Words such as condone and condemn have very different meanings. I have heard that the actions of a few are not ‘condoned.’ I have yet to hear that the actions of the past weeks have been ‘condemned’ by any group. Words are being carefully chosen, text is being carefully sanitized, articles have been carefully ameliorated to protect feelings rather than to preserve human rights. We publish names of the innocent and names of the accused but we cannot convey the full meaning of an event, a tragedy, an atrocity if the language used has been softened to protect feelings….
To not report news, in full, because it might offend “somebody” is to fall far short of being fair, honest and open to all and this includes those who may be offended. (There is a long tradition of not putting true images of prophets, gods and others…. on paper. A 2,500 year old [a guess at the number of years that have passed since Buddha discouraged the manufacture of his likeness] discouragement of representations of Buddha is an example.) When did the lawyers decide that news must not be offensive? News, to be considered news, is a reporting of offenses and the results of offenses! To do otherwise is truly offensive.
“‘To be explicit, easy, free, and very plain’ was the ideal set down for himself by Daniel Defoe… No wonder he was one of the most popular journalists of his own time [18th century].” Murray Sheehan, Hints of News Reporting (Little Blue Book No. 342), 1922. Daniel Defoe wrote Moll Flanders and Robinson Crusoe as well as many other books in addition to being a 17th/18th century journalist.
My French and Spanish are extremely poor. I do not know any Arabic, however, this will not stop me from purchasing a copy of the next edition of Charlie Hebdo (which will be published in French, Spanish, Arabic and English) whether or not I find a copy in English. My purchase will be in support of those who have died, in support of those who continue to work at this newspaper, and in support of a future with greater freedom and greater protection of human rights for everyone. I plan on this being only my first copy of Charlie Hebdo. We need to continue to support these very brave people after the headlines disappear into history!
There is a photograph on the home page of the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Website that I initially found amusing but after thinking about it for a while, I have decided that I actually find it offensive.
It is a photograph of a row of shoes. Three pairs are black, one pair is brown, one pair is white. Three are kind of dressy, two are kind of casual. Two are flats, three have heels. Four have a strap across the instep, one doesn’t. All five pairs of shoes would be appropriate for an entry level position in an office environment (my opinion only, I am sure you could wear them other places too….) The shoes are not the problem. The problem is the caption at the top of the photograph:
“Career Choices and Life Success
Attend an information session to learn more about this program.”
Photograph and caption are being used here for educational purposes only. Fair use.
There is one pair of feet filling the middle pair of low heel, white shoes. Is this it? Are the choices that these shoes represent the only ones that women can expect to fill? Are the choices of women choosing this particular university literally this narrow? And, why choose the middle pair (middle of the road)? Why choose the white pair (I don’t want to go here right now – I will go here later!)? Why choose the pair with the mid-range of heel height (again in the middle…) Why choose the middle pair (the middle pair? Did I ask this already)? Would the corresponding line-up of men’s shoes have five pairs of middle-of-the-road, entry level office position style choices? Who chose these shoes?
Is this it? Is this all the choice that a woman entering this university can expect? Middle of the road, sensible, affordable shoes that are appropriate for an office setting? I mean, careers? Where are the CSA approved worked boots? Where are the hiking boots for the archaeologists and geologists? Where are the nursing clogs (these are not only practical but really comfy!)? This row of five pairs of shoes doesn’t even have anything suitable for wearing into a fine arts class….
A peak into my closet (front to back, left to right): Sensible tough walking shoes with sturdy soles. Running shoes. Strappy high heels. Hiking boots. Mid-heel black slip-ons. More heels. CSA approved green-tagged workboots (2 pair!). More running shoes. Another good sturdy pair of boots. Rubber boots. More strappy heels. A pile of flip-flops (well, those might not be appropriate in too many work environments) and a couple pairs of sensible flats (these don’t get to work much either)…. You get the picture. Life is about choice! Dress for it!
Where are the university watchdogs? The ones who sing at the top of their lungs if you accidentally put a “he” or a “she” into a piece of writing? Where are the people from the student groups who managed to get two gender-free washrooms at the Surrey campus? Well? Where are they? Or, is going after an approved photograph on the home page of the university website just a little too, ummmm…. up front and political?
Okay, link time. I am not too certain where my article links might take me after this little rant but, I do know that they will probably be interesting. If you know of any articles or papers that would fit in here, please post a link in the comments section.
Is there gender bias in university advertising? This article is not specific to university advertising but it is interesting and does provide an active mind with lots of relevant questions….
Article: Gender Issues in Advertising – An Oversight Synthesis of Research: 1970-2002. link
Published in: Journal of Advertising Research [link]. March 2003
My copy was downloaded in December, 2014. I found using Google Scholar.
Does education that is traditionally gender-biased (nursing / trades) put a person at risk of being an outsider? Having been through trades training and attained journeyman status (red seal tickets), I have to say that it does. The following article, viewed from behind my background in the trades, is particularly interesting.
Article: Fear Extinction to an Out-Group Face. link
The recruiters are out there, at the universities, looking for future banking, civil service, retail employees. What about the other choices? Is anyone actually doing any recruiting for the people that actually fit into the non-traditional roles? They used to!
Not every question I ask gets answered. In fact, most of my questions do not have answers or at least, they don’t have easy answers…. This stroll through academia is just that, a stroll. For me, I ended up with more questions than I started with. This is not a bad thing. What are some of the questions you have?
If any of these links do not work, please contact me and I will try to help you find the article, paper or book that you are looking for.
If you find any broken links on this blog, please leave a comment or send me a note so that it can be repaired. Thank you….
I am placing the link information for this article here with the thought that easier access to articles such as this will encourage reading and open discussion. This is also an open invitation for you to write a precis on this article (or, any other article that you find necessary or interesting)….
There are a few articles that I have read with this one. I will be putting them up here but, there are many peer-reviewed articles on this topic. You can find more of them by using this search link.
Article: Open-minded Environmental Education in the Science Classroom.
As you scroll down you might notice that the precis is missing…. This is because, well, because it is missing…. I have decided to put my “works in progress” into this blog.
This is also an open invitation for you to write a precis on this article. Waiting to go into my class today, I spotted a window with a lot of articles taped to it. A couple of them had interesting abstracts and this article is where it all led. I have not yet read the entire article but, there will be a precis on it at some point in the near future….
Article: Environmental Education and the Issue of Nature pdf
Author: Michael Bonnett (publications list)
[This article was published in the Journal of Curriculum Studies: Vol. 39, No. 6, December, 2007. I have not been able to locate the published version online.]
As you scroll down you might notice that the precis is missing…. This is because, well, because it is missing…. This morning I have decided to put my “works in progress” into this blog.
This is also an open invitation for you to write a precis on this article. It is a rather interesting article. The title of this one caught my eye. A quick scan confirmed and my curiosity was appeased. This is why this one is here. A precis will follow — I just don’t know quite when.
Article: Scholars Before Researchers: On the Centrality of the Dissertation Literature Review in Research Preparation
Expanding personal and sacred place to include community, through art, can break down barriers and lead to the type of experiences and understanding that brings about responsibility and social change.
My Precis Expanded (a summary of the original article):
Research suggests that art education must have a compelling personal and cultural context if it is to succeed in creating new ways of thinking, knowing and representing. Artmaking in the classroom provides an opportunity to give form to the transformation and reshaping of ideas, experiences and materials into meaningful representations. This article describes the efforts that one group of students made to understand their community and history through art. Our lives are often led within a fractured world that has become a place to be taken for granted, owned, used up, and discarded. Place-based education aims to bring together nature and communities by breaking down isolation and emphasizing responsibility.
Life is about possibilities and art connects life through associations. Transcendent art can be filled with sacred images or images that the artist held sacred, thereby attaching meaning and revealing aspects of nature and reverence without religion. By making ecology of place the focus of their work, many contemporary artists are attempting to connect community and the preservation of the natural environment. The aim of exploring and learning about the ocean, animals and trees that we share in our communities is to cultivate a thoughtful awareness and a sense of reverence towards our homes.
In a museum, detailed images are constructed and places depicted in order to build a vocabulary to further help us in the exploration of another’s place. To define sacred place through experience and memory, students were asked to share details of personal spaces that they considered sacred. In the area surrounding the school there is an 18th century graveyard as well as abandoned excavation sites, parkland and shoreline. Armed with sketchbooks and cameras to record nature’s resistance to America’s consumer culture, the students appeared in the classroom each Monday with a collection of images and questions. These questions facilitated discussions about home and homelessness and about our place in this world and our responsibility to others.
The students began a collage with photographs they had taken. The photographs were soon joined together into paintings as images of rocks, ocean, trees and street formed various personal meanings within the larger images. Borders that both connected and displaced became a theme and, as confidence grew, one student added family to her paintings and eliminated some of the isolation of displacement. A photographic collage of Main Street not only contained the sophistication of adolescent conversation caught up in music, fashion and identity, it was a reminder to us that a street is a panorama of architecture, trees and water connecting a small area (community) to the greater community of city, state and country. Bridges joined communities and in a collage, a bridge can also work to manipulate time by joining together the past and present.
The conversations and images came together in the final exhibition. Each student prepared and displayed a written commentary about their work. Each piece was mounted and hung in a sequence that included preliminary plans, sketches, studies, and final paintings. The exhibition introduced other members of the community to our newly discovered sense of place and it was a success because it connected the artists (the students) with their environment (their home) on a level that brought awareness not only to them but to the community.
In order to understand our history we must learn it. Personal history can be found in our communities and in special places that help or have helped to shape our identities. Sharing, or teaching, is often referred to as the best way to learn and in this instance, visual art precipitated the sharing of personal interaction with sacred place.
JSTOR is in the process of ‘freeing up’ some of their journals so that we can borrow the older articles to read. I am hoping that this might soon be one of those journals….. If you have any trouble locating the article please contact me or, call your local college or university library for assistance.