Consent

Jose Vilson Jose 5 Comments

I read a story today by Kathy Dobie for GQ about the 11-year-old girl who was raped by 19 or so men ranging from ages 16 to 27 in Cleveland, TX. The crime as an isolated incident? Heinous, and as an isolated incident reeks of the sexism some of us have numbed ourselves to over the last few decades. As I dug further in the story, I saw the rapers …

Why Little Girls Shouldn’t Be Single

Jose Vilson Jose 9 Comments

Teaching middle school has taught me at least two things about the thought process of children under 15: they believe they’re too old to be chastised by anyone but their parents (and in some cases, no one at all) and they have control over their own bodies. Part of that is developmental and evolutionary; we look to grow into ourselves, finding the rapid changes disturbing and replying by controlling the …

Sagging Pants

No Homo

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

“Just shut the fuck up, you fuckin’ bitch, what the fuck?” “Hey, what’s that about?” “No, it’s that they’re bothering me!” “Let’s talk about it outside.” “I’m not getting kicked out because of these two. I’d rather just leave!” “Come back here! I need to talk to you!” “No, I’m mad!” And off he ran. This is a typical scene in the classroom. A student gets mad and the teacher, …

World AIDS Day 2008

The World Is Not Enough (World AIDS Day 2008)

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

AIDS is not a disease in isolation. My first consciousness of AIDS didn’t come from Magic Johnson’s infamous press conference, per se. Around my way, the acquired immunodeficiency virus was a deadly version of the kooties. Kids would run around tagging each other with “the big, bad AIDS,” and some even alleged that the most unpopular girl in the class had AIDS and all sorts of infections just for the …

Goodbye Yellow Brick Road

Jose Vilson 15 Comments

“That’s so gay.”“What a fuckin’ homo!” “No, no, that’s it. You’re gay and that’s it.” “Que maldito maricon del diablo (What a damn faggot from hell)!” Snapshots of the realities of working in sexually conservative neighborhoods, where the parents of these 1st generation US citizens learn their sexual intolerance from their parents and neighbors who also grew up hating gays and lesbians, no matter what their experience. The phobias the …

Mars and Venus Are in the Same Damn Universe

Jose Vilson Jose 6 Comments

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 have 80 cents to the dollar. Even at the same job, the ratio is still …

Tan Joven

Jose Vilson 5 Comments

Honestly, today’s professional development didn’t do anything to make me a better teacher, and I’m pretty sure I have a ways to go before I become a good one, and I probably could have been a better teacher if they just let me do what I needed to for the children. Fuck it, I’d rather be teaching. Speaking of which, last week, many of my kids went trick-or-treating for Halloween …

Pride (In the Name of Love)

Jose Vilson 2 Comments

Today marks 2 years after I last saw Jamal James, former president of Syracuse University’s student government in 2001 and active member of the SU community. I had walked around the Pride parade in NYC that day and as I turned on West 4th, I saw him and a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in ages. Little did any of us know that that would be the last …