I am just a woman. A woman who dropped out of college and has lived her whole life in the underclass. A woman who is young and who is considered by many to be “crazy”. So I have no credibility to anyone but myself (and people who know little to nothing about me).
However, here is a book (reproduced here as a serial essay) by someone who is educated and it is a pretty good introduction to why school sucks and is a tool to reproduce conformity. Or, as the author calls it, “dumbness.”
Yes, I realize this is specifically written about American school systems. But, and this is repeatedly pointed out throughout the text, American society and thus American education is based upon the British model, so I feel that the information can be extrapolated to describe most of white Western culture.
And I also cannot speak for the author’s intent, eg, who he is speaking for; yes, it’s presumably white males, even though he doesn’t explicitly say so. However, using our knowledge as feminists, we can read and understand the ideas of this text, then add to it what we know about female and non-white children’s experiences:
– constant otherizing and scapegoating
– additional likelihood of abuse (racial for non-white children, sexual for female children)
– yet more brainwashing (racist for non-white children, sexist for female children)
– the hammering home of our inferiority until we either accept it completely or reject it openly and are punished severely/labeled “insane” or “problem children” (working again to reinforce our senses of inferiority and otherness)
In addition to this material, which in summary is that school is a social engineering project designed to keep an entire class of people enslaved to another class of people, we know that white male schooling was never intended for non-whites or females. Since it now likes to play lip service to “equality”, white schooling functions as yet another machine to beat nonwhite children (especially Black, Indigenous, immigrant, and now migrant children) into the white mold; the white man’s burden, white society’s desire to “drive the savage out” of nonwhite people, has just become more insidious and cloaked under the guise of ‘education’, ‘knowledge’, and ‘self-betterment’. Supposedly benign concepts, right?
And female children exist somewhere at the very bottom of the pyramid, absorbing all of these harmful messages in addition to being taught (as though the rest of society, media, family, hasn’t taught them enough) that their primary place is that of servant. Of slave. As less-than-male, as subordinate.
We know these things. Why don’t we know these things?
If, as it has been suggested, I’m just sour grapes about education because I was a “bad student” (which is not even true — I earned straight A’s in school and only got in trouble a few times [which were all the result of my acting irrationally in the face of trauma]) — listen to and understand this person, who was in fact a teacher.
“School became a major domestic battleground for the scientific rationalization of social affairs through compulsory indoctrination.”
“Using methods of behavioral psychology, children would learn proper thoughts, feelings, and actions, and have their improper attitudes brought from home ‘remediated.'”
In other words, this schooling (our schooling! that you [unless you were home-schooled, and even probably then] and I were subjected to) was designed solely for the creation of a massive proletariat. Oh, and with a big side helping of eugenics. Let’s not forget the eugenics.
(Also, let it be said that I don’t think this author takes his case far enough. I don’t wax as poetic about previous systems of education as he does, considering that women haven’t been allowed to teach themselves since, oh, say, prior the witch-burning and demonization of female-knowledge [such as ‘witch doctoring’ and midwifery].)