headline whores & wars

If you want fast & easy news: this post is about how slutty women will ultimately bring down the US.


Photo by Clu Soh on Unsplash

Yesterday I was having a discussion with some loved ones. It went something like this:

“Oh I see you’re following the March Madness bracket. Is that your predicted bracket or the results bracket?”

“I’m just keeping track of the results.”

“And I’m sure you’re doing the same for the women’s bracket.”

Eye roll.

Silence.

You see, I was all fired up because I had recently seen some news on my carefully-curated-by-a-third-party-Facebook-feed about the discrepancy between the men’s & women’s NCAA.

And by news…

I mean headlines:

NCAA apologizes for disparities between women’s and men’s facilities

NCAA budget for men’s basketball tournament almost twice as much as women’s budget

Weight rooms, swag, and the ‘March Madness’ brand: How the NCAA is shortchanging women’s basketball

Well, that was all this budding feminist needed to form her very important & verified opinion truth! #unfakenews

And so, with those same loved ones, who might have read headlines or who might have their dissertations in the topic or who might have played in a MM tourney themselves-I mean who knows these days–I began (naturally) to have a well-informed (obvious) discussion about the patriarchy in sports.

Down with the patriarchy!

And I am sure, or am I, that this conversation is multiplied over a hundred countries, a thousand dinner tables, and a million moments.

It’s like Descartes’ cogito, ergo sum 2.0: I scrolled, therefore I know.


Dave & I have this running joke about how “we read an article, well, actually [insert any amount that isn’t whole here] part of an article.” It comes from this Toyota commercial & pretty much is a staple in any of our conversations that incorporate an outside source.

But really, our household only mirrors society at large.

We are headline whores.

And then we take our newly established “truth” & head into war with the other side. We don’t talk to listen anymore. We talk to catch. We talk to prove. We talk, well, because, WE.

Talk has become war. But now, fortunately, unfortunately, oh what a tangled web we weave, we are armed with the world wide web.

And the problem with the world wide web is just that…it is world wide.

We have a world–who are we kidding: a. world. a. minute–of information at our fingertips, but really, all we do is search for justification of what we already think & arm ourselves with soundbite-swords & head into the battlefield of my right versus your/you’re wrong.

There’s a fancy term for this: confirmation bias.

The unfancy term is the Divided States of America.

Broken families.

Capital attacks.

Sigh. Error 404.


I wish we could all just be scientific.

Experiment: a choice to explore a hypothesis.

I wish we could all just be religious.

Faith: a choice to believe in some sense of a mystery–

knowing it can’t be proven.

I wish we could all just be mindful.

Curious: observing what is without judgment.

Maybe we could move our conversation-compass away from the blood-simplicity of morality to the heartbeat-stratifications of complexity.

Maybe.


Just this week I as listening to Krista Tippett interview Arlie Hochschild.

Her concepts of “deep story” & that “we are all products of our own experience” & how important it is to find “common ground” resonated with me.

As did this:

“Consider the possibility that in their situation, you might end up closer to their perspective.”

Wow.

But to consider… deep breath here… takes consideration.

It takes listening.

It takes humanity.

Let’s all be human, k?


If you made it this far, you get cookies (please accept all) (see what I did there). Cheers to reading a whole post 😉

who am I?

I am fortunate enough to be participating in a pilot program at my school that looks at how we can use metacognition, belonging, and conceptual approaches to foster deep, enduring & transferrable learning. It is an intensive & immersive experience that began today, with the easy task of writing an identity statement.

You know, no big deal… she said facetiously.

But, here I it is.

Here I Am.

I am Light. I am humble enough not to dare to define God, but also faithful enough to believe in All. Because of this, I recognize my life is not physical alone; it is Spiritual. Because of this, I honor what is beneath the surface and behind the projection. This means I operate from a place of discovery with students, rather than assumptions. This also means I treat them as people, not just students.

I am Love. I recognize that all we want as people is to be in community, to be seen, to be known, to be safe…to be loved. In the end, to say I received Love & I gave Love… what more could there be. May my classZoom or classRoom reflect this.

I am a Space-maker. Next to being Light & being Love, my ultimate identity is to create the space for those. Designing the vibe, planning the sequence, facilitating the moments, welcoming the wild, inviting the participants: this is who I am as a teacher, yes, but also as I woman. Also as a human.

I am a Storyteller. I got this from my Mom, but I also got this from my high school English teacher, from other teachers, and from the worlds of words where I have dwelled since I was little. We are our stories. But we also are not. And this is the best story of all. This is why I teach English…to story.

I am a Comedian. Deep belly laughs & inappropriate that’s what she saids & giggling snorts. Humor buoys the depths of this thing we call life. If I can make a student laugh… that. is. just. gold.

I am Woman. Though, straight up, I’m still figuring that out. However, I use the stories in my classroom to dismantle all of the systems of oppression.

I am a Question Mark. I have leapt out of false security & easy answers. I am dancing into Mystery & Wonder. If I can teach a student to ask a meaningful question, I have succeeded.

I am Earth. Grounded & rooted in Creation, I respect the healing gifted by the yellowing trees & the singing birds & the glittering sunlight & the drumming rain & the tickling grass. This is why I teach students mindfulness. This is why I teach them to look & to listen.

that dirty f-word

Dave & I joke that my sailor-mouth (with its infinity for the four-letter f-word that rhymes with fuck) (see what I did there) was birthed on the way up my first 14er in Colorado. In fact, it propelled me.

But today, I want to talk about another dirty f-word.

Feminist.

I am petrified of that word.

I really didn’t know that until recently.

But it’s true.

You see, all my life, I have not only accepted the patriarchy… I have operated my life, gladly, on its axis.

But recently my therapist–with her damned & damning questions–asked me:

What does it mean for you to be a woman?

[insert mind blown emoji her]

Um…

I think about my 3rd grade report card when my teacher gave me glowing remarks punctuated with a slap: “She is bossy.” Would she have said that about a boy?

I think about how even as a teenager, I came to the conclusion that my innate capacity to influence & guide & speak & inspire was mismatched to my gender & so… I gave it up. I gave up on what I could never achieve because I was only meant to bloodily birth the world, not to boldly lead it.

I think about how I was molded into & corrected into & discipled into the form of a submissive & demure & skinny sidekick for my first boyfriend. But it didn’t fit. And then I was rejected. Which in my math-word-problem-world meant that who I was as a woman was rejected.

I think about how after that I read Fascinating Womanhood & studied Proverbs 31 & convinced myself that yes, I could do this, I could be less to be more. This was, after all, what He proclaimed; it was His way.

Even my god was male.

How does that happen? How do we reduce the Thing that is Everything to only half? How do we stuff into a labeled box the Cardboard that the Box is literally made of?

Speaking of boxes: GOD DOESN’T HAVE A PENIS PEOPLE.

I sound like an angry feminist, don’t I?

Ugh.

I have spent my life in resistance to the racist & classist systems of oppression that keep students down, all the while ignoring the system that is holding ME–a woman–down.

And as I turn inward, as I simultaneously devour & regurgitate The Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd, I realize that I have lived my entire life wishing I was a man.

Because…what does it mean to be a woman?

Wrong. Less. Worse.

I was in an institution created by men and for men. (Sue Monk Kidd)

I don’t even know where to go. I don’t even know what questions to ask.

I don’t even know if I’m ready.

But on this International Women’s Day, it just felt right to reflect, to confess, to publicly wave a white flag.

To tell the truth about my life.

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