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Getting a tiny bit feminist on the teacher's ass!

(365 Posts)
SolidGoldBrass Wed 20-Feb-13 00:47:29

I didn't raise my voice. I didn't unshave my legs or anything.
It just so happened that DS and I bumped into his class teacher at the playground this afternoon and we had a pleasant chat; the teacher turns out to have DC of her own, of a similar age to DS. She mentioned something about girls being very different to boys. I very very gently said that this was in fact rubbish and suggested she read Delusions of Gender, and added that I thought every teacher should read it as a lot of the stuff about gender difference you hear these days was not only wrong but dangerous...

I'm going to be 'one of THOSE mothers' forever, aren't I?

monsterchild Wed 20-Feb-13 00:50:56

Yes, yes you are.

But I will be too, so here's to us!

ripsishere Wed 20-Feb-13 00:51:00

Why, yes you are.
I haven't read the book, nor am I a teacher. I do think that boys and girls are very different in terms of behavior, socializing, learning, playing...

BigAudioDynamite Wed 20-Feb-13 00:51:28

i agree with you
how did she respond?

CloudsAndTrees Wed 20-Feb-13 00:51:45

But quite often, girls are different to boys. When you work in a classroom, differences between the genders does tend to stand out.

Of course there are many many exceptions, but the majority of boys and girls being different doesn't have to be seen as a bad thing.

BubblegumPie Wed 20-Feb-13 00:55:41

Rip and Cloud the way society treats boys and girls and the expectations placed on them are different, how do you know that those differences are innate and not just socialised?

abbierhodes Wed 20-Feb-13 00:56:51

I haven't read the book. I am a mum to both sexes, and an experienced teacher in a mixed school. Girls are different to boys. No book will convince me otherwise, I prefer to judge on actual human experience.

It may be nurture rather than nature, but they are still very different.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 20-Feb-13 00:58:20

Because it happens so often in so many similar ways in children from vastly different parents and from such a young age.

squeakytoy Wed 20-Feb-13 00:58:43

I would have thought a teacher with far more expertise in observing a lot of children would be able to make an informed opinion with the need to read any book..

Males and females ARE different, without social conditioning or any other intervening factor.

ICBINEG Wed 20-Feb-13 00:58:43

cloud it is a bad thing indeed if they are only different because people have driven them to be different...if they were different naturally that would be fine...but different due to societal pressure to conform to the ideals of gentleman like and ladylike behaviour sucks ass.

Teachers should realise that it is their job to negate the shit that pours in from the outside world telling kids what they should be like. It is damaging and they should play an active role in encouraging kids to find out how they really are not what society tells them they should be.

ripsishere Wed 20-Feb-13 00:58:50

My post was based solely on my experiences. I've met children from six different countries.
I would say that similar differences are present in all cases despite societal expectations.

Angelfootprints Wed 20-Feb-13 00:59:07

I think a teacher who has worked with many , many boys and girls over the years will be perfectly knowledgable and qualified over the differences and similarities between the genders.

SolidGoldBrass Wed 20-Feb-13 00:59:09

Actually she didn't go 'Oh shut up you nutter' or anything, she said it sounded interesting. And I didn't want to rant too much, so I spared her my other usual comment that I offer people who have one DS and one DD and therefore insist that boys and girls just are different - which is that people who have more than one child of either gender often find that their children are different...

ICBINEG Wed 20-Feb-13 01:00:14

squeaky prove it!

Show me a society in which children of both genders are treated exactly the same and in which they still display broadly different characteristics?

Oh there are none are there? So you know that the differences in primary school children are due to nature not nurture how?

squeakytoy Wed 20-Feb-13 01:00:24

And I would expect a teacher to teach my child according to the curriculum, and nothing more.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Wed 20-Feb-13 01:00:25

That's certainly the case for me, SGB. My younger daughter is rambunctious and stubborn and physically foolhardy and loud. Basically, all the things which, should she have been a boy, would have made me think "gosh, boys really are different, aren't they?".

abbierhodes Wed 20-Feb-13 01:02:12

I have more than one child of each gender. The boys are more different to the girls.

Angelfootprints Wed 20-Feb-13 01:02:21

So you only have one ds and this somehow gives you a much better insight to anyone else? confused

ICBINEG Wed 20-Feb-13 01:02:43

rip you have been to six different countries and there were massive differences in the societal pressures? Did this include the long lost land of the matriarchy? Or somewhere where the majority of hard labour is done by women? Or it is the men that are expected to dress up prettily to attract the women?

Where on the actual globe are these different countries?

bellabelly Wed 20-Feb-13 01:03:01

One of the things that has really shocked me about having two daughters (after having 2 sons) is how "girly" the girls are, despite us oh-so-carefully parenting them the same way we 'parented' their older brothers. To us, it definitely seems that gender differences are innate. The girls (twins) have had a lot of hand-me-down toys and indeed clothes from their big brothers (also twins). I really don't think we've treated them any differently. And yet, the girls are so different from their big brothers. It's quite hard for my feminist self to handle, actually!

SolidGoldBrass Wed 20-Feb-13 01:03:22

Rip: there is absolutely not one single culture in existence that doesn't expect different things from male and female children and, to an extent, punish and pressurize the substantial minority of children who don't fit gender stereotypes.

CloudsAndTrees Wed 20-Feb-13 01:03:37

A teacher that can see the differences is not telling children what they should be like.

It is perfectly possible to respond to a child as a person rather than as a gender, while at the same time still being able to recognise that there is a strong tendency towards stereotypes.

I actually think teachers work better when they do that, instead of trying to treat everyone the same.

ICBINEG Wed 20-Feb-13 01:05:33

How daft do you have to be to think:

I have a boy and a girl and they are different.

Therefore the difference must be due to gender!

Nope. That's not how it works. Less than 5% of your genetic code has anything at all to do with gender. That leaves the other 95% perfectly capable of making differences in personality traits...

SolidGoldBrass Wed 20-Feb-13 01:06:43

Some people are quieter, some are more physically active, some are vainer, some are more aggressive, etc etc etc. But kids don't grow up in a vaccuum, and when they are surrounded by messages telling them that this is what boys are and this is what girls are, they either conform (often if they have the personality traits considered more appropriate to their sex) or they rebel (if they have the personality traits considered more appropriate to the opposite sex) - and sometimes they suffer for doing so.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 20-Feb-13 01:07:02

DD is a boy, according to all the cliches. Physical, likes cars and trucks, hates sitting still. Why do we shove children into little boxes? Let them be.

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