Culture

Professor: Small Chairs in Preschools Are Sexist, ‘Problematic,’ and ‘Disempowering’

(Wikimedia Commons)
Can a small chair really be a ‘contentious and ambiguous artefact’?

According to an academic article written by an Australian professor, small chairs in preschools are “problematic” because they’re “disempowering” for teachers.

“In my first intra-active encounter with the small chair, I felt that it talked back to me about the preschool as a workplace that is gendered, feminsed, child-focused and ultimately disempowering,” Monash University senior lecturer Jane Bone writes in an article for the journal Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood, titled “Ghosts of the material world in early childhood education: Furniture matters.”

Even if talking with chairs were normal, I would still say that this seems pretty crazy. That physically small chairs are the standard for physically small people seems . . . well . . . standard. What do these preschool kids need, giant barcaloungers? To finger paint in? So that no one feels disempowered by a piece of furniture? That would be a great use of taxpayer money?

The article, highlighted for its stupidity by the Twitter account New Real Peer Review, continues:

The small chair passes on a very important commandment to teachers: “Thou shalt not sit down,” — you are here to work and, like women in retail, hospitality, and catering, and at home, you will run around after others and not focus on what you might need for yourself.

Look: I’ve always considered myself to be a very emotional person (and more emotional than most), and yet, I’ve got to say that I have never felt a deep psychological connection to a piece of furniture. And I’ve known a lot of furniture, not to brag. I’ve sat on it, laid on it, eaten off of it — but I’ve never had a conversation with furniture and certainly not one that left me feeling like I had lost power over my life. And, I mean, “commandment”? I definitely have a set of standards that I use to govern my life, but I’ve got to say that not a single one of them has ever come from a chair. I guess maybe I’m just not that enlightened. As for the veiled accusations of sexism, I would say that the only sexist thing about any of this is Bone’s insinuation that only women teach preschool.

The abstract for Bone’s article may insist “that the small chair is a contentious and ambiguous artefact” that it is “problematic when considered from different perspectives” and that it “both supports and betrays the body/ies that are in contact with it,” but I’ve got to say that I’ve just never felt betrayed by a chair.

The paper also theorizes that “early childhood education is haunted by the dead white males who still whisper their theories in the classrooms of the present, and inhabit the thoughts and conceptualisations about children of their lives.”

I have never felt a deep psychological connection to a piece of furniture.

I’m not sure exactly what Bone is suggesting here. Stop teaching anything that was pioneered by any “dead white males”? Just so she doesn’t worry about children feeling haunted by their ghosts? Then again, I’m not exactly sure what she’s suggesting with the chairs, either. To build bigger ones? Because I’m pretty sure that would be a very non-environmentally friendly waste of plastic and metal, all for the sake of reducing the risk to people who might have their feelings hurt by furniture, which I’d wager is probably a pretty small percentage.

Bone’s paper was previously covered in an article on the College Fix.

READ MORE:

Schools Attempt to Ban ‘Best Friends’ because It’s Not Inclusive

Apparently, Snapchat Filters are ‘Problematic’

How Friends Became Highly Problematic

Most Popular

World

Trump’s Disgraceful Press Conference in Helsinki

On Monday, President Trump gave a deeply disgraceful press conference with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. The presser began with Trump announcing that although the Russia–U.S. relationship has “never been worse than it is now,” all of that “changed as of about four hours ago.” It was downhill from ... Read More
Culture

Questions for Al Franken

1)Al, as you were posting on social media a list of proposed questions for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, did it occur to you that your opinion on the matter is no more relevant than Harvey Weinstein’s? 2) Al, is it appropriate for a disgraced former U.S. senator to use the Twitter cognomen “U.S. ... Read More
Elections

Democrats Are Dumping Moderates

The activist base of the Democratic party is lurching left fast enough that everyone should pay attention. Activists matter because their turnout in low-turnout primaries and caucuses almost propelled leftist Bernie Sanders to victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016. Last month, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unseated New ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Helsinki Discord

Donald Trump is not, and never will be, the Moscow correspondent for The Nation magazine, and he shouldn’t sound like it. The left-wing publication is prone to extend sympathetic understanding to adversaries of the United States and find some reason, any reason, to blame ourselves for their external ... Read More