Wishing for a new Default

Posted on 10 March 2010 Wednesday


I have a teacher about to teach Wish After Midnight. After beginning the first chapter, she reported that the girls are hooked, but not yet the boys. I remember that, yes, WAM is a book with a female protagonist and we’re supposed to teach boy books, aren’t we? Boys are more difficult to engage in literature, so boy books become the default in the curriculum.

I know boys will read: 9 out of the 10 top readers at my school are boys. So, I can’t use that logic for making boy books the default. Such thinking has pretty much the same logic as why literature by White authors is the default. Whites won’t pay attention to books about PoC. Boys won’t read books about girls. In perpetuating this thinking, we allow racism and sexism to continue by allowing the default group to pay no mind to any one who isn’t like them: to remain unaware of their similarities and differences and to ignore their possibilities. If we can’t even read books about those who are a different color or a different gender, how will we ever build bridges of understanding?

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Posted in: Diversity Issues