Here we are again! Another week started! I’m actually typing this post on my phone because I’m not currently at a computer, and there’s a WordPress app! That said, I’m not sure how long this will be due to a lack of a “you have this many words” counter. Anywho, today I have been bouncing between a few different concepts for discussion, and the one I’ve landed on was one caused by an experience I had in class today. We are reading Beowulf for this class, and in the class we discussed in groups of three in order to get better insights. After, our teacher asked us to share with the class. She called on people to share from groups. This is where things caught my attention.
You see, there are a lot of women in the class compared to men. 21 women to 12 men, of my count was correct. A little less than a 2 to 1 ratio. Yet, in spite of this, the first 7 groups to speak all consisted of male voices. Now, there is a variety of reasons why a teacher would call on 7 males- I mean, it very easily could have been that the guys looked like they weren’t interacting during the activity, it could have been that they were not paying attention to the teacher when she spoke, it could even have been that she just wanted to hear what these guys wanted to say. Who knows? But, the fact of the matter is, by picking 7 guys to speak, we heard from almost exclusively men.
I know that to achieve random equality, this technically has to be a possibility, but it’s so astronomically improbable that 7 guys were picked to speak all in a row from these groups when there are so many more women available to speak in the class for reasons that were not sexist. Sure, maybe the teacher noticed there were more females and wanted to make sure the men didn’t feel intimidated, but this is Beowulf, the “manly man” story. This is a male’s wheelhouse. This is the kind of story guys like to hear and talk about (ok, not all guys, that’s a generalization, but you get my point).
So instead, I’m led to believe that this was a subconscious, sexist decision made by the teacher. She called the guys because she has bought into the idea that a mans ideas are of greater value than a woman’s. And that’s simply not true. I know because both my group members were female, and they made some great points. They were able to identify and empathize with this male brand of character, and look critically at perspectives just as well as the other guys in the classroom could have. Which is a sad double standard to have implanted in the brain. And my teacher isn’t the only one, this is a cultural norm that silenced women. Even in our election this year, we’re seeing a very good, well informed female candidate go up against a very loud, rude, and unpleasant male, and being treated on nearly the same level as him.
In my opinion, this is strictly wrong. But that’s gender in society for you. What do you think? Am I crazy? Is it unfair to put these assumptions on my professor? Let me know!