I feel that people like Austin Kleon, although also a part of the self-help genre, add a sense of fragility to their work.
Somewhere on the wide spectrum between adolescent teasing and the smiling white men in the lynching photographs are the Trump supporters whose community is built by rejoicing in the anguish of those they see as unlike them, who have found in their shared cruelty an answer to the loneliness and atomization of modern life.
Schools and teachers can play a part in what kinds of behaviours and successes are normalised and rewarded within the school environment. Those working in schools can ask themselves questions about how gender is normalised. Are boys encouraged to be alpha competitors or are quieter achievement and ways of being also noticed and rewarded? Is the catchphrase ‘boys will be boys’ or ‘he was just joking’ used to dismiss put-downs of others or the objectification of women? Is strength and success measured by sporting prowess and outward expressions of courage or by a range of possible successes in multiple arenas? What does ‘courage’ mean to the school community? Are multiple ways of ‘being a man’ celebrated and held up as exemplars?
In 2017, AFLW rode in on a glorious wave of cultural change that felt unremitting and incapable of being reversed. Finally, women had the opportunity and national stage to play that felt like an acknowledgement of, and beginning of a correction to, over a century of exclusion and marginalisation. But now more than ever it needs champions like Hope to be brave enough to assert themselves in the face of the increasing backlash to the opportunities that wave provided.
It should go without saying that men who participate in Australian rules football (or rugby league, or any other sport for that matter) also put their own bodies at such risk. Those choices, however, are not questioned in the same way women’s are, because men are seen as having autonomy over their bodies and their decisions, while women’s bodies – in the minds of dinosaurs like Malthouse at least – are still subject to men’s control.
For me, I have concern about the expectations placed on AFLW. Like many forms of change and innovation, people often want their cake and to eat it too. It would seem that there is an expectation of parity on the field when I doubt their is parity off the field.
I was watching Talking Footy recently and Brian Taylor spoke about the process that Collingwood are looking at to fix Darcy Moore’s hamstring issues. They are hoping to do biometric testing during the preseason to identify where the stress is coming from. Would an AFLW player who needs to take leave from their full time job receive the same resources dedicated to them?
How does the yearbook help us understand the other allegations against Kavanaugh? Well, for one thing, Kavanaugh’s admitted virginity shows how empty these rumors about Renate were. Whatever stories they circulated about her sexual behavior weren’t actually about her; to them she was less a person than a token you claim to gain status with your bros. That tells us something valuable about how Kavanaugh was willing to treat women when other guys were around. It also offers a clear window into how male networks like Kavanaugh’s work. If you get caught, you deny, and if you can’t, you manufacture explanations that may sound ridiculous to an outside audience. But you never break. His yearbook buddies tried to shelter him because sheltering him sheltered them.
It is interesting to consider the past reborn from the school yearbook. This has me rethinking the work I did with Year 9’s in developing a yearbook. I remember being chastised by leadership about what the students wanted to published, but maybe it was for good reason? My only question is if the yearbook was scraped of the mysogony and inherent violence, what happens to the underlying culture that seems to erupt like a vissure? How do we change this? It is also interesting thinking about Alec Couros and Katia Hindlebrandt’s discussion about the end of forgetting with this scenario. Is forgetting a privilege of power?
For a bit of satire, watch Saturday Night Live’s take on the testimony:
via Audrey Watters
Yellow Wiggle Emma Watkins looks back over the most challenging year of her life and speaks exclusively about her health problems, marriage breakdown and plans for the future.
Torvalds has publicly posted thousands of scathing messages targeting programmers who submit what he deems flawed code to the Linux computer-operating-system kernel, which he brought to life more than twenty-five years ago and now administers as a collaborative, open-source project. Today, the Linux kernel is famous, running the enormous computers of Google, PayPal, Amazon, and eBay, and the two billion mobile phones using the Android operating system. Torvalds, though, retains final say over each precious line of code, just as he did when he first started working on the system as a graduate student at the University of Helsinki. For years, he has been known as Linux’s “benevolent dictator for life.”
We really only have threads — threads of experience, threads that bind and that connect us. Human history — our hopes, fears and traumas — are just a blink of time on this planet of 4.5 billion years. So to me, this one connection, this one relationship that gave this one person joy and laughter and insight and tears is enough for me. It’s the reason I’m here. It’s what I do.
Much like the principles of building muscle mass — the way your body repairs or replaces damaged muscle fibres after a workout by forming strong, new protein strands — your mistakes do not you weaken you, they build you up. They solidify you. They give you emotional and mental muscle. Or at least they should. Because you have to own your mistakes. You have to claim them and allow that destruction/reconstruction process to take place. It’s incredibly empowering.
Own who you are:
At a certain point in this working life, you realise that there really is no place to hide. You either own — completely own who you are, the nature and personality of your journalism and your understanding of what you are here to do — or I think you fade away. When I started on radio in Melbourne in 2001, the legendary Jon Faine gave me two pieces of advice. He told me that daily flow radio “was a marathon, not a sprint”, and he said that on air I had to be myself — not some persona, not some projection, but relentlessly myself. The listeners would find me out in a trice if I was not.
And regularly take stock of where you are at:
If one thing has stood me in good stead over the last 28 years, it has been a deliberate decision to periodically sit down and take inventory of what I’m doing well, what I need to improve, where the gaps in my skillset and knowledge base are and how I need to fill them. I’d urge you to do it too. If it helps, find someone you know, admire and trust and who knows your work well and ask them to do this exercise with you. Never be afraid of self-scrutiny. Don’t wait for someone who doesn’t have your best interests at heart to point out your shortcomings — get there first and do something about them.
This post is a reminder that so often there is more at play than we are often willing to recognise.
I do think the Indieweb has the glimmer of real answers. But it’s a massive undertaking. But that’s okay—real answers are too.