Re: Numbers (was:Re: Osborne response - Cyberfeminism)


Subject: Re: Numbers (was:Re: Osborne response - Cyberfeminism)
n_kondon@alcor.concordia.ca
Date: Sun Jan 09 2005 - 19:24:16 EST


Generally, I don't think that high-school boys are really threatened by girls'
likelyhood to do better in school than them. I think that the boys'
underachievement is a manifestation of their hatered for the whole school
system. Being contained and conditioned to behave in a uniform way is anti-
instinctive to youth. Perhaps boys tend to be more rebellious due to their
level of testosterone... I'm no doctor...

I strongly believe that most teen-aged male students would rather be in a co-ed
class than one dominated by boys. Furthermore, I believe that most grown-up
male
techies would rather work in a an environment blessed with female presence than
otherwise. I, for one, am displeased at the fact that there is only one girl in
my E/A class this semester, and the semester before that, but if it wasn't for
her, I could have felt much worse.

All this to say that I really doubt that high-school boys would ever organize
to exclude any girls from taking part in a field dear to them. Without girls,
it would be a "territory" wasted...

The notion that they are being taught to do so by their teachers is a bit more
believable, but if so then the I guess that the school system is again to
blame.

nick

ps. is there a word that gender-neutralizes brotherhood and sisterhood? like
um.. siblinghood?

 

 

Quoting Katharine Norman <katharine@novamara.com>:

>
> ...some random thoughts concerning numbers in the digital realm...
>
> many people who make e/a, computer music or whatever are outside
> musical academia, or only tangentially connected to it. But ICMA,
> SEAMUS and, to a lesser extent perhaps, CEC and SAN are still bastions
> of academia and academic thought, run primarily by - and for -
> academics. Actually I'm not decrying that, just pointing out that
> perhaps statistics from elsewhere - and there are elsewheres - are
> relevant too, or more so. If such isolated statistics are relevant,
> that is....
>
> But aren't all these e/a statistics symptomatic of wider concerns? -
> and I agree with Keven that I'm not sure we can solve, or learn, much
> by concentrating on one particular narrow bandwidth. There is a
> prevalent theory that (in Western culture) young male high school
> students, now feeling emasculated and threatened by the generally
> higher academic achievement of their female peers, have "claimed"
> technology as their territory, from which all those threatening gals
> are excluded. In a way this exclusion is being 'encouraged' by teaching
> methods targeted at boys that centre on technology, since
> 'underachieving' boys do better with this approach.
>
> This would imply that a younger peer group may be creating its own
> self-perpetuating prejudices and exclusions, perhaps without even
> consciously acknowledging them, and that has fed a cultural shift in
> terms of technology use/users. If true, that's sad for all concerned,
> and for the future. I do see occasional overt evidence of this
> deliberate exclusion on other more 'techy' lists I frequent; it seems
> to be fear at some level.
>
> I don't pretend to know a solution in specifically e/a class terms; I
> guess it partly depends on changing the design and teaching philosophy
> of courses, to make this implicit exclusion difficult to sustain, or to
> want to sustain. But on the larger academic scale; institutions, and
> the institutionalized, are historically more concerned with preserving
> their own status quo than accepting the status of any challenging
> minority (or external majority....) that ventures over the threshold.
> (And there are many non-academic 'institutions' too, I realise).
> Personally I tend to me more, or as, concerned about the aesthetic
> rigidity in some institutions than with which gender is making the
> sounds.
>
> And cynically speaking, maybe some musicology which examines a minority
> presence as such can be just another way of keeping it in its box, or
> can have that inadvertent effect. So what will help? I don't know....In
> my own book (ostensibly) on electronic music I tried to talk about men
> as much as women, without making this concern for balance explicit on
> the whole. But in the end I did want to explore why some voices are
> still less heard, and choose to speak differently, so I wrote about
> that too. I do observe that women working with sound as art are
> certainly represented in theoretical and practical work coming from the
> visual/fine arts field, and in 'aural culture' and other more
> multi-disciplinary settings. Perhaps some doors open more easily (or,
> dare I say, are sometimes more interesting to open).
>
> On Jan 7, 2005, at 6:38 AM, Elizabeth Hinkle wrote:
> > as is reviewed
> > almost every year on this listserv and others: women's
> > participating in electroacoustic music classes is still quite low.
>
> My teaching experience in the UK just happens to be the opposite, but
> not because of my presence necessarily (my male predecessor had roughly
> the same class stats), simply because of the historically higher
> proportion of women in a conventional UK music dept. I can think of few
> talks I've given to many courses at other institutions that had a
> predominantly male audience. Perhaps I hit lucky (or the blokes skived
> off!).
>
> all the best
>
> Katharine
>
> www.novamara.com
>
> from the snowed in West Coast - the statistics told me it didn't snow
> here, darn it.
>

-- 



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