Ponderings on the princessy crap from primary school

(73 Posts)

Just wanted to gather my thoughts and yours really, and would prefer not to make myself look barking mad to the school.

DD is nearly 6, in yr 1. We are encouraging her to have a balanced view I suppose - she loves to dress up as princesses/plays with dolls etc but also does lots of climbing trees, camping, is pretty fearless, not pandered to. DH is a man working in a nearly all female profession.

From school she keeps bringing home all these ridiculous 'certificates' - Star princess of the week, 'special princess' etc etc. It is giving me the rage. I do not want any encouragement of ah a delicate little special snowflake because she is a girl stuff. I am thinking of going in to school and asking them to consider making their rewards more gender-neutral.

On one hand, many of the girls do like it, I am sure DD likes it, but I would much rather she was rewarded with a certificate for working hard or trying hard or something more concrete and specific. Not princess crap.

Any thoughts? Will be popping back later

DorisIsWaiting Mon 28-Jan-13 11:41:22

I don't normally post here (not anywhere knowledgable) but I would agree whole heartedly.

DD's school does a star learner of the week ( Not the highest marks but the child who has tried consistently and worked hard that week). Which is gender netural and focusing on learning. They also used to have another award for behaviour which was VIB (like VIP but the school motto is Bee related).

TBH I would be horrified with star pricess it sends such an appalling message, I would have to confront. Do the school have a parent council or an ideas box (we have both) where you could make an alternative suggestion.

NormaStanleyFletcher Cote D'Ivoire Mon 28-Jan-13 11:45:41

It would horrify me too. A school should not be perpetuating this sexist princess crap that they are bombarded with constantly.

What do the boys get (out of interest).

OneMoreChap Mon 28-Jan-13 11:48:35

Aaaaaargh!

I can get a bit confused about some of the issues raised here, but this would drive me even more hairless!

Grossly inappropriate stereotyping and bad for both girls and boys.
I'd have complained directly to the head.

I don't know what the boys get, I will find out. I am a parent governor at the school so I am happy to pursue it.

I don't normally post in here either grin but I figured I might get some support in this section. Not sure if I was overthinking it, but I'm glad it's not just me. Thanks.

AmandaPayne Mon 28-Jan-13 13:09:04

That is awful. I would be fuming if my daughter's school did this. I'm giving it fairly good odds that the boys aren't 'special prince' (though, of course, a prince isn't a passive figure in the same way anyway).

AmandaPayne Mon 28-Jan-13 13:10:09

Oh, but just to say, you may be met with confused when you take it up with the school, so I would formulate some clear thoughts on why it is wrong. Those depend quite a lot what boys get though, as I suspect comparison makes your arguments strongest.

Miggsie Mon 28-Jan-13 13:17:28

I would ask them to define what a "star princess" actually is, and why they think it is desirable.

What does it mean?
And how would it differ from being say, a "star washerwoman" or "star prince"? Or "star cowboy"?

Whenever people come up with this princess stuff I ask which particular princess they are thinking of - Marie Antoinette - who became a queen and was executed by her own subjects? Princess Grace - killed in a car crash? Princess Diana? - Ditto.
Princess Lombard? - had her head hacked off by a mob in the French revolution.
Princess Joan - child of Edward 2 who was married off to a serial adulterer and eventually left him to live in penury dependent on her mother?

In history most princesses get married off to some bloke, have tons of children - whom they spend little time with, are forced to live with their husband's societally approved adultery, do needlework, and eventually die...is this something to aspire to when in primary school?

NormaStanleyFletcher Cote D'Ivoire Mon 28-Jan-13 13:23:47

Good post Miggsie.

What do they actually mean by referring to someone (who is not in the top 100 for succession to the throne presumably) as a princess? Are they saying that they seem like they might be able to make a play for Harry (not that you would become a princess just for marrying him).

LaraInTheSky Mon 28-Jan-13 15:36:57

Miggsie, or maybe they were thinking on the Duchess of Cambridge, of whom all we know about it that she got MARRIED, and wears smart CLOTHES.

Princesses, duchesses, ladies etc. are awful role models for girls who need to concentrate on their studies, develop their skills, and try to express their individuality in such a confusing world.

Dozer Mon 28-Jan-13 17:35:46

Urgh. I wouldn't like this at all and would complain.

LadyKinbote Mon 28-Jan-13 20:42:49

I would be horrified if DD came home with that!

feministefatale Mon 28-Jan-13 20:48:11

I'd be horrified. I like Miggsies post use that, if the boys get a star prince award it may be more difficult to argue. It would annoy me less though (slightly)

www.flickr.com/photos/75734550@N05/8425006410/in/photostream

This is the worst one. When she brought it home I waved it at DH with a catsbumface, he also thoroughly disapproves.

EATmum Mon 28-Jan-13 21:41:47

Hideous! Complain to the school of course. At this age our DD don't have the experience to challenge what they're told at school. So it's really important to me that the messages from school are balanced. This is NOT!

NormaStanleyFletcher Cote D'Ivoire Mon 28-Jan-13 21:49:52

Oh dear me (having seen that image)

complain.

Let us know how you get on

kim147 Mon 28-Jan-13 21:51:54

Ask her teacher what a star princess is.

I used to do pupil of the week. Loved doing that. But Princess?

Sorry to dripfeed the pic now, I had to take a snap then edit the identifying info off it (very badly) I just feel it's so sappy and pointless and so NOT what I want her to aspire to or be proud of.

I will see someone this week and come back to you all.

fluffywhitekittens Mon 28-Jan-13 21:54:35

Oh my word. shock

HumphreyCobbler Mon 28-Jan-13 21:56:48

This is not good. I hope they listen to you.

Viviennemary Mon 28-Jan-13 21:59:14

I wouldn't like the princess stuff either. It is a bit silly for a school to be doing this kind of thing. It would be interesting to know what the boys were called. Not prince surely! Why is the school using the term princess.

threepiecesuite Mon 28-Jan-13 22:00:04

I would not be happy at all if my DD came home with this. I'm no feminist but I don't peddle princess crap to my DD and I wouldn't think school would stoop to this level either.

sooperdooper Mon 28-Jan-13 22:00:16

I can't believe they actually hand that out, I'm shocked!!

Good luck with talking to the school, you're 100% right to pull them up on this, how ridiculous

Love to know what the boys get too, out of interest!

Urgh. I would definitely pursue this.
So passive and nothing.

shock

Looking forward to hearing what the school says! I'm guessing they just haven't thought it through properly, but still confused

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