is straight and that is what is integrated into lessons and to discussion topics. This is essentially the root of the problem, that everyone takes the assumed straight root and avoids all other topics.

Quote 2: “Youth who see themselves as wise or powerful main characters or heroes worthy of celebration and emulation will feel validated, included, and safe inside their classrooms. LGBT youth rarely have this experience.” (85)
Students who are white, straight, men are probably more validated than anyone else, I think. All but one of our presidents was a white male, and they’re all straight. God forbid we have a gay superhero! Straight people are shown as the powers of this world. If teachers brought in people in the world who are powerful and a part of the LGBT community those students could feel included as a part of this world.

Quote 3: “They teach their students the status quo; they shrink from challenging dominant social patterns and expectation, especially in relation to sexual orientation or gender identity.” (85-86)
WHY IS EVERYONE SO SHY WHEN IT COMES CHALLENGING POWER? Why can’t we ever stray from what is normal? Why is that so damn bad? Teachers are only teaching things that involve heterosexuality because they do not want to tap on the glass of their students perfect, unseen panels. If every teacher integrated something other than straightness into curriculum, and just normal discussions with students it wouldn’t seem so foreign but we shy away from that because most people don’t know how to talk about it.

On a side note I thought the little story about the two male penguins at the zoo who raised an abandoned egg on their own was adorable. And the fact that the Secretary of Education told PBS to pull the episode involving two gay moms from its lineup because “Many parents would not want their young children exposed to the life-styles portrayed in this episode” (86) actually infuriates the crap out of me. Kids don’t understand what lesbians are they just see two moms and either ask why they don’t have a dad or it just goes right over their heads. Exposure to this type of relationship just reinforces that acceptance in a child’s mind. Some parents are just too thick headed to even fathom that there are different people is this world. If the parents refuse to explain this to their kids, and the teachers aren’t, and TV isn’t allowed to either, who the hell is going to show children that acceptance and understanding differences is crucial?!
This is a link to an article I read awhile ago where a student tells a teacher they are being bullied and the teacher just told the student to "act less gay".



  1. Loved your post! I felt the same way about the episode getting pulled. I was like that's such a great idea I'm so happy someone thought of it and boom shut down. The penguin story was adorable though, and had such a great message. I really love how passionate you were in your post, I could definitely connect with you because you expressed how you care so much about the education of our chidden. Thank you for sharing, I totally agree with you!

  2. Kelly, I loved your post! I think its really funny how we chose similar quotes from the reading. I hadn't really thought of the things that you pointed out and I'm really glad I got to read yours. I completely agree with you about how people refuse to challenge power. Your post was great and I'm really glad I got to read it.

  3. great connections to privilege, scwaamp, power... I can see this made you think!!