Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates

Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.

Regardless

awilda december

A lot of early childhood services write something like this in their inclusion policy…

“Regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, family structure or socio-economic level”

 The National Quality Standards says it too:

“Assessors may observe children, regardless of background, age, gender or ability, being supported to fully participate as valued members of the group” (p34)

And it’s bothered me for ages. By using ‘regardless’, it’s like saying that the things listed after it don’t matter at all.

I imagine it like I am wearing a series of bodysuits. One is my gender, one is my class, one is my religion, one is my race, one is my linguistic ability, one is my family structure (and so on). And when someone says ‘regardless of your gender’, I imagine myself unzipping this body suit of gender and casting it off. Casting it far away from ‘me’. Then I imagine myself unzipping and casting off my bodysuits of class, of race, of linguistic ability, of family structure, of religion, of all the things that make me ‘me’. And then I imagine that there is some sort of creature left standing there- some essential version of ‘me’ that is unaffected by my gender, race, religion, class, family structure…

But who am I without these things? I live my life, I think my life, I imagine my life, I act my life, I remember my life through my gender, my race, my class, my linguistic abilities, my family structure, my sexuality… there is no ‘me’ without those things. The combination of these things becomes ‘me’.

So when I read ‘regardless’ of all these things, I think… why are you telling me that everything that makes me ‘me’ and everything that makes you ‘you’ doesn’t matter?

© Awilda Longstocking 2014

Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.

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One comment on “Regardless

  1. Jean Webb
    December 18, 2014

    So pleased to read this. I have been saying this for twenty years and it’s still there in every statement of philosophy and policy. In early childhood, teachers and students study socio- cultural and ecological theoretical models which contradict “regardless” yet still persist in thinking “regardless” equaity statement. I have always argued for a “with regard to” understanding with little success. I think the use of “regardless actually shows that we don’t have an anti-bias education and care system, but an “equal opportunities” approach which are fundamentally opposed. The first challenges bias actively, the other is a passive “I treat them all the same” laissez faire” attitude where personal values and beliefs are somehow separated from practices. This is a great site for raising these issues .

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