|image is from here|
Some days my profeminist work days are easier (and more hilarious) than others. This one is in the Top Ten Most Hilarious. And it would be even more funny if men didn't actually think using the Logical Phallusy employed here by Ross-the-Teacher.
If you think, for one millionth of one second that I believe this is a serious comment sent in earnestness by Ross to my blog, well, you must think I was born late this morning.
But, just for kicks, let's pretend HETERO/SEXIST Ross's question is COMPLETELY SERIOUS, because the truth is that LOTS of het men (AN ASTOUNDING NUMBER, ACTUALLY) do talk about themselves in relation to women in precisely this way: het men blame women for men's behaviors, so men don't have to be responsible for their own behavior and actions. The comment was submitted to an A.R.P. post that makes his question somewhat spurious. Click on the title for the post. It is titled:
"When Men Are Dickheads, They REALLY are Dickheads! See the kind of thinking dickheads do: Read these comments by AllenS and Jason, for example, and "Hoosier Daddy" (get it?), "Trooper York", and "Moose"..."
I've added a bit to my response since posting it to Ross on that other blog page.
WHAT FOLLOWS is a CLASSIC CASE of LOGICAL PHALLUSY, on the part of Ross:
Well I’m teaching a class of adult students and one of the female students who has a beautiful figure and very nice boobs comes into class wearing tight skimpy tops -very sexy looking. Does she not realize that it distracts me from my work. I don’t know why she dresses like that in my class. She seems like a nice girl. I want her to get her exams so she can get into university. I want to focus on her brains rather than her boobs but shes making it difficult for me to concentrate with those boobs in my face. I tried hard not to look at them - but I don’t want to ignore her either - shes a student in my class. What am I to do?
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 10:40:00 AM EDT
Julian Real said...
Hi Ross, I'll take it slow and sure here in responding to you.
I'd like you to examine your own language in what you wrote to me, because, as a teacher I'm sure you realise how important accurate communication is. So, let's have a look at what you attribute to her and to you--what you see as "her actions" and "your actions" and from there, what are "your responsibilities" and what are "her responsibilities", okay?
I’m teaching a class of adult students
You are the teacher, the most responsible person in your classroom regarding class conduct. Presumably, if you are teaching young people, you are also the most "mature" person in the room.
one of the female students who has a beautiful figure and very nice boobs comes into class wearing tight skimpy tops -very sexy looking.
This is about YOU determining the value of a female person's body who is a student, and your response to it. You are not owning that however. Instead you are describing what's going on as if she's "doing something to you"--arousing you, distracting you, making it difficult for you to concentrate, etc.
Ross, you're a big boy--in fact, a grown man. You can control your responses to other human beings and behave responsibly, can't you? If you cannot, you have no business being a teacher. Right?
You go on:
Does she not realize that it distracts me from my work.
So there you explicitly state YOUR action--being distracted--as HER full responsibility, not yours. That's a pretty serious error of judgment for a teacher to make. That's what we call "blaming the innocent party".
Your distractions are YOURS. You know there is meditation that can teach you how to be less distracted, right? Are you engaging in that practice? If not, why not?
Do you look at internet pornography off-hours? If so, do you realise how much more prone that makes you to sexistly objectifying women's bodies, regardless of what they are wearing? This has been demonstrated "scientifically" but all you need to do is stop looking at pornography for two weeks and you'll notice how much less prone you are to being "distracted" by women regardless of what they wear.
You then write:
I don’t know why she dresses like that in my class. She seems like a nice girl.
So now your making value judgments about her character based on her attire? That's called blatant sexism, sir. That, again, is your action and your responsibility to deal with, not hers. You wrote: I want her to get her exams so she can get into university.
Nothing you've described tells me she isn't an excellent student. In fact, you've curiously neglected to tell me anything about her except what you are inappropriately preoccupied by.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 2:44:00 PM EDT
Julian Real said...
Part two of two, Ross.
I want to focus on her brains rather than her boobs but shes making it difficult for me to concentrate with those boobs in my face.
Ross, she isn't putting her breasts in your face, by your own account.
She comes into class, sits, listens, takes notes, and leaves. Right?
So at no point does she rise up out of her seat, walk over to you, and place your face into her chest, right? So, she's not "putting" her "boobs" anywhere they don't belong, is she? (I mean, they stay in the vicinity of her own chest at all times, right?) I hope you can see how you, once again, are not holding yourself accountable for YOUR actions, and are trying to put responsibility on her for things she isn't doing, that you describe her to be doing.
I tried hard not to look at them - but I don’t want to ignore her either - shes a student in my class. What am I to do?
Ross, I really don't think you're being particularly serious here. But just because other people will read this, I'm going to pretend you are asking a sincere question, based on your misperception of there even being a problem here.
There's no problem here other than your unchallenged objectification of a female students' body, and your proclivity to discuss what's happening in VERY irresponsible and sexist ways.
What are you to do? Don't stare at her breasts, stop using pornography and other media that fuse into your brain that women's bodies exist for your eyes and "enjoyment", because that's not what women's bodies exist to do: they exist as the physical part of women's beings. Just like your body doesn't exist FOR women to objectify, be distracted by, etc.
You are speaking in a predatory way, Ross, as if you really don't have control over your own actions. You are using the "logical phallusies" of work-place sexual harassers and serial rapists. As if you "cannot concentrate" enough to teach properly because there's a woman in your class who you choose to objectify in ways that are distracting for you. YOUR behavior, not hers, is inappropriate.
Please do speak to your supervisor about YOUR problem, and also the school or university counselor, immediately and I guarantee, if they are responsible adults, they will be clear with you that this is YOUR problem to resolve without involving your student AT ALL.
And I hope you know that if you approached the student and asked her to dress differently because "your boobs are distracting me too much in my classroom" that YOU would or should be served up a charge of sexual harassment, because that, too, would be inappropriate and irresponsible of YOU to do.
Are you seriously telling me that in the era of the early seventies when males wore VERY tight pants, that heterosexual female teachers should have all complained to administrators that they couldn't teach due to being so distracted? Seriously? Yes, her breasts are above the desk, not below. But she's one student among at least a dozen, yes? So how about this:
Look at her face, and look at the faces of your other students too. That's the only part of them you should be looking at anyway.
If you can't control your own eyes, and where they look, that's a self-control problem that YOU need to get help with.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010 2:46:00 PM EDT