#mumtoodadtoo school girls against boyswillbeboys

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2019/03/26/teen-boys-rated-their-female-classmates-based-looks-girls-fought-back/

“Yasmin Behbehani had just walked into her third-period health class when her friend asked her if she had seen the list.

““There’s a list of the girls’ names,” her friend Nicky Schmidt, a fellow senior at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland, said. “And we’re ranked.” 

“Behbehani didn’t want to see the list, or know whether she was on it. She had spent the past four years recovering from an eating disorder, working hard to avoid comparing herself with others, she said. But by her sixth-period class on that Monday earlier this month, a text message appeared on her phone with a screenshot of the list, typed out on the iPhone Notes app.

“It included the names of 18 girls in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School’s International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme, ranked and rated on the basis of their looks, from 5.5 to 9.4, with decimal points to the hundredth place. There, with a number beside it, was Behbehani’s name.

“A group of male students in their program created the list more than a year ago, but it resurfaced earlier this month, through text messages and whispers during class. One male classmate, seeing the name of his good friend Nicky Schmidt on the list, told her about it, and within 24 hours, dozens of girls had heard about the list.

“Lists like this one had silently circulated among teen boys for generations, and it has happened in more recent years at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, too, the students said. But it was happening now, in the era of the #MeToo movement. Women had been standing up to harassment in workplaces and on college campuses and the high school girls, who had been witnessing this empowerment, decided they weren’t going to let the issue slide.”

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Superb fight back.

I’m increasingly of the belief that all presidents should be replaced by three 8 year old girls.

If anyone’s interested, I can say why in some detail.

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Yaw rite?

Kids who have never picked blackberries in Durham. Tragic.

Are you alright?

 

Yes he is. More than you are ever likely to be.

Interesting this are you alright? shit.

If you say yes they ignore you. If you say no they’ll “help”.

If I’m asked i say no actually I’m not my budgie is intensive care I’ve lost my winning lottery ticket and a bunch of posh E30C7CAF-3F06-4FFA-95EF-F916939B1F35.jpegscumbags are destroying the country and the world, how are you, are you alright?

You can’t think about complexity if you can’t think in grey, not just black and white

http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-world-of-gray.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TeacherTom+%28Teacher+Tom%29

“Preschoolers are notoriously drawn toward extremes, which is, I reckon, both part of how they make sense of the world as well as how they try to assert some control over it. It’s the simplest way to categorize things: good or bad, yummy or yucky, black or white. As adults working with young children, it’s tempting for us to assert our own more mature vision of the world, to point them toward the gray areas, the “in between” that comprises most of what we know. When I was a younger teacher, for instance, I can’t tell you how many times I found myself futilely trying to get kids to see that “good guys” and “bad guys” are a matter of perspective.

” I no longer try to persuade them any more than I try to persuade adults. I’ve come to understand that they need to explore the world in this way. It’s not an ending point, but rather a natural starting point for coming to grips with a rich, complex, ever-changing world. They are doing what they need to do, what we all needed to do in order to ultimately persuade ourselves as the world of gray begins to reveal itself to us. My job is not to hurry them through, but rather to be with them, role modeling and knowing that the older they get, the more they will come to know that they don’t know.”

 

 

Here’s the Conversation We Really Need to Have About Bias at Google

By Farhad Manjoo

https://medium.com/the-new-york-times/heres-the-conversation-we-really-need-to-have-about-bias-at-google-ca6cf00f63b3

President Trump’s charges that Google shows anti-conservative search bias is wrong. But Google may well be biased against minorities and others who lack real-world power. Go to the profile of The New York Times The New York Times Aug 31, 2018

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(note to lawyers – entire article lifted from Medium/NYT, will be taken down immediately if asked!)

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Let’s get this out of the way first: There is no basis for the charge that President Donald Trump leveled against Google this week — that the search engine, for political reasons, favored anti-Trump news outlets in its results. None.

Trump also claimed that Google advertised President Barack Obama’s State of the Union addresses on its home page but did not highlight his own. That, too, was false, as screenshots show that Google did link to Trump’s address this year.

But that concludes the “defense of Google” portion of this column. Because whether he knew it or not, Trump’s false charges crashed into a long-standing set of worries about Google, its biases and its power. When you get beyond the president’s claims, you come upon a set of uncomfortable facts — uncomfortable for Google and for society, because they highlight how in thrall we are to this single company, and how few checks we have against the many unseen ways it is influencing global discourse.

In particular, a raft of research suggests there is another kind of bias to worry about at Google. The naked partisan bias that Trump alleges is unlikely to occur, but there is a potential problem for hidden, pervasive and often unintended bias — the sort that led Google to once return links to many pornographic pages for searches for “black girls,” that offered “angry” and “loud” as autocomplete suggestions for the phrase “why are black women so,” or that returned pictures of black people for searches of “gorilla.”

I culled these examples — which Google has apologized for and fixed, but variants of which keep popping up — from “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism,” a book by Safiya U. Noble, a professor at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School of Communication.

Noble argues that many people have the wrong idea about Google. We think of the search engine as a neutral oracle, as if the company somehow marshals computers and math to objectively sift truth from trash.

But Google is made by humans who have preferences, opinions and blind spots and who work within a corporate structure that has clear financial and political goals. What’s more, because Google’s systems are increasingly created by artificial intelligence tools that learn from real-world data, there’s a growing possibility that it will amplify the many biases found in society, even unbeknown to its creators.

Google says it is aware of the potential for certain kinds of bias in its search results, and that it has instituted efforts to prevent them. “What you have from us is an absolute commitment that we want to continually improve results and continually address these problems in an effective, scalable way,” said Pandu Nayak, who heads Google’s search ranking team. “We have not sat around ignoring these problems.”

For years, Noble and others who have researched hidden biases — as well as the many corporate critics of Google’s power, like frequent antagonist Yelp — have tried to start a public discussion about how the search company influences speech and commerce online.

There’s a worry now that Trump’s incorrect charges could undermine such work. “I think Trump’s complaint undid a lot of good and sophisticated thought that was starting to work its way into public consciousness about these issues,” said Siva Vaidhyanathan, a professor of media studies at the University of Virginia who has studied Google and Facebook’s influence on society.

Noble suggested a more constructive conversation was the one “about one monopolistic platform controlling the information landscape.”

So, let’s have it.

On the power of just being there, when a child is in distress… and childrearing is not just for parents.

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/04/new-research-on-disciplining-children-will-make-you-better-parent-and-spouse/

I’m really fed up with all these parenting experts. Everybody yammering away, demanding that you fix your kids. Other people who aren’t parents can also help!

It is said that “it takes a village to raise a child”, and this has become an enervated cliché. Judith Rich Harris, in her book The Nurture Assumption, contends that children are raised by their peers, not their parents. You only have to look at how little time kids spend with mum and dad these days to realise that school and friends must have a significant influence as well.

Notice this word ‘parenting’. It’s a thing parents do, therefore! If we call it parenting we are embedding the idea that parents are the only people who can do it, or should do it. You are a parent, it’s your job! You are not a parent, it’s not your business! This is nonsensical and counterfactual. It ignores the potential involvement of all the other significant adults in the child’s life.

People like older brothers and sisters, and grandparents, and teachers and family friends, and as we shall see in a moment, playworkers.

Can we stop calling it parenting? I have developed a conceptual aversion to nouns being turned into verbs. Let’s call it childrearing. Not a thing reserved for biological parents. Which is just as well, because if yours are absent you can’t be parented, can you?

Childrearing. Who can do it, who does do it?

Jane Jacobs, in The Death And Life Of Great American Cities, describes how all the others that children meet as they make their way on the streets make a contribution to the socialisation of the child. Imagine a spoilt brat, who is given everything they need by doting parents. Now imagine this brat throwing a wobbly in the corner shop. A learning experience for them, yes? Tantrums don’t work on strangers. Through these everyday interactions with people who aren’t parents, children learn to get on with others. It’s socialisation, something that just happens, not something that parents can command and control like managerial managers at work.

But those adults can’t be expected to be supportive when a child is having a meltdown in their shop. Though they may care about the child, because humans do, their main focus is not the child it’s their customers and their shop.

Everybody has an agenda, except one, because they aren’t trying to educate or control or whatever: playworkers.

It’s unfortunately true that some playworkers have been channeled into becoming childcare workers, and thus an agenda had crept in. I’m not taking about them.

I’m talking about those playworkers who are still free to facilitiate {deleted: ‘allow’ replaced with ‘facilitate’} children to play freely. A vanishing breed.

The article I’m pointing you to is pretty witless. It’s based on the assumption that everything is down to the hovering parent to fix. It’s like every neurotic parent has Fix You by those mawkish poshboys Coldplay on repeat all day. Over-parenting is part of the problem, it’s not the solution. But buried in this tiger-mom piffle is an important insight, drawn from some fascinating brain scan research:

Because neurons wire and rewire themselves very rapidly when we are young, Siegle’s results, supported by numerous follow-up studies, suggest that an adult, by establishing a connection with a child at a moment of stress or conflict, can actually stimulate development in the parts of the child’s brain that control emotional regulation.

Translate that into the playwork context and you have a fundamentally under-appreciated contribution that playworkers can make in the lives of the children they work with.

Unlike parents and other authority figures, playworkers are expert in what Gordon Sturrock has called ‘witnessing’, the simple act of being there, being on hand, non-judgementally.

And this research validates the importance of this playwork role.

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NB:

I’m not that happy with this piece. I’m not convinced that I’ve got my point across. I’d appreciate any comments from readers and friends that will help me improve it.