unthrilled about politics, polarized gender expression not healthy, gender bias in tech reviews, justice panels, extended nursing

I am extremely unthrilled to be seeing beginnings of the next presidential election cycle. I know, it’s not really the beginning, but the rate at which I’m seeing related articles is starting to pick up. I have found the last several elections so terribly depressing, I am not looking forward to another one.

Here are a few things I’ve read recently. First, an article on how polarizing gender expression is bad for kids, with some hopeful news included.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. The teens who participated in the Lisbon study — including the kids who bullied others and the kids who were victims of bullying themselves — weren’t happy about the gender roles they were expected to follow. In their one-on-one interviews, they all said they didn’t actually like paying so much attention to the right “feminine” and “masculine” behaviors, and just assumed that’s what they were supposed to do. When Pereira concluded her research and held a group meeting to explain her results to the kids, they were amazed to learn that everyone was on the same page about that.

Second, a piece about how woman in tech are perceived as abrasive and reviewed negatively for it, in contrast to men’s more constructive reviews.

There’s a common perception that women in technology endure personality feedback that their male peers just don’t receive. Words like bossy, abrasive, strident, and aggressive are used to describe women’s behaviors when they lead; words like emotional and irrational describe their behaviors when they object. All of these words show up at least twice in the women’s review text I reviewed, some much more often. Abrasive alone is used 17 times to describe 13 different women. Among these words, only aggressive shows up in men’s reviews at all. It shows up three times, twice with an exhortation to be more of it.

Third, an article about an alternative to traditional discipline in schools, something called “justice panels” on which students sit, investigate causes for problems, and decide on consequences. No solution is perfect, but I really like the way this engages kids.

The idea of repairing harm is central to restorative justice, a concept that drives justice panels such as the one at Lyons. The goal is for students to accept responsibility for their behavior and make amends by apologizing, resolving differences through dialogue and doing community service. The school holds such panels at least twice a week.

Other than that, Ted and I continued on our house organizing rampage today. Various parts of the house are now very beautiful. Other parts of the house are covered in piles of stuff. But we are making progress.

Oh, and I’ve begun the project of getting my students to do a little composition. I think it is going to bear good fruit.

The twins nursed again today, at naptime and bedtime. Tonight it hurt so badly that I checked for blood on Joanna’s side. No blood, but there were distinct tooth marks. Ow, ow, ow. Nights like that, I feel quite mixed about the whole thing. They have been slowing down again, saying no a good chunk of the time. I am still not sure if I’ll choose to end it or they will. Jury’s still out. But I’d like to avoid being chewed on, that’s for sure.


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