Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘education’

Where does Eleanor Carnivore do Gender Studies? The Australian home of inter-collegiate rape, of course!

‘They can’t say no with a c–k in their mouth” read the hand-drawn graffiti in the Salisbury Bar, part of St Paul’s residential college on the University of Sydney campus.

It has since been painted over, but the sentiment remains.

”Any hole is a goal” stated other graffiti. ”Free entry” yet more announced, accompanied by an arrow pointing to a sketch of a vagina.

Seriously. This is my university. The university that thinks it’s funny to publish columns in its student pubications advising college men how they can marry a student at Women’s College. The university where I avoid events, balls, parties, and pissups like the plague because everyone knows they exist solely so that idiotic imitation frat boys can drag off a drunken college woman and rape her. The university where homophobic insults get daubed over queer-positive messages in the legal Graffiti Tunnel. This is where I do Gender Studies.

Dear students,

 

Many of you will have seen the articles in today’s Sydney Morning Herald relating to behaviour in our residential colleges.

 

I want to assure everyone in our University and the wider community that I regard the issues raised in these articles with the utmost seriousness.

 

I am appalled by the reported behaviour and apparent attitudes of some students. There can be no excuses for sexual assault. Binge drinking is at odds with our commitment to rational behaviour.

 

There should be no additional protection of any kind for students who break the law. They must be accountable for their actions and should be treated just like every other member of the community. Indeed, being a student of the University arguably carries with it an additional obligation to uphold its values.

 

The University and the residential colleges have been working hard to bring about a change in attitudes and behaviour. Obviously we still have much to do.

 

Dr Michael Spence

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

The University of Sydney

Yeah, Spence, you have a lot to do. Get on it. How about some rape prevention programs for the men at college? How about you try to stop rapes from happening to drunk first-years at intercollegiate pissups? How about no more naked runs through Women’s College, how about some more security, how about you try to make sure Paul’s boys turn out to be decent human beings instead of another round of fascist rapist investment banker anti-citizens? How about you  end the Old Boys mentality at the colleges, tear them down, and make them free, entry based on academic potential, proximity to the university, and socioeconomic disadvantage?

While we’re on shit you need to do, how about you build some decent low-cost housing for international students and poor students, how about you get international students their fucking travel concession? How about you lobby as hard as you possibly can to make university free and Youth Allowance enough to live on, so that all universities stop being strongholds of unit production for the kyriarchy and start producing some real goddamn people?

I am so disgusted and scared, I can barely speak.

Read Full Post »

O hai guys.

I have been really busy being unconscionably lazy, but I have a very serious question that has been bugging the shit out of me for some time. It’s a language limitation question, and it is of a Personal Nature. I am so open to suggestions about this issue, you have no idea. I am like a sweet wrapper after an overexcited six year old has carefully torn it into a long, single strip, tied the ends together, and got all his other sugar-hopped pals to jump through it. I am a giant ear, waiting to receive your ingenious solutions to my irritating terminology gripe.

So here’s the thing. There is a person. Most of my readers, all 25 of you, know this person. For those of you who don’t, she is taller than the average circus freak, likes to cut up the dead into chunks, and her head currently has a pleasingly shaven texture. We love eachother very, very much. If she wanted to convert to ascetic mysticism, move to Yemen, and live in a bark hut, eking out a living by catching local birds and weaving their entrails into baskets, I would whip out my viscera crochet hook and go with her. She is asexual; I am not. I am in a sexual relationship with someone else, whom I can handily and accurately describe as my boyfriend. She’s not my ‘friend’, because that word does not cover the commitment, intimacy, and occasional pirate wenchitude involved in our relationship. ‘Girlfriend’, ‘spouse’, and ‘partner’ all have misleadingly sexual connotations.

What I want is a word that doesn’t have to involve an extended conversation about our personal histories when I describe our relationship to other people. These conversations usually result in me (and her) feeling a combination of ignored, scrutinised, disbelieved, laughed at, infantilised, objectified, or slightly violated. I need a word for what we are, or even a phrase, I’m not shooting for the Moon here, that describes transparently the state of the union. We love eachother, we are in a relationship. We want to ‘build a life together’ (this is the point where I officially abandon any effort to sound less like a Centrelink pamphlet) that involves all the things that long-term partnerships usually do, without the bonking. I have/will have other partner/s that I will probably sleep with. She is not ‘single’, and I am not in an ‘exclusive relationship’ with her or my boyfriend. Ideally it would also involve some implied imperatives: saying ‘this is my girlfriend’ usually also means ‘do not mack on her while I am around’ and, even in polyamorous situations, ‘the other one of us will probably be involved in any relationship you wish to pursue with her’. We do not sleep together, but we are together.

This is generally compounded by my stick insect mortician partner’s asexuality, which most people characterise as nonexistent, pathological, or SO INTERESTING OMG that it magically obliterates her/our privacy. Or there’s the occasional person who paradoxically finds it a massive turn on. Unfortunately for their various projected issues, she is just a normal person who doesn’t want to have sex with you.

So there is the situation. I don’t want to resort to ‘co-pilot’ or ‘life partner’, please Jesus God no, and not many people grok ‘hemiasexual queeromantic marriagelike cuddlefest’ upon first hearing. Are there any words that connote anything similar to what we’re doing here, or am I grasping at asexual lesbotronic domestic partnership straws? Currently I’m using ‘hemiasexual queeromantic partner’ for her on facebonk, and ‘sexual heteromantic partner’ for my other squee-ee-eeze. Are you smrter than I am with words? Give me other options.

Read Full Post »

You know all those comforting fantasies we all have about the 1950s? When men smoked pipes, chuckled heartily, and drank Scotch in their slippers? When women used upright Hoovers, baked cakes, and turned to Valium to numb the existential pain of enforced domestic servitude? When disobedient children could be disciplined in the proper, loving, Christian manner of being hit by someone bigger and more powerful than them? Well, fantasise no more, because Christian schools in Queensland have looked deep inside their shrivelled, reptilian hearts, and decided to continue the tradition of teachers giving students a good, hard whack-around when they’re being unruly.

Bundaberg Christian College principal Mark Bensley said corporal punishment had become a drawcard for some parents because of a “lack of boundaries” at other schools.

“A growing number of parents come to our school and say the school got their attention because it uses the paddle,” Mr Bensley said.

[…]

“It is always administered in a loving way. In fact, we pray with them afterwards.”

Whoa, whoa, people. Premeditated violence perpetrated against somene less powerful than you is an expression of love? What is this, 1984? If you say it often enough, do you start believing it’s true? And then the poor kid has to kneel down in front of God and pray with the person who just whacked them!  The Creeposaurus Rex factor here is off the charts! Institutionalised coercive violence alert! Abort! Get Jesus and the rest of the dino-riders in, quick!

So this is in Independent schools, right. Corporal punishment in State schools in QLD was “banned” in 1995, if by “banned” you mean “incurred the mild, tut-tutting, non-binding disapproval of some lazy politicians”.

In Queensland corporal punishment was banned in schools by a cabinet decision of 1995, but this is still not legally binding, and the paradoxical situation has arisen, where, in spite of the school ban, teachers can:

“…continue to have defence to a criminal charge of assault if their conduct is determined to be reasonable under the circumstances.” (Personal communication R. Welford, Attorney General, Queensland, Feb 21, 2002).

So not only did the Queensland Cabinet in 1995  fail to care a ha’-penny about pupils in Independent schools, they also didn’t think it was necessary for abusive tachers to suffer any kind of, you know, punishment. Which is highly amusing to your narrator this morning! Teachers who disobey the Cabinet’s bannination of violence potentially suffer no actual consequences, but if your kid is being too unruly during playlunch, you’d better belive that’s a paddlin’.

This seems to be something relatively peculiar to Queensland, if this article is anything to go by. It details the various ways in which government schools in the sunshine state are “cracking down” on students doing heinous, disruptive things like not wearing scrunchies:

“I tell them their hair can be any colour that is found in a human being. The girls have to have their hair tied back in a ribbon or scrunchies. The boys have to have their hair cut above their collar.”

I remember back when I was a young’un at school, a whopping 18 months ago, the massive learning difficulties I suffered because my school didn’t enforce gender normative hairdos. Undoubtedly I would’ve been at an advantage if all the girls had worn beehives, and a military barber was contracted to shear the boys’ ears off. Just think, the principal whipping out a metre ruler, using it to make sure all the beehives were at least 10cm off the scalp, and then giving you a right smack round the calves if they weren’t. Now that’s the kind of wholesome, egalitarian learning experience that schools are trying to cultivate in Queensland.

Read Full Post »