Wednesday, 13 May 2009

The South up North

Today we had Americans. We welcomed a group of disadvantaged teenagers from an island that is part of Alaska. They thought our different coloured notes of money were cool, they thought our trees were cool (they don't have trees on their island). When I told them the peat in the bog was about three metres in depth they asked how many feet that was. When it started to rain, the temperature only 10º and several had left their jumpers and coats on the bus, instead of fussing round them, their teachers just shrugged, and I thought, well, it's probably warm to them.
They are driving down to Seattle on Friday to get their flight back, and we advised to leave plenty of time for crossing the border. This will be the first long weekend that many people will be going south to shop, or open up their RVs for the summer, or whatever it is people in these parts go south for.

This week is 'Bike to Work Week', though I'm not sure where. Kevin, who always cycles to work, noticed yesterday, an increased level of hostility from motorists. Guilt, I suppose, makes people hostile to others.

This morning's Bee Programme highlighted that point that Sherryl Kleinman made about some sexism being about status.
Since I am on first, Joanna brings the class in and settles them. She asks the teacher to wear a tiara and play the part of the Queen Bee. But today's teacher was a man. I could hear her confusion, 'er, the queen, er, king I suppose...' she said. I was trying to send her telepathic messages along the lines of, 'it's called acting,' and 'almost all the bees in the hive bar a few are female...' The teacher was completely cool with being the Queen, but Joanna was worried about asking a man to play a female role, even though in the play, she herself plays a male role, Darwin the Drone.
And that's Kleinman's point. Female is seen as lower status than male, and we constantly reinforce that.

"In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: either she's a feminist or a masochist."
—Gloria Steinem

So right Gloria, so right.


Sleepy said...

I think what really brought home the Status thing to me was when the Big little brother was born.
My adored Grandfather turned to me and said,
"Now your Mother has had a son she is complete".

Oh Good... I'm just chopped liver then?

Schneewittchen said...