Monday, February 20, 2012

Females Shouldn't Be Principals and Other Idiotic Statements Overheard in Education

Not too long ago I heard someone (a female someone) say that they were not sure that a female principal would make a good fit at an elementary school.  Now mind you, this wasn't any particular female principal, just the general notion that females really don't have a place running a school.  When I probed a little deeper there seemed to be a notion that with all these female teachers that tend to flock to elementary levels (5 years old through 11 years old) there is a need for a strong male to keep us all in line.  After I picked my jaw off the floor I went home and could not stop thinking about it.

So I present to you the arguments I have come across when I hear negative talk of female principals running a school:

  • Women are ruled by their emotions and we all know how women get when they have PMS.
  • Women tend to cause more drama, not able to distinguish between fairness and friendship.
  • All those women in a school need a strong male role model to be ruled by.
  • All those boys in our schools need a strong role model to look up to it.
  • Women may be good at organizing but they are much too nice to make hard decisions.
  • Demanding parents will be able to run a female principal right over.

And this isn't a single person voicing these opinions; this is permeated into the general school culture.  Why else do we not hear these types of blanket statements made about male principals?  What is holding all of us organized, fair, capable women back from being principals?  Are we just too nice to hold a position of power or will our emotions truly get the better of us?  Please enlighten me so we can stop the nonsense.

9 comments:

Karen Chalmers-Beaulieu said...

Unfortunately, most of the time, those comments come from female.
When I announced my new position to the principal of the school where I was teaching, she asked me to come to her office. She started treating me like her daughter. She told me I would ruin my marriage, I would ruin my son's life, I wouldn't be able to achieve that kind of job because I had no clue of the work load. She ended it with: "If your were my daughter, I wouldn't let you take this job!".
Are they jealous? Do they want to same opportunity?
Still don't know. But I can tell you one thing: I am not doing anything more than a man would do to make a difference in students' and teachers' life.

Karen

crystal said...

We live in a society where power and female are not seen as compatible adjectives. Too many people do not think that women do/can/should wield any power and instead should be governed by the men around them. The principal argument is just one of the many places where this happens and until women stop being afraid to call BS, it will continue happening.

Anonymous said...

It angers me whenever I hear this sort of sexism running rampant, and it makes me sadder to hear that other women so willingly perpetuate the very status quo that seeks to hold them back from their true potential. If you'd like another mind-boggling example, there's one about fathers becoming more active in PTAs across the country. The general "OMG, we're so happy there are men to sweep in and run the PTA like a REAL business because, teehee, we're all women and we just eat cupcakes and goof off" attitude is absolutely incomprehensible. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/19/fashion/fathers-Shift-the-Dynamics-of-the-PTA.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2&src=recg

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

I agree that even this many years after the rise of women's lib, we still have a long way to go. What i find so discouraging is that a lot of women are the ones that share these sentiments. We should be the first ones out of the gate to promote female leadership and advocate for other women to take leadership positions.

Mélanie Samson said...

Excuse me while my blood stops boiling!

All of those ridiculous arguments (which I won't even dignify with a response)prove only one thing: that more female principals are needed so that people can see how silly these prejudices are.

ErinPaynter said...

Hi Pernille,
While I do wish that there was a stronger presence of positive males in the elementary panel for our young boys to look up to, I DO NOT believe it should be at the belittling or undermining of women in or entering the profession. I'm shocked at the archaic attitudes of some people, especially women, who disrespect the hard work, commitment and ethics of others. Thank you for the post.
Erin

Stacey said...

Hi Pernille,
I am going to play devil's advocate here..so please no one burn me at the stake! In my 16 years in education, I have never worked with a male principal. In a field dominated by women (K-5 education), sometimes I wish there were more male voices, if only to have balance and a different persepective. It's like the idea of having both a male and female parent. Sometimes, they balance out the negatives of each personality and create something more beautiful.

While I believe that we still need to fight to have women be seen as equals in leadership positions, I also feel we need to admit that in fields dominated by one sex, there is value in having another voice in the mix. (Just imagine our political landscape with more female voices at the top.)

Mrs Ripp aka @pernilleripp said...

Stacey, I think you bring up a very valid point, there should be more balance between the sexes at the elementary level. What saddens me though is when offhand statements are made about possible candidates solely based upon their sex, whether male or femlae. I think that is something that permeates our society and makes it very stinky.

Anonymous said...

I guess your thinking depends on where you are writing from. Here in Toronto, the maority of Junior School (JK..5) principals are women. Primarily divorced feminists with an agenda. The do boys & girls a great disservice & accomplish some real harm with their garbage. Women should not hold these positions ever, period. The current crop of teachers with their post-modern delusions cannot teach themselves out of a paper bag & should stick to blogging & treating their mindless emotions instead of crippling kids with their idiotic ideologies.

 

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