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

RillaBlythe Tue 29-Jan-13 14:17:16

PS Did you find out what the boys get?

Startail Tue 29-Jan-13 14:22:36

I'm not mad on Star of the Week and the seniour schools good citizen awards as non of the DCs ever seem to know what they are for.

However, that certificate takes it to a whole new level of awful.
Sexist, patronising rubbish.

I have nothing against Disney type dressing up at home, but taking it in to a mixed school on a day to day basis...

My DDs already have a SAHM and the only male teacher at primary is the HT, neither of which set a wonderful femanist example.

The best to mathematicians in DD2's group are boys and I have to jolly her along to do her best and reiterate that this isn't automaticly the case. It certainly wasn't in my primary class.

I'd be furious if they added this rubbish to the picture. Some of the boys, due in part to a bit of boys will be boys parenting, have a dismissive enough attitude to the girls as it is.

I want DDs who are happy to do activities because they like them not because they are sutible for girls.

fuzzpig Tue 29-Jan-13 14:23:21

Bleurgh.

At my DCs' school they have a star of the week type thing, totally neutral. It is based around the 6 'rights' that the school places emphasis on (eg "I have the right to be healthy") and when they get SOTW the teacher says which 'right' they have demonstrated and why. Works really well.

Startail Tue 29-Jan-13 14:23:36

Sorry autocorrect seems to have learn't some of my horrible spelling.

Startail Tue 29-Jan-13 14:25:29

Fuzzpig that's great, our lot never seemed to know what their Stars were for, just it was their turn.

fuzzpig Tue 29-Jan-13 14:28:00

I'm really pleased you are confronting this BTW. It's these everyday, seemingly small things that really get into the minds of our children.

feministefatale Tue 29-Jan-13 19:19:02

OP could MNHQ possibly get your name swapped for this thread? And then you could print off these pages for the head to read? It might be helpful for them to see that isn't just one person kicking up a stink over nothing, but it is actually quite obnoxious and offensive.

lisianthus Wed 30-Jan-13 04:43:54

Hells bells. This is beyond awful.

Quite apart from the awful stereotyping, how on Earth does one be princessy in school? There's not much point in an award if the children don't know how to earn it.

NormaStanleyFletcher Sat 02-Feb-13 10:55:23

Did you speak to the school yet OP?

Narked Sat 02-Feb-13 18:19:07

envy Vomit

Just to let you know I haven't forgotten the thread, I have an appt with someone senior tomorrow so I will let you know how it goes.

Ah, great, looking forward to your report back grin

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 06-Feb-13 19:15:17

Me too

Himalaya Wed 06-Feb-13 21:07:02

Good luck with your meeting. This is yukity yuk. I bet the boys are "star knights."

I do wonder though if they might say to you something like "we asked the children what they would like on the certificates and they came up with this", or "we are studying castles this term so it fits with the topic"..... Not that these are good justifications - just trying to imagine what was going through their heads.

I went to the school. It was pretty good actually, HT got where I was coming from and they also have a DD in primary school and they agreed it was not appropriate, they would be hmm if she came home with the same.

The first thing they said, was 'what is it for?' And I said 'Exactly' and we discussed possibly encouraging the teachers to avoid stereotyping in the future. They were not aware of it, it was done solely within the class.

I am happy with it, and they know I will be back if we get any more like this. It was all very civil and pleasant. I might have accidentally mentioned the comma splice too grin

NormaStanleyFletcher Thu 07-Feb-13 16:26:43

Oh well done smile

It is only by standing up and challenging stuff like this that anything will ever change.

Miggsie Thu 07-Feb-13 16:32:06

When I was at primary school it was a very old Victorian building and the door you came out of to go into the playground had "Girls Entrance" carved into the stone. The door you went out of to get to the playing field said "Boys Entrance" carved into the stone. We thought it was funny - we all used both entrances.

Our teacher explained that in those old, old days boys and girls were not allowed to mix and the girls could only learn needlework, and how dreadful that was, and how we had all moved on since then. This was in the 70's.

Sometimes I look and think we have since gone backwards in terms of gender segregation.

fuzzpig Thu 07-Feb-13 16:58:12

Excellent result OP, well done grin

I think (hope) WhispersofWickedness is right. Or perhaps they're being ironic? Seems to me to be a case of bowing to the lowest common denominator.

Great result,.well done op.

Great result, OP smile

Sarah - I think you must mean what Himalaya said, I haven't said anything even remotely insightful ever on this thread grin

EmmelineGoulden Thu 07-Feb-13 22:40:18

Great work OP!

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