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Teacher Starts Bodybuilding and Documents On Instagram–Almost Loses Her Job

February 5, 2016

Chauvinism is pervasive, and definitely for working women, as evidenced by the teacher whose Instagram posts about body building prompted parents to push for her to be fired.

“I thought with my body being stronger maybe it would soak into my emotions, my heart and my brain and strengthen that so I started fitness,” Jensen told Good 4 Utah.

She regularly posts pictures of her training and competitions on Instagram. However, these pictures almost cost Jensen her job. The school threatened to fire her after parents complained about her fitness pictures, which often include Jensen in bikinis and scant amounts of clothing.

Apparently this teacher was nothing more than her body, to the parents. Business Insider, from which I got a good amount of content, calls the photos “racy,” as in “Racy Instagram Photos…” Is any type of physical fitness training for women racy? Parents called the photos “immodest” and “pornographic.”

Jensen said that she was recently divorced, lost too much weight, and decided she had to focus on fitness. She thought that might help build her self esteem. You can watch her interview below.

There is an issue here that goes beyond a person’s right to have a life outside of their job, and that issue is that teachers, particularly female teachers are viewed through the same lens that mothers are often subjected to, the whole Madonna/Whore complex. Supposedly there exists only a duality for women, good or bad, and a woman’s gender is her most defining feature, seconded by her looks, and finally, her professional performance. What? Professional? No one talked about this woman’s ability to teach, whether or not she was a solid professional. I looked on a good number of websites to find out if the teacher was referenced by her professional accolades, and the answer, “no.”

The teacher asserted that her rights to a private life were infringed upon by the school district, who initially told her she had to make her pages private, because her photos were immodest or leave her job. Once the media stepped in, the school district changed their tune. The teacher asserted that she had no control over what people thought of her photos on the internet, and if parents didn’t want their children looking at her body building photos, then they should tell their children not to look at them, not take away her right to her Instagram account.

Only one viewer of the media story, and it was a man, said he would be “weirded out” by photos of his teachers, male or female. As if that should count for anything. Why do teachers have to live a beholden life to their students? Once women become teachers their students own them? Own pictures of a teacher’s body? Or maybe the parents own the public life of a teacher? It happened in Utah, ‘nough said.

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