Countering Slow-cooked Misogyny: A Coaching Chat w/Cat Peterson

EQ: How can we understand the slow cooked misogyny of male-dominated professions?

Guest: Catherine Peterson, Physics Teacher & Soccer Coach, one of the hosts of Flounders B-Team Podcast and Teachers United “Cat Peterson Award for Courage

The beloved and fabulous Cat Peterson joins us to talk about working in male-dominated spaces: science education and soccer coaching.  Cat shares her story about...

  • Growing up in a small town and the importance of female role models
  • Falling in love with soccer and science in high school, college, and beyond
  • The intense demands of coaching and teaching at the same time
  • The BS she puts up with as a female coach
  • Equity issues in soccer and other high school sports - who has access and who doesn’t?
  • The overwhelming whiteness in high school coaching

Guilty Favesies:

  • Annie: white bread - especially English muffins
  • Hope: Ketchup
  • Cat: Candy all the time!

Do Your Fudging Homework:

That's Pinteresting!

EQ: To what extent has Pinterest influenced the creativity of the modern women/men and specifically educators? When is Pinterest too much or just enough?

Guest: Cat Melaunie (Melani), middle school teacher, education activist, and general badass. She’s a Texas native and Washington transplant with a degree in English LA & Writing and minors in psychology and education from McMurry University.  She currently works in education in Washington and is a freelance writer, including writing for the Nerdfarmer Podcast. She hosts local trivia, emcees events, and volunteers all the time! Also, she has a guinea pig named Obiwan Guinobi who loves to dress up.

Cat’s Story:

  • Her move from Texas to Washington, inspired by her best friend relocating and being RIF’d/laid off from her teaching job (Texas is a “right to work” state) because of her sexual orientation.  SHAME BELL.
  • Everything she loves about her college, small hometown, and Tacoma.
  • Full-time subbing in Tacoma and the differences between teaching in Texas and teaching in Washington: being 100% “on” all the time vs. being herself and “blending her worlds.”
  • Accidentally coming out to students. Spoiler: it’s funny and not awful.
  • Saying “no” for a long time and learning how to say “yes” to beautiful new experiences.
  • Being Hispanic and finding out she was a person of color, including her different experiences in Texas and Washington.
  • Watching Starbelly Sneetches with her students to teach them about how to be kind.

Segway: Pinterest...your favorite thing or your most favorite thing?

For the uninitiated, Pinterest is basically an online corkboard where you collect pictures of things you like from the internet - the pictures are usually connected to a link.  Cat describes it as the ancient art of finding great ideas that other great people found before you. It’s possible to scroll through Pinterest for 1,000 hours and not know what happened.

  • Pinterest board numbers: Hope stopped counting at 30, Cat has 30, and Annie has...102. Hope has cleverly named boards about teaching, working out, and books worth reading.  Cat has a mermaid board, treats board, hair board, and two for Harry Potter - memes and HP stuff. Plus - Star Wars wedding. Annie has so many that it’s hard to pick a fave.
  • Pinterest is renowned for its massive collection of recipes. Hope is doing the keto thing, Annie is vegan, so we decided to try and find something that everyone could eat. Annie made these.  They’re not a total fail!  Hope participated in the adventure, too - coconut milk chocolate mousse. It wouldn’t blend but it was delicious.

Bad advice from Pinterest!

  • Flowery background with “bloom where you’re planted” - worse than “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
  • Rustic junk like beach trash with inspirational quotes.
  • The whole fitspo situation. You used to see a lot of “thinspo” or “thinspiration,” now its “fitspo” or “fitness inspiration,” which basically glorifies abs and squat challenges.  Plus the before and after weight loss pictures.
  • Not exactly bad advice, but you can’t go on Pinterest without seeing white women all over the place using Starbucks cups as accessories.  The Starbucks cup is the new tiny dog in a purse.
  • CAT WROTE US SOME POEMS ABOUT PINTEREST, including a limerick and a poem on the spot.  It was impressive.
  • Men also enjoy Pinterest, especially posting pictures of their beards and beards they think are awesome.
  • While it’s a social media platform, Pinterest is also a consumer trap.

Guilty-Favesies:

  • These are things that you make feel “guilty” about but are secretly or not so secretly favesies.
  • Annie: looking for government jobs so she can be like Leslie Knope.
  • Cat: comic books - but not so guilty. Eating fried chicken and drinking cheap beer in a bubble bath. Netflix (laptop on the toilet - not over the tub. Don’t electrocute yourself).
  • Hope: Diet Pepsi with a Twix bar.

Do Your Fudging Homework:

  • Annie: Google “Pinterest Fails” and remind yourself that no one has a perfectly curated Pinterest life and that FAIL stands for “first attempt in learning.”
  • Cat: say “yes’ to new experiences.  It will change your life.
  • Hope: follow Cat’s guinea pig on Pinterest and make it out to the Black Kettle on Thursdays at 7:30 for trivia.

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