Feminist Unschoolers to “Bitch”: We’re Here, Not Queer

22 02 2008

BITCH Magazine spent several months putting together a feature article for which Favorite Daughter and I were extensively interviewed as “feminist unschoolers”, or so we were sold on participating when first contacted. The end result is definitely not the usual media take on home education and unschooling! Fair warning.

“Learning Curve: Radical unschooling moms are changing the stay-at-home landscape” is now online, with reader comments. Here’s mine:

We’re Here, Not Queer

My always unschooled teen daughter and I were interviewed at length for this piece but do not fit this strong queer-punk angle, which unfortunately mirrors other media stereotypes we read about ourselves, just reversing the image as mirrors do.

Someone who did make the article yet still felt the reflection didn’t do reality justice, gave her bloglink above for fuller perspective. So here’s a feminist unschooling teen blog left out of this mirror image altogether, her radically individual identity not hippy, Christian, queer nor punk thus so unsuited to stereotype that she apparently has no reflection at all, like a vampire who can’t even fit the mold-breaking mold. (Does that make her “post-moldern”?)

My progressive, feminist unschooling mom blog — with a longtime online partner who also is not hippy, Christian, queer or punk — is Cocking a Snook!

JJ Ross, Ed.D.

FavD and I are not exactly offended though, just — nonplussed? We think BITCH does much better work portraying the religious extreme of home education stereotyping (the Duggars, Andrea Yates and the Quiverfull movement as patriarchal politics, for example) in a way progressives and feminists — unschooling or not, queer or not — had better learn about and start responding to effectively, WITH unschooling moms and daughters rather than against us for not being in public school.

Lynn suggests Thinking Parents study up on the “Christian Worldview” that political patriarchs are pushing as morality and family values inside and outside of home education, with “no room for compromises – nor respecting different viewpoints. It’s all about culture war…

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57 responses

22 02 2008
22 02 2008
Doc

Well eek. I don’t fit in there either. I’m queer, tried to impart some radical feminism into my children while unschooling, and ended up with a republican, a punkish nerd, a prude, and a geeky feminist male. At least none of them turned to Jesus. Yet.

22 02 2008
JJ

Probably because you taught them that life-altering biology and evolution, thereby ruining any chance they’d ever find their true selves down at the Capitol on National Prayer Day. . . .

22 02 2008
JJ

From Individualism and — not versus — Institutionalism”:

So I’m thinking that while WE ourselves don’t want to set them against each other in destructive or limiting ways, we need to realize that it’s often done by others, and to examine how both individual-ism and institutional-ism have negative effects on our freedom (one word I’ve never heard morph into an -ism!)

And maybe figure out more about where home education catches the most light on that spectrum of the individual and the institution?

. . .Changing school is only the institutional part of the dilemma. Useful to examine, but if you start from the fallacious equation of “Education equals Schooling,” any answers you get will be flawed too. Schooling is a subset of education, or maybe they’re two circles that partly overlap and share some area (not concentric circles though — I no longer believe that schooling and education share the same center.)

And we know that staring at *anything* too long without changing focus creates distortion, not clarity.

22 02 2008
NanceConfer

Does Bitch Mag target the gay community? Is that why the focus seems narrower than I was expecting?

At any rate, an interesting take. Accurate in its own way, for a particular audience.

The fact that many of us don’t fit in the so-far-imagined target audience is another story.

I liked the “fuck money” attitude part of the article. About refusing to get caught up in material wealth and status symbols.

But this is not necessarily any more than what most people do all the time in our regular lives. Yes, I’m a feminist. Yes, DH and I are partners and have decided to live on one income and not agonize over what the Joneses have.

The reality is that a lot of working people are going to have to make do with less if this economy doesn’t pick up. . .

But back to the article — interesting but it doesn’t include my version of feminist unschooling.

Nance

22 02 2008
Deanne

Do you really have to be part of “the feminist unschooling movement” if you choose to live by feminist ideals and unschool your children? Is there really “a movement”, or is it more likely that individual women are exercising their “feminist rights” to choose lifestyles that meet their personal needs, and that these choices are so individual they defy labelling?

22 02 2008
JJ

Gee, good questions you guys! Too bad none of the movements seem to be listening. . .

22 02 2008
Crimson Wife

The article seems to take a very limiting view of feminism. Why does feminism have to be about imposing a “male” model upon women? Wasn’t it supposed to be about empowering individual women to decide what’s best for *THEMSELVES*? Whether that’s full-time employment, full-time homemaking, or something in between, shouldn’t feminists support whatever works best for that particular woman?

How is Leslie Bennett’s “get to work” message any different from James Dobson’s “get back in the kitchen” message? Both would impose a “one size fits all” model solely based on gender without regard for individual desires.

22 02 2008
NanceConfer

Deanne, that’s the way I feel when someone shouts about defending the “homeschooling movement.” I didn’t know we were in a movement or under attack. I thought we just made our own choices.

It’s like some people got one of those label-making thingies for Christmas and are just determined to use it! 🙂

Nance

22 02 2008
Doc

I’m sure queer is one of their target audiences. It’s very trendy right now. I’m so in I’m out.

22 02 2008
NanceConfer

Someday maybe I’ll be trendy too. . .

Or not. 🙂

Nance

22 02 2008
JJ

LOL Doc, that was how I felt as an education policy pro starting to homeschool at my ahem, advanced age. Hey, I know all about the education system and how to make it work better for all you people, what can I do to be part of this and help out? BLAM! Right between the eyes. . .

23 02 2008
JJ Ross

WIll we see as much justified outrage over this “education” problem as we did over Jena? What about feminists and liberals so sure that “school” is automatically a better place for all kids, and what about conservative Christians and theocratic Muslims so sure this schoolboy was inherently sinful and didn’t deserve a better place anywhere, in this life or the next?

“God knit Larry together and made him wonderfully complex,” the Rev. Dan Birchfield of Westminster Presbyterian Church told the crowd as he stood in front of a large photograph of the victim.
“Larry was a masterpiece.”

The shooting stunned residents of Oxnard, a laid-back middle-class beach community just north of Malibu. It also drew a strong reaction from gay and civil rights groups. . .

23 02 2008
Nance Confer

“In interviews, classmates of the two boys at E. O. Green Junior High School said Lawrence had started wearing mascara, lipstick and jewelry to school, prompting a group of male students to bully him.”

********

So where were the school officials — in their “in loco parentis” role — when this bullying was going on?

Nance

23 02 2008
Nance Confer

Just remembering an incident at our local park recently. We live in a very quiet, working-class suburban neighborhood. The park is a big field and a picnic table and some swings and things.

And one day recently I took the baby for a walk and we ended up there.

And then “he” entered the scene.

The young man was not really large but he was extremely loud and extremely angry and using extremely vile curses. His girlfriend (I’m guessing) was his audience and he went on and on and on about the injustices the world was inflicting on him. All delivered in a very, to me, frightening tone of voice. As if he could and would just lash out at any moment.

But we had the option to leave and we did.

What of the poor kid confronted with this sort of violence who doesn’t have that option?

You shouldn’t have to be brave to just go to the school you are required to go to!

Nance

23 02 2008
JJ

Well, school officials tend to answer this sort of “deviance” by re-toughening the dress codes, as if making all the outsides the same would make human conflict disappear, at least during the school day and that’s all they are responsible for.

OTOH I can’t blame them too much because they have responsibility without the real control needed to exercise that responsibility productively, no real way to make things better in society and therefore no real way to make things better at school, except through custodial, prison guard or airport inspector type crowd controls.

Did you see in the story that this boy’s “home” when he’s not at school, was a center for abused and neglected foster kids? There’s no way either he or the shooter should have just been treated like interchangeable cohorts or FTEs in the general population for government processing into adulthood, much less under the guise of “education.”

23 02 2008
Nance Confer

That is all they are responsible for. That the kids are in a safe place when they are in the school building.

Apparently, a kid shouldn’t even count on that.

“You’re on your own, buddy. Good luck! You might want to hide your true self because we can’t stop the bullies. We just work here.”

Nance

23 02 2008
JJ

That’s what I meant when I said I couldn’t blame them too much — no matter how hard they work or how much/little they care or are paid, what they’ve legally got to work with, is uniforms/dress codes, imposing segregation between hostile types, and outright law enforcement. None of which can even be counted on.

And certainly it doesn’t add up to “education” if it’s even schooling.

23 02 2008
NanceConfer

Maybe it adds up to looking the other way when certain kinds of kids get picked on.

They can certainly step in and confiscate a pair of nail clippers when that danger looms.

Nance

23 02 2008
JJ

And organized religion has that same tendency, perpetuating a pecking order in which some pigs are more equal than others? It all looks to me like unenlightened authority that winds up hurting individuals more than helping, be it sacred, secular, social or school.

23 02 2008
JJ

Via Daryl this morning, see a second grade transgendered girl trying to get along at school, with some accommodation from school authority — and why FOX News attacks that appropriate support as bizarre and crazy and socially unacceptable:
“A saner era? Myths about trans kids in schools, courtesy of FOX News”

So what else could Cavuto mean? My guess is that like far too many people, he finds the very presence of a trans person to be onerous and problematic. Why can’t the school district make this little girl just go away, force her to dress like a boy and not look or act like that? The “bending over backwards” he keeps harping actually refers to the fact that the school district is NOT acting to prevent this 8-year-old kid from attending and being herself. I suppose it would be less expensive to erase trans people somehow, huh?

23 02 2008
JJ

A nice post by Dale McGowan about how kids figure out what they believe and why, and which labels apply to it, or don’t. . .

24 02 2008
Crimson Wife

Don’t go blaming Christianity for the horrific shooting in Oxnard. Jesus preached loving one’s neighbor and worrying about the beam in one’s own eye rather than the speck in someone else’s. Bullying is anti-Christian behavior, period.

24 02 2008
NanceConfer

Do we know the religions of the kids involved? Yes, the victim was Presbyterian, apparently. The shooter — no clue.

I was blaming incompetent school officials but . . . where do hateful, crazy ideas like shooting someone because you don’t approve of their sexuality come from?

Nance

25 02 2008
JJ

Seeing Kim’s comment to another post today made me remember her take on this article, very enjoyable, and unvarnished personal truth. (And HER quote actually made it into print, grrr. . .) 😉

“Honey, You’ve Got to Get Bitch Magazine!”

27 02 2008
JJ

If you got here via the Bitch article and you’re wondering what kind of feminist unschoolers would object to both liberal and conservative attempts to exploit us for their own agenda, here’s a clue:
“Girls on Girls Gone Wild (defining each other)”

Read at the hotlinks for context if need be. Think. Rinse. Repeat.

28 02 2008
Crimson Wife

I couldn’t find any info on the shooter’s religion (if any), but apparently his father had served jail time for domestic abuse. So it seems he learned hatred and aggression at home more than anywhere else…

28 02 2008
JJ Ross

It all connects, doesn’t it?

28 02 2008
NanceConfer

It does all connect.

There’s the connection to the decrease in formal religious affiliation — http://pewresearch.org/pubs/743/united-states-religion — with fewer people saying they belong to a specific religion. CW may see that as a bad thing, I see it as a good thing, but what’s that got to do with whatever got this boy to pick up a gun? We don’t know.

Then there is the discussion going on at the DailyKos blog about education and something called the Whole Child project — “which recognizes that the instruction in the classroom is only part of the process of educating the whole child.”

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2008/2/27/53727/0723/907/464889

Which is tied to the recent shooting near and threat of continued violence in a FL school that a Mom posted about on the FCAR list which I mentioned on the DailyKos thread — http://www.pensacolanewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080226/NEWS01/802260320/1006/

The Mom in the article ended up homeschooling through a virtual charter school here after this incident. Her teen daughter is less than happy about that decision but to Mom it’s about her daughter’s safety. And now that the daughter has been told she can continue with the ROTC as a hser and all 5 of the other girls in the ROTC are hsed, she’s happier.

So, yes, it’s all connected, it’s all very close to home, and it’s all pretty frightening.

Now, yesterday, when the old guy and the skateboarder were standing in the middle of the street yelling and cursing and generally acting like white trash, I helped moved them along, but that’s about the level of ugliness I am forced to deal with near my own front yard. If I were a little kid trapped in a school and I felt threatened, if Mom or the school officials couldn’t or wouldn’t deal with the problem, if the ASCD agrees there is a problem and proposes a “Whole Child” petition be circulated (maybe there’s more to it but damn it seemed inadequate to me), I’d feel like a very frightened sitting duck.

It’s all connected and yet we can’t see what all the connections are and we are all just scrambling to do the best we can — except when we aren’t or when somebody thinks they know what we should be doing and it’s not appropriate or when we can’t afford to do the best we can — it’s all connected and prayer won’t fix it and more or less tax dollars won’t fix it and programs won’t fix it and demanding more parents be “involved” won’t fix it. . . And the clock ticks on for the little frightened kid.

Nance

28 02 2008
JJ

On NPR this morning, Texas types were interviewed about the prez candidates. One group was from a big evangelical church that was a whole self-contained community, with a restaurant and a state-of-the-art fitness ceter, etc. So the families were there all the time, insulated and single-minded. It was, literally, “home” and “church” and “school” and “village” raising the kids, all in one.

Anyway, both the women and the men said explicitly that only a man could rightly be president, because their faith taught submission of women to men and that’s the way it had to be.

Now — wasn’t Andrea Yates in Texas? Was she taught too that God wants her to submit to men in all things, at home and at church and in politics and secular government, education of their children, etc etc? And did that turn out to be a good lesson for her or her kids or her husband and church and god, or society? It all connects, all right.

28 02 2008
NanceConfer

School often teaches submission too.

It’s not easy swimming against any of these tides. But it may actually turn out to be safer.

Nance

28 02 2008
JJ

I’ve been trying to chart them at least, figure out which tides are flowing in the same direction in the Big Picture. Nance, maybe that’s a useful thing for us, maybe what we’ve been about all this time? — to construct a sort of Lewis and Clark expedition through all these cultural tides of “education” and sketch out some representations that can guide other adventurers?

OTOH, they were land guys. Is there a better analogy for charting waters? Jacques Cousteau maybe? 😉

28 02 2008
Crimson Wife

Actually, I don’t see the increase in people saying that they have no formal religious affiliation as a bad thing. I don’t think there’s truly been much of a change in actual practice but rather that people who are nonreligious feel freer to admit it (both to themselves and to others). Better to be honest about being nonreligious than to claim to be a particular religion but never practice it. As a Catholic, I’d rather see a smaller Church with more committed members than a larger one with a lot of “dead wood”. If someone is not willing to walk the walk, then why even bother claiming the affiliation?

28 02 2008
JJ

Law of Successive Approximations? 😉

28 02 2008
NanceConfer

Good question, CW. Why would anyone have thought claiming the affiliation was a benefit? In terms of JJ’s networking ideas, what has caused some people to falsely claim they are religious in the past and now find that they don’t want to, don’t have to, etc.??

And interesting perspective on the whole idea. I’m not sure the guy in charge of the collection plates would agree with you 🙂 but “better to be honest” — who can argue with that?

Nance

28 02 2008
NanceConfer

The whole systems networking idea — especially as spelled out in your latest post about the Edge work — seems to me to capture the idea of the changes and possible changes and connections best, JJ.

Nance

28 02 2008
JJ

I don’t know about this whole be-pure-or-get-out approach though, seriously. Kinda creeps me out like the anti-charterhsing attitude — honesty is a virtue is one side of it I suppose, but the down side of that same attitude is just as real and likely to result:
1) polarizing the populace by yet another exclusionary variable

2) leaving moderate, messily complicated, sometimes internally conflicted folks no place to be true to “all” of who they are or what they hope to live up to;

3) leading to scapegoating, attacks like the gay schoolboy’s, war and once carried to its logical extremes, it can even cause human genocide.

28 02 2008
JJ

Yes to Nance’s view of the networking ideas — I see that same connection and application. It also reminds me of something I read in Dawkins a couple of weeks ago, about a professional geologist who had grown up in a fundamentalist, evangelical (is that redundant?) family but become a very good scientist who literally understood both “the rock of ages” and the “age of rocks” as they put it in Inherit the Wind.

He understood them so well that this became his ultimate downfall. He understood it was impossible to reconcile the two honestly and in reality (not just metaphorically, as I used to do as a moderate thinking Methodist) So without coming to doubt his profession in any way, he felt compelled to choose between them. And he sadly chose the faith of his family and abandoned his science profession (the mainstream of it, at least, that he had embraced) and went to teach at Bryan College (established in the aftermath of the Inherit the Wind trial to honor Bryan’s rock of ages over the age of rocks.)

He knew what he was giving up and he even “knew better” but he still felt compelled to choose, and he went with his childhood social contagion, the glue that connected him to his own “folks” over humanity and reality as a whole. I don’t think that was a victory for him personally, or for religion, or geology, or society. Maybe for Bryan College!

p.s. I say “he sadly chose” meaning that he was sad to do it, but did it anyway. It wasn’t my editorial comment. 🙂

28 02 2008
JJ

We were saying earlier that it was limiting to make feminism one kind of way only. Wouldn’t the same be true of Catholicism and other organized churches, etc? Your beliefs are not ever going to be identical to others in your group, much less your life choices based on those beliefs — so who should get out and who gets to stay and be the defining exemplar?

28 02 2008
NanceConfer

Well, I was thinking it was the person deciding the leave or stay who was doing the defining.

Like someone who has been going to church all these years but didn’t really want to. And now they feel comfortable enough to call it a day.

But I can see how your idea of pressure to perform would work on the remaining church — or any other — members.

What if you are in a charter school that requires “parental involvement?” Or just a regular school that has a PTA?

Might you feel pressure — at least in the case of the charter school — to do more than you really want to or can afford (in time or money) to keep up with the social pressure to be one of the “good” parents?

Or maybe that can be enforced in a charter school. Some Moms don’t think the other Moms are doing things well enough — the cookies aren’t the right kind or some dumb thing — and they vote the offenders out.

And how about the poster at DailyKos who said he/she was ashamed to send his child to the school he attends. Will he be ashamed enough to do something different? Will he just stick with what he knows or will social pressure to do better for his children and the “network” of parents using other choices lead to him doing something different?

Most likely, he will just continue to complain and expect the next administration to do something to make school better. And they will enact some lame program and it won’t do much but his kid will have graduated anyway.

So, where was I? Networks are cool! 🙂

Nance

28 02 2008
NanceConfer

. . . deciding to leave . . .

You knew that. 🙂

Nance

28 02 2008
JJ

I did. 🙂
Tonight I was listening to the wife of Young Son’s bagpipe coach while he had his lesson, describing the office baby shower she is expected to attend Saturday morning. She’s not from a culture that believes in baby showers; in fact, in her home culture it is bad luck to even bring a crib into the house before the baby actually arrives to use it. Presents are given after that.

Anyway, she was talking about how she was obliged to go and why, and we got almost a full half-hour of conversation from it! Her story amounted to social contagion, I’d say. 🙂

29 02 2008
NanceConfer

OK — open mind — allow idea of bagpipes in — beginner bagpipes — in house — need larger mind. . .

Anyway, that’s some pretty different networking there, JJ. 🙂

Nance

29 02 2008
JJ Ross

WHAT WAS THAT? I can’t seem to hear anything! 😉

I should write more about how this happened though, because it does all connect. Unschooled Young Son is 12 and just exploding with things he wants to try — the bagpipes go along with the Irish step dancing and flying radio-controlled planes out at the airport with a group of men we don’t know. I notice now it’s things from different sources than before, when he did what his older family members were doing (reading, writing, musical theatre.)

I am supposed to be networking him up a fencing coach next. . .

29 02 2008
JJ

Nance said:
“Like someone who has been going to church all these years but didn’t really want to. And now they feel comfortable enough to call it a day.
But I can see how your idea of pressure to perform would work on the remaining church — or any other — members.”

Taking the baby shower thing as a small specific (and non-religiously fraught) example, it was both and then some. All the women are members of the group but with subtle status differences within the group, and with different backgrounds and needs and “beliefs” about how to behave socially AS members of that group.

She couldn’t be honest about her own childhood “beliefs” because she knew it would be offensive and seem critical, as if she thought the moms-to-be were reckless and foolish. And she couldn’t be dishonest and make up an excuse (lame or even airtight) because another woman had pretty aggressively scheduled this by asking everyone to commit in advance, to which Saturday morning they could come.

So she had tried to parry the idea with a little counter-networking of her own, getting two other women in the office to join her in suggesting a weekday coffee in the office instead, with a collective gift certificate or cash and no silly games — something she could honestly endure with less discomfort — but the higher ranking woman who was coordinating the thing riposted with a withering social thrust of her own about doing it “properly.”

So they haven’t even had the shower yet, but already it has involved a good deal of networking and defining, and social impact. She can’t just “leave” because it’s her work, important to her life, and it’s no different in any other office, honestly! It all reminded me of when I was working in schools and in various government offices and in less structured legislative policy lobbying — oh my, it was ALL networking and undercurrents of social contagion, exhausting and barely even a pretense of being about what the words on the page claimed it was about. . .

29 02 2008
JJ

Remember the Tiny Cat Pants feminists patrolling their group’s borders so fiercely, lumping all the rest of us together as the enemy?
Homeschool support is like that too. That’s just a fact.
All these social layers and trying to make each other conform or at least demur to the “group” even as we all sing the same song from the same hymnal in unison about our individual “independence” and diversity. And either not understanding it or just denying it to ourselves, even as we live it. That works passably well for congregational types I suppose, like the Texas megachurch believers all agreeing in their belief that women must submit to men in all things, but it makes the truly independent individualists among us INSANE. 😉

29 02 2008
JJ

“Feministe” comment, about both posters and commenters at sites like Feministe and Pandagon having an all-too-familiar ideological blind spot of their own:

Until disability rights issues are raised, and it’s like … whoa, is this the twilight zone? What’s with the casual bigotry? the inability – the refusal? – to listen to the voices of people who are closest to the issues?

The information-to-static ratio is all out of whack, with commenters I would like to call my allies not just implying but in some cases saying that I – and my clients, and my friends – are not fully human.

It’s like there’s this seemy underbelly of disability-based prejudice lurking within a good percentage of the commenters at these blogs. And, having read Lindsay’s take on the Ashley X case (as well as Amanda’s) – well, the folks writing the posts aren’t always so prejudice-free themselves.

Which is exactly how I see their belligerent and self-righteous “feminist” prejudice against homeschool moms, especially those of us who are in fact just as feminist and humanist as they consider themselves (if not more so) and have been at it a lot longer! That’s a disabling blind spot even the above poster seems “unable” to see.

This same thread about disability choice had a trackback from the same feminist (pronouncing why “we” needed compulsory public education) who took offense when I retorted “who’s we, kemosabe?” Apparently she is “brown” (her word, not mine) and thus felt justified in changing the subject to her outrage over my free word choice, from my outrage over her government-backed overreach into my child’s mind, values and future. . .

29 02 2008
NanceConfer

She can’t just “leave” because it’s her work, important to her life,

*******

And she’s not actually under any sort of threat of physical violence. Or any other kind — unless her tender psyche can’t survive a bow covered plate hat.

Unlike the kid trapped in a damaging school situation.

And, if she were somehow being threatened, she could leave.

Nance

29 02 2008
NanceConfer

That works passably well for congregational types I suppose, like the Texas megachurch believers all agreeing in their belief that women must submit to men in all things, but it makes the truly independent individualists among us INSANE.

***********

I always wonder about that. Of course. Picturing the young wife who wonders what the heck the doofus she married thinks he is doing. And he’s in charge?

Maybe those are the ones who leave. Or quietly do go insane until they start enjoying their 2nd Amendment freedom.

Nance

29 02 2008
NanceConfer

Which is exactly how I see their belligerent and self-righteous “feminist” prejudice against homeschool moms, especially those of us who are in fact just as feminist and humanist as they consider themselves (if not more so) and have been at it a lot longer!

*********

But wasn’t the thrust of the anti-hsing argument that it was for our own good?

Much like some pro-ps arguments.

And like some definers of hsing.

I wish people would stop trying to save me.

Nance

29 02 2008
JJ

Me too — and tell me what to think and believe and which words I can or can’t use, what my social obligations are, etc, much less who I am or cannot be depending on whether I go along.

(You’re right about the baby shower not being the same magnitude of pressure or problem, of course. But the same basic social-network mechanism is what’s creating both the reality and the perceptions we all have to live with.)

29 02 2008
NanceConfer

Right, same mechanism, different level of threat, different levels of power.

And then there’s the fellow on our state’s test reform list asking me to explain (I heard “justify”) unschooling.

Now, he’s on the list as someone working to get away from abuse of/by standardized testing.

So am I.

And he saw a friendly face to ask about something that’s been bothering him — what’s with this “unschooling?”

My polite social impulse was to explain, in boring detail, how we live as unschoolers. But I then felt put upon that he was asking me to justify my choice (whether he was or not). So I gave him some links, hiding behind the social nicety that it wasn’t really the topic of that list to discuss unschooling.

You’d think we’d be on the same side in any discussion about unschooling. I would think so, anyway. But maybe not. Maybe his level of threat is set at “tests are bad for kids in school but, darn it, they should be in school” and mine is set at “not mine.”

A stranger would see potential allies but we could easily get diverted from our test reform task with a disagreement about schools and schooling.

It’s the point where “more freedom for everyone” becomes “too much freedom for the other guy” where we would butt heads. And our little social network would stop producing good results.

Nance

29 02 2008
JJ

Good application. 🙂

29 02 2008
Crimson Wife

What’s that old saying about the Church as a hospital for sinners rather than a museum for saints? I don’t think only “perfect” Christians should be part of the Church. But I do think that Christianity ought to have some sort of tangible influence on the person’s behavior. What good does it do to nominally identify oneself with a particular faith if that faith plays no significant role in one’s life? It isn’t a case of “be pure or get out” but rather of putting one’s money (however small the amount) where one’s mouth is.

29 02 2008
JJ

I was thinking about that with Bill Buckley this week, after hearing him explain in a 1989 interview how the self-defined role of his magazine was to serve as the guardians of what “conservatism” meant, against someone who could come along and put his mouth and money in a place he called conservative but that wasn’t what THEY (BIll and his like-minded team) called conservative.

That’s where I think it all breaks down. The problem for the group isn’t so much the uncommitted but the committed who insist on seeing the same thing differently?

1 03 2008
NanceConfer

CW:
“What good does it do to nominally identify oneself with a particular faith if that faith plays no significant role in one’s life?”

And more people are realizing that, according to the poll. And feeling free to say so. Whatever social network held them in place before isn’t working now. Which may be a good thing, in several ways.

JJ:
“The problem for the group isn’t so much the uncommitted but the committed who insist on seeing the same thing differently?”

And who insist that their way is the ONLY way. Committed and exclusionist — great combination.

Nance

1 03 2008
Is Turkey More Enlightened and Braver Than Our Shining Nation? « Cocking A Snook!

[…] and publicly “educating” society on this modern scholarship, with the team of 450 women sent into the sparsely populated interior of the nation to teach a more socially responsive an…, that doesn’t really say women are inferior and made to submit to dominionists and abusers. […]

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