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[Xmca-l] Re: Analysis of Gender in early xmca discourse



I spent several days hesitating and debating over whether to jump in on
this thread, even though I have extremely strong feelings about this issue.

First, some positionality: I write as a relative newcomer to xmca, having
joined the listserv about 7 years ago. When I joined, I identified as a
woman. Today I identify as a transgender man. This perspective leads me to
start by arguing that the issue isn't (only) about how many women post, and
how frequently, or about whether women's posts are taken up by others on
the listserv. Rather, in my experience the problem is that gendered
concerns are rarely taken up, regardless of the gender identity of the
person who introduces them. For example, I remember trying to push for a
conversation about trigger warnings a few years back; that conversation
focused for a tiny bit on "academic freedom" but almost not at all on the
epistemological or theoretical (feminist) concerns that lie beneath the
movement toward trauma-inclusive education. I'm obviously still a
subscriber to the listserv, but I'm also almost exclusively a lurker. Every
once in a while I see a thread that makes me think something like "oh, a
feminist framework would take this idea on differently..." but I almost
never jump in to the thread to share these thoughts. What's the point,
after all, if you know you're going to spend time and energy crafting an
idea or a provocation that is going to fall with a thud?

Certainly, female academics care about a whole host of things *other *than
gendered issues. But what I perceive as a general disinterest in
perspectives that incorporate a gender or feminist framework is, I think, a
significant reason that accounts for why the listserv is dominated by men.

I've learned a lot--a LOT--from xmca. I consider this listserv to be a
really important piece of my doctoral education, and I've loved having
access to people like Mike and other foundational theory-builders. But my
learning has mostly been through lurking, and not through active
participation. I participate in theory-building and problem-solving on
other listservs.


Jacob (formerly Jenna) McWilliams
Learning Sciences and Human Development Program
University of Colorado Boulder
j.mcwilliams@colorado.edu
http://www.jacobmcwilliams.com <http://www.jennamcwilliams.com>



On Thu, Oct 27, 2016 at 12:08 PM, Annalisa Aguilar <annalisa@unm.edu> wrote:

>
> Hello.
>
>
> I believe that if there is a true concern about gender imbalances on this
> list, there are many untried ways.
>
>
> Also, if I might offer with an unscientific opinion, that maybe chaining
> is an effect, not a cause. I am doubtful that preventing chaining is going
> to solve the problem.
>
>
> Without meaning to sound flip, perhaps one of the ways to solve a problem
> is to identify exactly what it is, how it starts. As Vygotsky shows us, to
> consider its genesis, and.. its history, its society, its tools, its
> culture.
>
>
> What amazes me is that there is an adoration of theory, a revelry of
> tools, a congratulatory society, but a neglect of application of the
> knowledge to create a welcoming culture. It can't be entirely dependent
> upon one person or a few, which I believe Mike would agree. As we have
> heard, it takes a village.
>
>
> So... it's not as if there is no awareness or means to deliver a solution.
> Perhaps instead it has to do with application and will.
>
>
> Bad habits are hard to break, but that doesn't mean because they are hard
> to break that we should give up.
>
>
> ...if the problem doesn't resolve by itself... it should be unremarkable
> to note that problems rarely do go away by themselves. Like many political
> problems, if the the most influential or most active behave along the lines
> that ignoring a problem is the best solution, so that then we can all
> pretend there is no problem and with enough time...voila! there is no
> problem!! (Meh)
>
>
> Another possibility to consider is that ignorance to solve a problem is a
> noble thing to admit, and in that case, if that is the case, it's time to
> listen to Others, and if that does not work, then to consider finding
> professional outside help.
>
>
> For example, in this wide world there has to be many many people who are
> skilled at handling inequality in the workplace and in the classroom. And
> teaching others those skills.
>
>
> One example is the (now defunct) Ada Initiative's Ally Skills Workshop:
>
> https://adainitiative.org/continue-our-work/workshops-and-training/
>
>
> I can't believe that this is the only practitioner there is out there, but
> you get the idea.
>
>
> I say this because there is in a sense a dichotomy of The Men and The
> Women of The List, but perhaps that dichotomy is what causes the wrong kind
> of tensions, and it requires a third (dialectical) entity of someone to
> enter the fray who does not have to risk reputation or save face to break
> up the ice flows.
>
>
> Here is a 30 minute lecture by Ada co-Founder, Valerie Aurora:
>
> https://youtu.be/Y2F_Bmx_CNE
>
>
> The Ada Initiative was a great effort, but it shut after a short run. See:
>
> https://adainitiative.org/2015/08/04/announcing-the-shutdown-of-the-ada-
> initiative/
>
>
> Maybe there is something to glean there?
>
>
> Raising consciousness despite a cold and continuing rain...
>
>
> Kind regards,
>
>
> Annalisa
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>