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Examining Gender as a Foundation within the Foundational Studies

by Glorianne M. Leck - 1990

Leck asserts that gender relations, particularly the relations of domination and subjugation characteristic of patriarchy, condition our ways of knowing, of teaching, of learning, and even of understanding gender itself. She argues that traditional ways of teaching, learning, and structuring knowledge are inadequate to the task of understanding and challenging oppressive patriarchal relations, and that social foundations instruction should be approached as an opportunity for a “community of learner" to examine relations between society, education, and the formation of selves.

Gender is not an issue. Gender is a foundational component of our culture. As such, gender represents and serves to maintain patriarchal values in social relations.

While many foundations of education faculty have been including the study of gender-related issues in preservice and in-service courses, it appears that most have not yet risked studying gender as a foundation of education. I wish to call for just such a study as we reexamine the role of foundational studies in teacher education. Many of us have read and shared in discussions of ideas and have begun to examine some of the implications of works by Carol Gilligan, Jane Roland Martin, and Lois Weis, as well as the articles appearing in journals in our field. We have also begun to recognize the implications set forth in works such as Women’s Ways of Knowing, Reflections on Gender and Science, Women, History and Theory, and The Impact of Feminist Research in the Academy.

I suspect, in spite of our recent involvement in these discussions, that we are not consciously addressing the fact that we are operating within a patriarchal framework, an ideological system that by definition holds as its central notion that there are two sexes and that male persons and their activities are to be more highly valued than female persons and their activities.


It is important to know patriarchy in its obviousness as well as in its subversiveness. Patriarchy is so taken for granted it is often invisible. I, the woman, Glorianne, have one name that says who I am. I have another name that says to whom I belong. The surname Leck is a symbol of political relation of man over woman, man over child, man over property. In this instance naming is a conveyance of power relations.

In yet another social context, gender status and power are tied to symbols related to appearance. In a two-gender system we have fashions for men and fashions for women. I am expected to appear in public dressed in women’s fashions, but precisely because I am a woman and lesser in social value than a man, I may wear men’s fashions. To wear men’s fashions can be interpreted to mean that I value what men choose to wear. If I were a man, I would not be sanctioned to wear women’s fashions; that would be seen as silly. Most importantly, it would display my devaluing my birthright as a male in patriarchy and it would reflect a valuing of what women “choose” to wear.

In The Second Sex, Simone De Beauvoir noted that we who are now women were not born women. Persons are identified as either male or female at birth. That sexual identification is a social signal for genderization. Through genderization, persons are socially directed to become masculine or feminine, men or women. These genderizations are socially constructed categories that prescribe and then describe ways of being-in-a-patriarchal-world. To be socialized, to be named, to be dressed, are all genderization processes through which we are taught a group identification and its social value. Genderization is a process through which one may learn to value and demonstrate value of self, others, what is worth knowing, what is worth doing, how things are to be learned, and so forth. Gender studies are investigations and disclosures about those processes.

If we approach gender as a research variable or simply as another issue within schools and we do not analyze genderization as an ideological and thus a foundational process, then we in a very significant way sabotage a serious analysis of the study of foundations of education. I am concerned that most foundations of education classes are being taught in a way that confines gender to the status of variable or issue. If this is true, it appears that few of us seem to be actively acknowledging that patriarchal ideology limits and/or constructs the ways in which we create meaning for our lives. Patriarchal ideology is served by the institutionalization of reproduction into a heterosexualism with its attached theme of dominance and submission, with divisions of labor that ground our assumptions and provide the strict social/sexual orientation through which human relationships are politicized. If we fail to recognize the foundational character of patriarchy and heterosexualism, our confusions and our nonconscious, taken-for-granted ways will make it nearly impossible for us, as learners, to explore the meaning and significance of educational relationships and contexts for learning.

It has been feminism, by definition a maverick within patriarchy, that has created space and audience for voicing views that challenge the central notion of the patriarchal ideology. Feminism argues that the occasion of birth ought not be an event of “birthright” or “birthwrong.” Birth category ought not be the preestablished basis for defining an individual’s social worth and social prospects for “freedom.” Within patriarchy, males are supposed to be genderized into the masculine and through that genderization men are to be more highly valued and have more privilege than those who are genderized as female. While the feminist argument deals specifically with the birthright assignment of males to dominance and contexts for social privilege and the females’ birthwrong assignment to contexts for oppression, the feminist argument may also be extended to other birth conditions including race, species, aesthetic appearance, cognitive function, genetic transmission, and so forth.

The feminist argument is not that the feminine should be valued over the masculine. Feminists are arguing that sex and genderization ought not be the basis for assigning social contexts that limit possibilities for social worth. Birth should not determine worth. The feminist critique revolves around concerns about contexts in which worth is defined and around descriptions of the ways in which a sense of worth is learned. It seems to me that we who claim to have an interest in social foundations of education cannot ignore the challenges from and the work of feminist critics. Genderization and the values that it implies are so pervasive and invasive that we cannot go on as we have in an unexamined patriarchal perspective.


If we are serious about getting at what is foundational in the education of teachers, we will have to address this matter of oppression by birth category. Our foundations of education classes, just like the other classes in the professional school, have operated from the view that the masculine experience in patriarchy is the central theme to be heralded and the central perspective from which to view the world. We have allowed masculine viewpoints to define human educational processes and to foster contexts of social worth.

There are two obvious ways in which we have exhibited patriarchal bias in our study of schooling. We have either treated male students with birthright as “insiders” and female students with birthwrong as “outsiders,” or, in a move to appear uninvolved in gender matters, we have behaved as if all students are “gender free.”

In the first approach it is apparent that insider as male and outsider as female rest on the fundamental dualism that restricts all persons to one or the other sex and then places higher value on the genderization contexts and outcomes for males. In the second approach, wherein we treat all students as gender neutral, we strive to make gender appear to be an irrelevant concept. In doing this we disguise the matter of advantage and disadvantage of genderization processes within a patriarchal system. In either the first or the second approach the use of “neutral” language serves the patriarchal ideology, in which the language selected to be treated as neutral is that which refers to he, him, and mankind, This choice of the masculine reference to refer to all persons regardless of gender has served to place masculinity at the center of human descriptions, thus making the male viewpoint appear neutral, objective, correct, or superior.

When the masculine serves as the universal reference for all people, it assures that a patriarchal view will hold the central place or central world view from which a collectivity of human beings will generate a legitimized and “objective” description of the world. When mankind refers to all of us, womankind refers to a subset, a part of the group. This maneuver serves to swallow up the viewpoints of women and tell women when and where they are welcome. From the word policemen, I am an outsider; from the word chairman, I am an outsider. When I chair a session I am a chairwoman, a chairperson, or some other awkward formation of that title of privilege and power. When I am called chairman I know I am on man’s turf, an exception in their system, a temporary guest. In that I am not a man, to be called a chairman means I am not what I am.

This language allows us to learn that women are deviant from the norm and it is a small step to come to believe that women are problematic to the norming process. As those who would teach teachers about the role of language we must make it clear that neutral masculine is an oxymoron. Most foundations scholars, however, are continuing to operate out of this neutral-masculine approach and most are still behaving as if they are trying to get women and minorities an equal place within what is presented as a neutral patriarchal system.

I see Euro-patriarchy-by privilege as the controlling definition of social hierarchy in the U.S. schooling system at the present time. The system is not neutral. It is through patriarchal public institutions that the interactive arranging of hierarchies is ritualistically performed. It is through institutions that groups are identified and identify, are labeled and take on labels, and are taught and may learn the characteristics that are to be used by the dominant group in their justification for treating certain groups as Inferior to the dominant male group. Studying these genderization processes is foundational to our understanding of schooling as well as to our understanding of other contexts that define teaching/learning processes.

We must challenge each other to look at contexts of learning and at how people are genderized into valuing types of learning, into having certain purposes for learning, into having styles of learning, or into limiting their learning. Turning our attention to an issues-in-schooling approach, “the women’s problem, ” “the African-American problem,” or “the special education problem” has tended to draw us into an acceptance of the assumptions of hierarchical ways of viewing human groups and achievement. Our participation in this is signalled by our looking at the characteristics of groups rather than at the patriarchal controls that create conditions for thinking about people in arrangements by group.

I hope we can move quickly toward seeing the absurdity as well as the politics of the way we are being involved in the discussion of such topics as comparative performances on standardized tests by women, men, autonomous minorities, immigrant minorities, involuntary minorities, and underclasses. We can no longer allow ourselves to participate in that discussion without fully examining the foundational patriarchal notion that what one group does in the society should be more highly valued than what another group does. It seems critical that we address concerns about group achievement by looking at the epistemological assumptions within culture that define how we learn what is worth knowing. It is also absolutely necessary to study contexts in which worth is learned and from whom and how we learn our social worth.

To try to encourage women and minorities to struggle for success within patriarchy is to miss the point and challenge of feminist analysis. As Kathy Ferguson has indicated so clearly in The Feminist Case against Bureaucracy we present no significant challenge to partriarchal society by training women to become masculinized school administrators. The feminist question to be addressed is: Are there other than hierarchical ways to organize schools and societies? Ferguson says, “The strength of feminist organizations lies in their ability to demonstrate the potential of feminist discourse to restructure the basic terms of political life.” We must ask ourselves about other ways and about the ways of the others.

Insofar as schooling is masculinized, the perspectives of feminized role-bearing persons are usually invalidated, if not rendered invisible. Women and other others are at an acute disadvantage in adapting to and learning to value the knowledge and skills that are valued by men in a patriarchal society. To be coming from an outsider’s context while becoming an insider requires a tremendous act of courage, conversion, and/or adaptation. We are constantly reminded that one who has been an other and who becomes an accepted affiliate is an exception and must work twice as hard to convert to and/or to serve the insiders’ cause. We have learned of archetypes who converted to the dominant way of being through their acquisition of privilege. Classic examples in our cultural literacy references have been the house slave, the assemblyline supervisor, the woman in charge of the office, the woman athlete, and the house-husband. While successful in their achievements, individuals who sought and attained these cross-over goals have been ridiculed.

What does it mean to come in from the outside? Jane Roland Martin, in reference to the matter of co-education, asks, “What changes were made to accommodate the feminine student?” We did not consider that, to be educated, women had to give up their own ways of experiencing and looking at the world, thus alienating themselves from themselves. To be unalienated they had to choose to remain uneducated.


The word they has served as a categorical reference not only to women, but to racial minorities, people with English as a second language, people of different social and economic classes, people with variance in their sexual identities and preferences, and people with different learning styles and sense-experience orientation. Feminist analysis calls attention to the fact that equal treatment of those from different contexts of worth does not create equity.

I am sure that if we reexamine so-called equal-opportunity schooling we will discover that even reforms meant to create equality of opportunity have perpetuated a set of conditions that have created a “green-card,” system. Those who are not Euro-patriarchal-privileged are necessarily approaching schooling from an outsider’s perspective. Outsiders are allowed into the schools under the conditional arrangement that they are either going back to the outside or are willing to convert to the dominant ideology. In such a conversion one learns to use the operating ideology for the maintenance of the system of power by privilege.

Equality, as a concept, is being decoded by the feminist challenge to the patriarchal construct of knowledge. Equality has been an illusive shorthand term used to signal a need among patriarchal institutions for an adjustment in behavior that might assist in maintaining the power relations necessary for male-dominated social conditions. Equality is a justice concept that often disguises deeper conditions of oppression. Who is to be dominated and under what circumstances is a historically situated condition. Discussions that are confined to issues of equal schooling opportunity dissuade us from the necessary fundamental examination of the ideological foundations of compulsory hierarchy.

Oppression is not a matter of inequality of opportunity. Oppression is a fluid, integral, and context-specific phenomenon that is woven into cultural activities. Through these activities, oppression maintains the ideological basis of context for privilege. Oppression derives meaning in patriarchy as it serves to maintain conditions of hierarchy. Contextual analysis will allow us to describe specific manifestations of oppression. To refer to the oppression of women, nonheterosexuals, African-Americans, children, and species other than human is to reify the concept of oppression. The circumstances of those characterized are not parallel, although they are significantly inter-related. The ideology of compulsory hierarchy, which is grounded in patriarchy, encourages ranking even and especially among outsider groups. We know all too well the disclaimers, such as, “I may be a female, but at least I’m not poor”; “I may be physically disabled, but at least I’m not learning disabled”; and so forth.

Treating “being different” as a catch-all category is a problem for researchers as well as a problem within our traditional analyses of justice. I suggest that we need to examine traditional attitudes about justice and social adjustment programs on the suspicion that they may be every bit as insidious as was our calling masculine perspective “neutral.” By lumping all differences into a polarized category- the oppressed- we will find ourselves actively participating in a socially encoded patriarchal concept of insiders and outsiders. What is not dealt with under an “issues” approach to the study of equality of opportunity in schooling is precisely the matters of contexts and ideological processes.


It is necessary to consider the context of meaning for individuals within the time and place of their existential project and in light of their particular survival strategies. We must study the interactive dynamics that create a concept of community around circumstances of oppression.

Mary O’Brien, in Reproducing the World: Essays in Feminist Theory directs our attention to what she finds to be an unacceptable strategy used by contemporary Marxists and ideological structuralists who indiscriminately cluster independently significant oppressed groups. They do so by adding oppressed groups after the concept of class by the insertion of commas so it reads, “class comma race comma gays comma gender comma.” She calls this strategy “commatization.” O’B rien’s idea of commatization might well be expanded in a playful but meaningful way by indicating that those who neglect to consider the context and grounding of oppression in temporal, cultural, and existential circumstances may well be considered to be so entrenched in the invisibility of learned boundaries that they appear to be intellectually “commatose.”

If we are to remove ourselves from this “‘commatose” or nonconscious state and get into a wide-awake gender analysis we will need to pursue scholarship that looks at individuals, contexts, interactions, and ideologies. Part of this process will involve our being more attentive to the way we have studied education and schooling.

Dale Spender, in her very helpful “Education: The Patriarchal Paradigm and the Response to Feminism,” advises us that the terms teacher and learner- as they have been defined by education- are inadequate; while educationalists may wish to divide the world into these two polarized categories, that distinction becomes meaningless in a feminist context, where all are teaching and learning. Feminist critics remind us that we who teach teachers about education have much to examine in terms of the entire structure and organization of our ideas regarding human knowledge and knowing processes. We may ask, “If we are embedded in a patriarchal knowledge system, then how, if we can, will we come to know our own particular entanglement? How do we look out from and reflect on our own limitedness?”

It is helpful to recognize that such disciplinary questions as “How do I know if I know something?” and “What is worth knowing?” will reflect our Cartesian limitations and lead us to a dualistic ideology that wraps our query into what seems an inescapable tautology. Patriarchy is a holistic system, a controlling ideology. What, constraints does that place on the process of our examination? I am very optimistic and want to suggest that we as members of a community of learners in the foundational studies of education are ready to begin that examination and we are, together, able to reflect on these ideologies, which are grounded in patriarchy. Our combined skills at interpretation and phenomenological description may serve as basic tools for this work.

As we each begin our part of this project we will need to identify our own way of learning. I assume we all have favored starting places and our own contexts for analysis. For my contribution and starting point I turn, for this article, to the work of Eugene Kaelin, one of my teachers and an individual whose scholarship I greatly admire. Here Kaelin articulates a Heideggerian view of beginnings:

The first “forehaving” for any ontological inquiry is the preontological understanding we already possess. As our implicit knowledge of our own being becomes explicit through the stages of the interpretations we make of our own involvements with our worlds, the results of preceding analyses constitute a new “forehaving” and a new context for further interpretation. Since any human being possesses the necessary preontological understanding of its own being because it is that being, any human being should be able to follow the analyses.

That is the spirit and the approach I would encourage with my co-learners, reminding myself that interpretation begins in contexts, not at such polarized locations as a teacher with the intellectual authority and a student who needs to be evaluated and objectified. The loss of the teacher-student polarity may seem very uncomfortable, perhaps subversive-but subversive to what? John Dewey told us we need not burden ourselves with a quest for certainty; Alan Watts advised us that there is a wisdom of insecurity. Existentialists challenged the contrived institutionalization of a fixed reality. Now feminist critics and critical theorists call us to attend to the ideological constraints that may limit our intellectual directions and outcomes.

As I look for these constraints, or when I accidently encounter limits, I look at them with new forehavings. For example, from within the contexts I had borrowed and built, I long ago decided that learning mathematics was too difficult a task for me. I had also decided that teaching children was easier to do than learning mathematics. Owning my agency and being responsible for my ongoing processing of values, I am now able to reexamine that which I selected to believe about myself, about learning mathematics and about teaching children. In studying patriarchal ideology and its apparent constraints on my perspectives of possibilities for being, I have come to recognize that learning mathematics has been a masculinized context for display of power and labor. Mathematicians have been assigned a high social status within Euro-patriarchy. Teaching children has been contextualized as feminized work and has as such been devalued in Euro-patriarchy. While not fully conscious of it, I did think about math as men’s work and teaching as women’s work.

When, as a young woman in patriarchy, I came to choose between learning mathematics and learning to teach, I accepted my birthwrong place as one less valued. That particular devaluing of myself served the perception about my inability to learn to do well in mathematics. I did not devalue learning mathematics; I devalued myself as one who could learn mathematics. As with so many others, I found I could become a teacher, and while having a lesser social value, I could be of some value to those who would one day learn mathematics.

Prior to a sturdy, pervasive, and insistent feminist challenge and the related body of work on feminist pedagogy, the assumptions about gender differences and patriarchal dependence on hierarchy have reposed comfortably in the hegemonic layerings of our classrooms. Teaching is devalued except as it serves those who would learn mathematics (and other high-prestige disciplines). The emphasis on masculine contexts and symbols has been nearly invisible in the taken-for-granted world view presented in philosophical studies, economic arrangements, social traditions, biological routines, and anthropological rituals. Gender assignment is “culturally put in place” by ritual and behavioral manipulations in interaction with a social and/or one’s own consciousness of possibilities for being.

To this point, women’s studies scholars have been exploring the pervasiveness of gender as a foundational component within our reality construct. It should be no surprise to us that within the dichotomous frameworks of academia, women’s studies and thus gender studies have been segregated from the traditional academic disciplines that do not promote or reward deliberate efforts to dislodge the encasements of patriarchal thought. By this implicit segregation, the traditional uninterrupted academic work that ignores or does not consider gender as a foundation is considered, in inference by some, as a continuation of segregated men’s studies. Not wishing to take anything away from the meaning, intention, and value of that inference, I do wish to shift the emphasis from men to patriarchy. If we consider the traditional organization of universities not to be men’s studies, but rather hierarchical patriarchal studies, we will make it possible to look at that framework of value as well as the interactions among the gatekeepers who would keep some people out of privilege. Although almost all academic work is developed with examples drawn from the lives of men and is thus arranged hierarchically through perspectives from gender privilege, academics have not consciously studied men and men’s lives as a part of an interactive condition of genderization in patriarchy.

Male persons are not born men, but are born with male privilege because they are born in patriarchy. The patriarchal language convention by which “masculine” reference is objectified and neutered has also twisted the meaning of being-in-the-world for one who is a gendered-male-person.


If we are to risk a more thorough look at educational values, culture, and knowledge we must move away from the neutered-masculine and patriarchal frameworks of our earlier studies and participate with our students in an acknowledgment that we are “all ‘forehaving’ and that any human being should be able to follow the analyses.” We will recognize our failure to empower when we display a dependence on a group we have allowed to become objectified as “researchers.”

Because of the sleeping consciousness about patriarchal ideology, gender characteristics, like groups, may at first appear to be objectifiable. Burdened with unexamined ideological views, some may continue to try to describe gender from an objectified world view. As such, those individuals may try to teach gender as a subject. Such an ideologically predictable performance is taking place in classrooms, but it is more evident in the work being done by those researchers who indulge in quantification methods and “scientized” activities. That type of research, while contributing a frozen section or a photograph done in a numerical medium, leaves off at the point where individuals interact and create meaning. It does not show individuals selecting or choosing the existential projects in their owned lives. All such efforts at objectification stop at the boundaries of existential meaning. Without breaking into or out of the ideological meaning of trying to be objective, we are caught in a nonconsciousness about the patriarchal values. Even ethnographers, who look at gender in contexts and cultural situations, are likely to be thwarted if they try to make their work apply to generalizable patterns. The overview denies and distorts both the context and the construct of individually owned lives.

Marie Lugones tells us:

Through travelling to other people’s “worlds” we discover that there are “worlds” in which those who are the victims of arrogant perceptions are really subjects, lively beings, resistors, constructors of visions even though in the mainstream construction they are animated only by the arrogant perceiver and are pliable and foldable, file-awayable, classifiable. . . . I always imagine the Aristotelian slave as pliable and foldable at night or after he or she cannot work anymore (when he or she dies as a tool). Aristotle tells us nothing about the slave apart from the master. We know the slave only through the master.

Freeing ourselves from a need to be in control of objectivity and generalization does not leave us adrift. What we have in place of objectivity and hierarchical teacher-over-student power is the possibility for exploration of and co-disclosure about what we have in common. Finding the in-common becomes our pedagogical activity. When, for instance, in an “education and society” course we begin sharing and exploring our perceptions and experiences related to our genderization processes, we are likely to find ourselves overwhelmed by the dramatic dominance and constraints of the notion that there are only two sexes and that there is no way to get out of the one to which we have been assigned.

You may be one who knows intimately the urgency some people feel when they sense they are trapped in a category or locked in under a label. As a group pursues their in-common genderization stories it is likely (ideologically expected) that you will see two groups evolve, those who see themselves as, and who have been portrayed as, stereotypes of their gender and those who see themselves as exceptions to the in-common genderization process. At this juncture we have an opportunity to ask what it means to have something in common. Moving that sense of in common to the center of the discussion creates a possibility for community. In the context of a community of learners a meaningful examination of the foundations of education may take place. While on that common ground, we will ask, “Why do we need to classify people into groups? Why have we begun to compete over who came out best in the genderization process?” “For that matter,” someone asks, “why are we competing with one another about who was the most controlled by the genderization process?” or ‘What does it mean to be socially controlled?”

Here, in discussions of these ideas, we as a community of learners begin to discover the long reach of the patriarchal ideology that has drawn us into a hierarchical structuring of knowledge. In community discussion it does not take long to notice that gender is not just an issue or a variable. Institutionally designated teachers are not experts in examining gender as a foundation within educational foundations; we are better recognized as “culprits,” professors of the ideology and beginning now to be newly conscious co-learners.

In the necessary change in teacher/student role relations we will confront the presence of hierarchy and work to expand rather than contract variables that contribute to knowing and understanding. Teaching need not-in fact, must not-be a reductionism for the purpose of maintaining hierarchies by presenting an image of teacher simply as one who is more knowing. Re-examining foundational studies in teacher education involves reexamining schools as contexts in which teachers and students are bonded in a hierarchical power relationship. Looking at that power relationship is a most relevant and necessary part of a feminist critique and of gender studies in the foundations of education.

As the bearers of the designation “teachers of teachers,” we may take a big step by coming to the community of learners with evidence of our own consciousness-raising as we describe the context and our uncomfortableness with that hierarchical title. As colleagues and students, we will do well to describe and express our sense of conflict as we work within the complex Europatriarchal-power-by-privilege ideologies that have defined us in relation to one another.

Rethinking what Marilyn Frye has called “arrogant perceptions,” we open possibilities for understanding how learning to be a teacher, a researcher, and a leader has traditionally been a process of earning privilege through maintaining patriarchal ideology. Such consciousness-raising helps each of us to reconsider how being successful may have created barriers around our sense of what is possible and around our sense of our own possibilities for freedom.


For a videotaped statement of the contrast of women’s issues with feminist structural analysis, see the videotape by Sonia Johnson, Sonia Speaks: Going Farther Out of Our Minds (Santa Cruz, Wolfe Video, March 1988).

Much of the literature prepared for preservice and in-service teachers has been directed to “issues of treatment” of students. These materials may imply, to those who read them, that sex equity can be attained by moving away from the differences in the way teachers treat males and females. Two excellent guides to issues in differential treatment are Bernice Sandler, The Classroom Climate: A Chilly One for Women (Pamphlet) (Washington, D.C.: Project on the Status and Education of Women, Association of American Colleges, 1982); and M. Gail Jones, “Gender Issues in Teacher Education,” Journal of Teacher Education, January-February 1989, pp. 33-38. Perhaps I am overly optimistic. Averil Evans McClelland reports in Educational Foundations (Summer 1988) that “our effort, over the past two years to assess the patterns of activity on gender issues in education suggests that there is a wide gap in both knowledge and action between those who have been and are doing substantial research in education and the majority of faculties in departments, schools and colleges of education who prepare new teachers and assist in the professional development of current teachers” (p. 16).

Carol Gilligan, In a Different Voice (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1982); Jane Roland Martin, Reclaiming a Conversation (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985); Lois Weis, ed., Class, Race and Gender in American Education (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988); Mary Field Belenky et al., Women’s Ways of Knowing (New York: Basic Books, 1986); Evelyn Fox Keller, Reflections on Gender and Science (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985); Joan Kelly, Women, History and Theory (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984); and Christie Farnham, ed., The Impact of Feminist Research in the Academy (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987).

Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, trans. H. M. Parshley (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1952).

There are many descriptions of the genderization process in relation to patriarchal value, for example, Carolyn Steedman, Cathy Urwin, and Valerie Walkerdine, eds., Language, Gender and Childhood (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985).

For an excellent discussion of the concept of maverick and the way it is grounded in feminist pedagogy, see Janice G. Raymond, "Women’s Studies: A Knowledge of One’s Own,” in Gendered Subjects, ed. Margo Culley and Catherine Portuges (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985).

I am not referring just to a liberal political notion of “free to” and “free from,” related to human social arrangements. I would argue that patriarchy serves to limit even the freedom for creation of personal meaning and a sense of self-worth within a collectivity.

The argument that female beings should be valued over male beings may be reflective of a matriarchal view or may be a female chauvinist response to male chauvinism. It is not named a feminist view.

These categories of discriminators for types of minorities have been drawn from work by John Ogbu, “Variability in Minority School Performance: A Problem in Search of an Explanation,” Anthropology and Education Quarterly 18 (1987): 312-34.

Kathy E. Ferguson, The Feminist Case against Bureaucracy (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1984), p. 211.

A common sign in women’s offices these days is a mass-marketed plaque that reads “In order to succeed a woman must be twice as good as a man; fortunately that’s not difficult.” That motto serves as a message of awareness and resistance to the conversion while also displaying a willingness to gain from the system. “Cultural literacy” is a term recently popularized by E. B. Hirsch in his book Cultural Literacy (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987). Hirsch’s work is an excellent example of an effort to reestablish the values of patriarchy through what is learned in what contexts and by whom.

Martin, Reclaiming a Conversation, p. 104.

During much of the twentieth-century North American canonical discussion about women’s education, special education, and the education of African-Americans, we have heard the debate about segregated and integrated schools. In the two decades prior to 1954 many people in the United States were humming the tune of “separate but equal” when it came to matters of African-American and Euro-American schooling opportunity. In the years immediately folowing the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. the Topeka Board of Education, we were encouraged into a majority refrain that separate was not equal and could not be equal. The response to that chorus for equal opportunity was a government-enforced integration of schools. Now even after (and perhaps in part because of) attempts at integration by race, we know we must move deeper into the analysis of racial opportunity. Integration has not sufficed to create equal opportunity.

See Sally Lubeck, “Nested Contexts, " in Class, Race and Gender in American Education, ed. Weis, p. 54

Mary O’Brien, Reproducing the World: Essays in Feminist Theory (Boulder: Westview Press, 1989), p. 224.

Dale Spender, “Education: The Patriarchal Paradigm and the Response to Feminism,” in Men’s Studies Modified: The Impact of Feminism on the Academic Disciplines, ed. Dale Spender (Oxford: Pergamon Press, 1981), p. 168.

E. F. Kaelin, Heidegger’s Being and Time (Tallahassee: Florida State University Press, 1988), p. 42.

John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty (New York: Putnam, 1929); and Alan W. Watts, The Wisdom of Insecurity (New York: Vintage, 1951).

Spender, Men’s Studies Modified.

Kaelin, Heidegger’s Being and Time, p. 42.

Maria Lugones, “Playfulness, ‘World’-Travelling, and Loving Perception,” Hypatia 2, no. 2 (Summer 1987): 18. The concept of “arrogant perceiver” is credited to Marilyn Frye, The Politics of Reality: Essays in Feminist Theory (Trumansburg, N.Y.: Crossing Press, 1983).


Maxine Greene has begun this work and it is ours to share in reading her The Dialectic of Freedom (New York: Teachers College Press, 1988).

Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 91 Number 3, 1990, p. 382-395
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 395, Date Accessed: 10/23/2021 1:22:38 AM

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