sexism Archives - The Jose Vilson

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Some Educators Love The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

by Jose Vilson on September 18, 2012

in Jose

Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

As a new father, I’ve memorized the theme songs to every Disney Channel show from Little Einsteins to Doc McStuffins. Personally, I’m a fan of Handy Manny and Octonauts, but only because my son smiles so hard at “Creature report! Creature report!” Frankly, I can’t hate on any of the aforementioned shows because I watch them pseudo-religiously.

Even The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse has its redeeming qualities. With characters that haven’t changed in decades, the MMCH’s cast has a favorite character for just about everything, and the show’s prompts don’t ask us to think for longer for a few seconds about solutions to the problems posed by their journey in the jungle.

Lot like the education thought leaders I still see the blogosphere.

I mean, after the last time I went after such leaders (and you thought it applied to you), you did all the right things. You highlighted educators of color, went to their schools, and took pictures with as many multicultural kids as possible to prove your worth. You might have favorited my post secretly in one of your social networks, and then whispered to a friend who’s better at these things than you, “So what’s that Jose Vilson guy talking about?” You might have even taken up an issue that gives you an edge like excessive testing and said, “I’m done.”

No, you’re actually not.

Because, like the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, people think that by sticking to the same cast of characters in their circles, they can sanitize their existences from the harsh realities of the -isms. As if discussing educators’ wages isn’t an effect of sexist attitudes towards women. As if furloughing cohorts of teachers in urban and rural school districts doesn’t hurt the already tenuous numbers of Black and Latino educators in classrooms. As if property taxes don’t already skew monies away from our poorest children.

To make matters worse, some education thought leaders may use the words “poverty” and “race” from time to time (because we are post-racial), but their inner circles never ever change. Their comfort zones already barred, guarded, and gates, they rely on the same tools, songs, and dances to make sure they don’t “lose their way.” Even when they do something outside of their own boxes, it’s done in parody, knowing that they’ll jump right back into the format of their 30-minute episodes the minute the gig is up. The episodes start and end with a ritual that assures that no one can have fun in that house.

Only through a TV. Observing through a glass.

That seems to work very well for Mickey’s gang, as well it should. Millions follow it. But we can’t change anything if we operate under the same structures others do. A mousketool, dohickey, or whatchamacallit won’t do it. Coming on the defensive about how many tweeters of color you know before realizing you only know three won’t count (though it cracks me up every time). Conversely, I can’t be the only one to bring it up when it’s happening.

But I still do. Hot dog.

Jose, who speaks to it because it’s necessary.

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President Barack Obama

Short Notes are back! These are some pieces I’ve been reading throughout last week. Enjoy!

A few notes:

  • Some notes on President Barack Obama’s first term as president, assuming there’s a second. [TruthOut]
  • Wear Red on Tuesday, for teachers in Chicago. I know I will. [Chicago Teachers Union]
  • Most trolls I know happen to be men, and when men attack women online, they can be particularly hostile. Let’s cut it out. [Pandagon / Raw Story]
  • Girls Who Code graduate its first class. Right on. [GOOD]
  • If you’re still wondering how to build an audience, Larry Ferlazzo, the master, will teach you how. [Larry Ferlazzo]
  • Important read about Barack Obama, especially after the Democratic National Convention 2012. [The Atlantic]

Quotable:

“I truly feel that leaders need the check and balance their constituents can provide. Obama is one man. It is our responsibility to take our heads out of the sand and help him “create the change we can believe in” while moving “forward.” And Chicago Teacher Union President Karen Lewis and the activist community in Chicago are doing just that.”

- Ceresta Smith

Best,

Jose

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Eminem

Eminem

So, what you’re saying is that you don’t think it’s right that Benzino and the Source are calling Eminem Elvis?”

“No, it’s like they’re using the pro-Black agenda superficially to garner the respect of the hip-hop community, and it’s gonna backfire because everyone knows it’s not true. It’s just personal BS from the Source ownership.”

Since the battle between Ja Rule / Murder Inc. / Source vs. 50 Cent / Aftermath / XXL boiled, I’ve had plenty of discussions about Eminem as a pivotal figure in hip-hop history. Almost every one of my friends agrees that they were on 50 Cent’s side, and that’s evident from the rise of the latter contingent and the precipitous fall of the former. For many, the attacks on Eminem were the last draw since, for many, bringing up the race issue when Em fought so hard to be included within the pantheon of furious rhymers were unjustified. Even after the tape with a younger Eminem rapping about the “nigger”tude of his ex-girlfriend, rap audiences forgave him and supported his records, no matter how drug-induced.

Myself included.

With Eminem, I’ve always appreciated his rhyme skills, his comical, zany, and vicious approach to lyricism, technically adept, and accurately syncopated rhythms. I’ve bought almost all of his albums, each with its own flavor of ingredients specific to Eminem. And yet, I have a sneaky feeling every time I hear him murdering his wife or vowing to tear some woman’s insides out. It’s the same nagging feeling I get every time somebody decides to make an anti-gay speech when they see a lesbian couple, or when a teacher calls one of our students animals. And it’s the feeling that I have a hard time shaking.

I contemplate it overnight, and try to understand the feeling in my gut. Is it because I know Eminem, who has explicitly said kids shouldn’t be listening to his stuff because it’s so graphic, still has a presence with impressionable youngsters all over, like many of his contemporaries do? Is it because, unlike many rappers, his off-the-mic life is a rather accurate reflection of his mental state on the mic? \

Or is it because, as a consumer of his product, I’m implicitly supporting the message on the record?

Can I make it clear that I don’t support the misogyny on his album but support the artistry when I’m buying the record? Can I see him as just like any other fiction writer in other art forms? Or is it because I’m a male that I am not as horrified by it all the way a woman might be? My honest answer is “I don’t know.” I feel as many others in the hip-hop community do that we do stand for consciousness and better opportunities for our communities but the province of our headphones, speakers, and dance floor is governed mainly by us.

That’s where I stand. Maybe when I’ll have kids, I’ll have to cut down on most of this as to set a better example for my child, but right now, I may indulge in more murder and mayhem. At least until I’m mature enough to have my music coincide with my beliefs.

Jose, who hopes God forgives him for what his pen do …

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Big Pun’s Wife and How Sexism Runs Rampant Through Your Vericose Vains

August 5, 2009 Jose

Indulge me. Watch this video and tell me what’s your first reaction. If your first reaction to this video was “Girl, get a job!”, whether you’re a woman or man of any color or stature, you’re enacting on sexist behavior. Yes, I got this from rapradar.com and also saw it on another website. While I […]

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Mars and Venus Are in the Same Damn Universe

November 8, 2007 Jose

This week, I’ve decided to focus on my girls because, 1) I’ve been reading Pandagon far too much and 2) sexism is still alive, simple and plain. Unfortunately, women are still making 77 cents to the dollar of a man, and even in this state, which many consider to be a beacon of liberalism, we […]

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