I’ve spent almost two decades teaching in English primary schools, which serve multiracial, multicultural, multifaith communities. I want to explore two things I have noticed.
1) Almost without exception, whenever children are asked to write a story in school, children of colour will write a story featuring white characters with ‘traditional’ English names who speak English as a first language.
2) Teachers do not discuss this phenomenon.
Furthermore, simply pointing these two things out can lead to some angry responses in my experience.
Why are you making an issue of race when children are colourblind?”
is an example of the sort of question that sometimes gets asked.
Well let’s look at that. If children were writing stories where the race of characters was varied and random, there might be some merit in claiming that children are colourblind. However, even proponents of racial colourblindness do not argue that all people are White… and English. They argue that race no longer matters. If that’s true, why are young children of colour and young white children writing exclusively about white characters?
Men and women differ in their language patterns; for example, research suggests that men interrupt women more than women do men (a finding that surprises most men but not most women).
Bisexual women may be portrayed more often, but their sexual preferences have been frequently portrayed merely as an aphrodisiac for men or an extra hurdle for the men pursuing them. Female bisexuality also often goes unrealized beyond a single onscreen kiss between women; in other words, bisexual women are frequently seen only in fleeting encounters, rather than meaningful relationships, with other women.