03/19/2015 Jonathan Taylor

Teacher’s comment on boy’s homework: “beautifully written! for a boy!”

I was recently alerted to a tweet by a mother who was looking over her third grade son’s homework:

tweet beautifully written for a girl blackout

While it is true that boys overall have fallen behind girls in terms of literacy concepts, it should be obvious that this kind of rhetoric is not helping. One would hope that a teacher – of all people – would know this.

Imagine if a girl’s math homework was graded in this way – “Excellent calculations, for a girl!”

Also, note that the teacher prizes “beautiful” writing in particular, and that girls disproportionately write in a flowery script. But beautiful writing and legible writing are not always the same. Have you ever seen writing that was very flowery, but the over-embellishment of the flowery style actually made it more difficult to read?

What is more important in early childhood writing, and writing in general – legibility, or beauty? Legibility would prioritize function, beauty would prioritize form.

So I have a series of inquiries for us.

  1. How many boys are graded lower than girls because their writing was legible, but not “beautiful” like their female peers, due to the fact that feminine writing is regarded by female teachers as the gold standard since they themselves prize form over function?
  2. How many girls have been marked down by female teachers for writing that was indeed beautiful, but also so decorative that it was hard to read?
  3. Are female teachers just as likely to “crack down” on barely-legible “feminine” handwriting as they are “ugly” but nonetheless legible “masculine” writing? Or do they favor one or the other?
  4. What if they were writing for a male teacher? Would they be graded more based on the legibility of their writing than the beauty of it?

I’d like to see a study investigating those inquiries.

In all writing, however, the first and most important rule is to know your audience. And girls are indeed writing for their audience – which 95% of the time is a female teacher.

Also, I can’t help but notice that the teacher herself forgets to capitalize the beginning words of each sentence – “beautifully” and “for.”

A screenshot of this tweet has been preserved and added to the key AVFMS resource page The Language of Misandry in Academia, which you should certainly read if you haven’t.

Jonathan Taylor
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Jonathan Taylor

Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.
Jonathan Taylor
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About the Author

Jonathan Taylor Jonathan is Title IX For All's founder, editor, web designer, and database developer. Hailing from Texas, he makes a mean red beans n' rice and is always interested to learn new things.

Comments (22)

  1. Rob

    Maybe the reason that American students are falling behind academically, is because Men are under-represented in the teaching staff

  2. Kim Detorez

    Rhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/03/elementary-school-bias-boys_n_2404898.htmlob, that is part of the problem. The other part is the cirriculum and learning platform is based on one that is friendlier to girls methods of learning Christina Hoff Sommers and Michael Gurion write about this.Also boys are being downgraded for engaging in normal boy behavior

  3. koala

    Raised three sons and have had a few amazing teachers. One put it bluntly saying, your son “doesn’t like fluff”. She recognized that much of the material for schoolkids was vapid garbage. I do wish there were more men teaching our kids in school.

    • Kim Detorez

      Public elementary schools are to hazardous for male teachers. Female teachers are often hostile to them there. They look for any excuse to have them fired. Take a look at what the female teachers did to a friend of mine. http://keysnews.com/node/47768

  4. disqus_ArQv6e31it

    Feminists Run The Schools – Teach Anti-Male Hate

    It’s moderately common to find girls wearing anti-male, hate clothing. Slogans on
    T-Shirts include: “Stupid Factory:Where Boys are Made;” “BOYS
    ARE STUPID, THROW ROCKS AT THEM!” and (prefixed by the profile view of a
    handgun) “He had it comin'” Others include “WHO NEEDS BOYS WHEN YOU HAVE CREDIT CARDS?” and “I LIKE BOYS WHO ARE SENSITIVE AND CRY, WHEN I HIT THEM;” and “MENtal Anxiety MENtal Breakdown MENstrual Cramps MENopause Did you ever notice how all our problems begin with MEN.”

    ‘No Boys Allowed’ day teaches girls about science, math
    “We’re not trying to exclude boys,” said Jen Sorensen

    Why schools are failing our boys

    Eliminating feminist teacher bias erases boys’ falling grades, study finds

    New study shows grading bias
    A new study from England reveals a grading bias in English schools. Boys
    assume that female teachers will grade them more harshly than they do girls,
    and the study found that was quite true:

    Female teachers accused of giving boys lower marks

    Invitation to a Dialogue: Helping Boys Succeed
    Women outperform and outnumber men in postsecondary education, in part because the K-12 system does not provide boys with the same educational experience. It is geared for girls

    • Salem44

      dude, you need to stop feeling like the world is against you. if little girls are wearing those shirts, then surely their parents are to blame for it because I doubt any little girl would pick out that type of thing unless brought up in a hateful house. my mother is a school teacher and I have never heard her utter anything of the kind. also, I did school for 13 years and never heard any feminist crap… most of my high school teachers were men if you want to quantify it.

  5. BoredHousewife

    Besides the fact that we definitely need more men in teaching, the bigger problem is that k-12 teachers are overwhelmingly drawn from the lower 25% to 33% of the population in terms of academic performance. This trend began in the 1960’s as educated women began embarking on more lucrative careers. At most schools offering education degrees, the education program has the lowest standard for acceptance. Other successful countries, like Finland, cultivate teachers from among their most successful students.

    The comment on this boy’s paper would not have been written by an intelligent educator of any gender.

    To make matters worse, fuzzy/fluffy curricula have been adopted almost everywhere that emphasize arts and crafts and story telling instead of traditional math, especially at the elementary level. Companies like TERC insist that these curricula are culturally sensitive and necessary so that women and minorities can learn and enjoy math. Nonsense — all of it. And the teachers who don’t know better themselves try and fail to implement these fluffy programs.

      • Joe Joe

        Just happened. Cuomo has been putting this together for awhile though. This is even more radical than what happened in California.

        • So he defines all sex after the consumption of alcohol as rape. With people like Cuomo, who needs Radical Feminists?

          • Joe Joe

            No kidding. He needs to be called out on this bullshit.

  6. Jack Strawb

    I had the good fortune to attend school prior to the advent of gender supremacy feminism and it was typically the case that the most advanced learners in each class were overwhelmingly boys, that boys and girls occupied the middle, and a few boys–usually with discipline problems occupied the bottom rung. Our reading and writing programs fostered competitiveness. I remember a good friend at the time and I worked like crazy to best each other, and by the end of the 6th grade were reading at a 12th grade level.

    Whether girls were disadvantaged in this kind of learning environment, I can’t say, but there were aspects of it that intelligently catered to the interests and capacities of boys. It’s difficult for me to imagine exactly how hostile an educational system must now be to a teacher to so casually write as bigoted as what the article features.

    • BoredHousewife

      You write ” it was typically the case that the most advanced learners in each class were overwhelmingly boys”. That’s not true. Making statements like this is just as counterproductive as much of the feminist nonsense being spouted these days.

      I agree that boys are at a disadvantage in today’s schools — but I went to k-12 back in the 70’s and 80’s and the top classes were pretty much split with no obvious gender patterns. I find there’s a tendency for kids to only be aware of how their close friends are performing — in your case your childhood friends were probably mostly boys. You weren’t aware of me — the girl with pig tails sitting in the back row reading at the 12th grade level in 5th grade :).

      • Aah Yes

        No… I don’t think your wish that the normal distribution of performance aptitude for girls be as flat or flatter than that for boys makes it untrue or even counterproductive to observe otherwise, since there could be biological reasons, not just cultural ones, to find greater variation among boys. And many of us don’t have anything against equal opportunity, regardless of its outcomes.

        If anything, schools should be pretty consistent with the norms of the rest of society where opportunities are comparable outside of school (we know, for example, that women experience favoritism in tenure track STEM hirings). I say that because it’s virtually impossible to find ANY examples of flatter distributions for females’ performance than for males’ on almost ANY measure, not just academic ones — without constraining the pool size or imposing biasing factors to achieve atypical results. That’s sort of been my impression, although in most performance measures it’s hard to collect evidence of the bottoms of the distributions — media tends to be more interested in the tops: best chess players, most accomplished scientists, most popular comedians, most skilled chefs, and so on. So observations of startling ineptitude in various domains tend to be anecdotal rather than statistically reliable, meaning it’s hard to rule out the possibility that males are just generally superior at pretty much everything — it didn’t appear that way to Jack Strawb though, and yet you still found his observation objectionable. And it wasn’t his impression that girls weren’t the poorest and most undisciplined performers that bugged you, curiously enough. Nothing counterproductive about THAT, huh?

        In short, a school that produces proportionally more female than male academic stars can reasonably be suspected of systematically holding boys back — at least those who have the most potential. LIkewise if proportionally more of the low-performers are female, it MIGHT be reasonable to suspect the school of favoring low-potential boys in some way. Although until our society gets rid of glass floor privileges for females and criminal sentencing becomes sex-blind, it’s hard to know whether there even IS a natural tendency for boys to be incompetent or unteachable more often than girls, as horrifying a thought as that might be.

        A pragmatic and moral argument might also be made for giving remedial assistance to all failing students, the majority of beneficiaries of which would likely be male.* If effective, this would tend to equalize the lower ends of the two distributions while (given their mix of intrinsic motivation and socially viable adequacy), the rest can get by on the standard treatment.

        * (It’s OK, other males make up the majority of those penalized by progressive taxation.)

        So anyway, I think you can take heart: there are still going to be at least a few Ayn Rands among the inevitable boatloads of male geniuses in any era. And, although Jack Strawb’s other generalization about the “bottom rung” is worded in a way that might suggest there were no females at all in that category, I doubt he meant to exclude you (or other girls) completely. 😉

        • BoredHousewife

          Your remarks, including this one: ” I don’t think your wish that the normal distribution of performance aptitude for girls be as flat or flatter than that for boys makes it untrue” is unintelligible.

          You do know that a “normal distribution” is a bell shaped curve, right? I have know idea what you mean when you say I have a desire to “make it flatter”. Are you referring to “uniform distributions”? Because we know that academic performance is better measured by the normal distribution function. If you believe there is more variation among males, perhaps you feel that there is some kurtosis in the normal distribution?

          I guess you’re one of those guys that thinks males are overwhelmingly smarter than females. I’ve certainly met plenty who share your viewpoint. If it helps you feel good about yourself, great.

  7. Salem44

    how fucking rude to assume that all boys write messily and all girls are neat… my handwriting was atrocious until I hit high school

  8. Sad, I know where both sides are coming from. The teacher may have “thought” she was paying a wonderful compliment to the boy. You see, the “false belief’ is dogmatically believed by nearly everyone that boys’ handwriting is developmentally delayed and usually more poor. So, given that very stereotypical belief of boys’ handwriting and so-called belief boys are naturally poor in handwriting, she wrote that probably very sincere note.
    However, what she and many other teachers in school still believe is hurting many other boys with poor handwriting, even to the point of having their grades diminished for poor handwriting. The false belief in boys’ having some assumed delays in handwriting, will almost always trend toward less respect, care, and treatment of boys. This will usually be accompanied by more harsh verbal admonishments and actions to make the boys simply try harder and even general less than respectful treatment of boys in general. This is being modeled to both girls and boys, making boys appear less able or not trying hard enough.
    What is really occurring is the more aggressive treatment many boys experience to make them tough from infancy, creates much higher layers of “maintained fear, anxiety, and much more tension”. This is a new concept in that is redefines our average stress as many maintained layers of unresolved mental conflicts a person, usually a boy carries with them. This creates not only more activity for stress relief (not genetics), but also creating much higher muscle tension, creating less flexibility in the hands and fingers, more pressure on the pencil, and a tighter grip. Also the false teaching usually given boys to try hard feeds off in to even more tension from extra effort, which makes the handwriting through improper pressure, grip, and effort, creates much more poor handwriting and much more fatigue, less handwriting for boys. it is not genetic but socially created. However, due to our false genetic models, this differential, more harsh treatment remains in place, so boys will continue to fail in school.


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