John’s Open Letter to Students Returning to School
We were talking about personalities in Spanish - when asked whether she agreed that she was a thoughtful, reasonable, or methodical person, she responded, “no, porque soy una mujer.”
Because you’re a woman, you can’t be methodical/logical/reasonable/various other (masculine-associated) adjectives.
Are you joking?
And people wonder why, at Stanford - Stanford! - there are fewer women in STEM. Everyone - everyone - is responsible for reinforcing this bullshit.
This is good.
By no means is educational background separate from other privileges. The beauty of intersectional identities is the ability to understand problems we face in terms of other issues and identities. Intersections with educational background are everywhere; some are familiar, and some are surprising. For example, you may not be shocked to hear that low-income neighborhoods have generally worse public schools, and that private schools are generally better institutions of learning than public schools. You may know from experience that students who have to work to support their families are less able to participate in after-school activities. But have you given thought to the fact that queer youth, in particular queer youth of color, are at increased risk of dropping out of high school?
I’m currently reading the Communist Manifesto for class. It’s quite beautiful (and intriguingly relevant, of course):
The bourgeoisie has stripped of its halo every occupation hitherto honoured and looked up to with reverent awe. It has converted the physician, the lawyer, the priest, the poet, the man of science, into its paid wage-labourers.