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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The ways we oppress each other

I am teaching the Physics for the liberal arts and business students. This course is a conceptual course that includes some math, but is more of a survey than a focus on proficiency of analysis.

Last Thursday, it was announced that there were two different sets of physics students. One of the very motivated students in my class took me aside and wanted to know if they were really going to be learning physics because it sounded, from what the other instructor said, that they would not be learning real physics.

In the room, one of the students called my class "baby physics."  It is really kind of a horrible thing we do to each other, creating an imagined separation between the "tough ones" (i.e, men) and the "soft ones (i.e., sissies or women) and all the misogynistic value judgments that are embedded into that separation.

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