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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?

persimmon Thu 21-Feb-13 13:00:09

I'm a teacher and there are marked, general differences between boys and girls.
But there are also a significant minority of startling exceptions to this every year.
Reading Raising Boys by Steve Biddulph has helped me (I hope) become a better teacher of boys.

persimmon Thu 21-Feb-13 13:01:22 also a significant minority..

larrygrylls Thu 21-Feb-13 13:27:55

I would try and steer my sons away from "girlie" toys but mainly because they are crap, rather than because they are made for girls. I think that if I had girls, I would also steer them away from a doll dressed in bright pink serving a 1970s style tea party. On the other hand, if I have offered them the choice and they choose a girls' toy, then they are welcom to it. When it comes to things like drinking cups, stacking toys or whatever, though, they get whatever is in front on the shelf, regardless of whether it is the the "boys'" or "girls'" version, the only difference being the colour.

All children are individuals but we all start from an idea of what a "typical" child is and then adapt if they are different. I can't see what is wrong with assuming one will have a typical boy, for instance, and then adapting if he is different from that. In the same way, I teach my sons that they will get married to a girl and have a family one day. Of course, as they get older, they will learn that there are exceptions to that rule and, if they show me they are one of them, I will adapt accordingly.

I must say that I have never seen a teacher trying to dissuade a girl or boy from playing with a toy because it is designed for the other sex. Of course, were that to happen, it would be wrong. On the other hand, observing, when out of the school setting, that boys are behaving like "typical boys" is not wrong at all.

mummytime Thu 21-Feb-13 13:37:21

Angel my children had that. DS head to toe in blue "what a pretty girl". Then DD1 head to toe in pink (and head band) "what a lovely boy".

Recently I fumed as I went to school for yet another discussion of my DDs behaviour, and it was intimated that if she was a boy some of it would be far more "understandable". She has also been called manipulative, which actually if you get to know her, is something she isn't really capable of but is maybe a value judgement as she is a girl.

Of course back in the 70s my boy cousins all had a doll, and pushed it in a pushchair, when my DS did the same in 2000 he was stared at as if it was odd.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 21-Feb-13 17:57:46

I read some of Raising Boys, and it made me ragey.
Everything in it applies to children. Letting them run around outside. Not using humiliation when punishing. Techniques to help them concentrate.
I couldn't see anything in it that didn't apply to kids in general.

IfNotNowThenWhen Thu 21-Feb-13 18:04:31

And yy to what mummytime mentioned about how her dd's behaviour would be more acceptable if she were a boy.
From the other side of it, quite often boys are allowed to get away with behaviour that they wouldn't if they were girls. Apparently they have trouble concentrating and sitting quietly.
Well ds can sit for hours drawing and reading comics. So can all his friends. It's a self fulfilling hypothesis, when teachers and parents use these maxims to teach/raise children.
It means that less is expected of boys in certain areas, and that girls are seen as prissy manipulative little madams, when if they were boys it would be written off as "high spirits"
We shouldn't spend our time hunting for differences. I mean, why bother?
All nt children at 6/7 should be able, and expected to, to sit still and listen at school. They should all spend time outdoors getting free play.
I'm sure we were all expected to be able to do those things as children.

CheerfulYank Thu 21-Feb-13 18:24:10

Yay to the genderizing of everything. Just another way to make a buck.

Used to be all children had red tricycles, yellow raincoats...but that's no good for companies as you can hand those things from brother to sister. Not enough consumption! Have to make pink flowered or blue dinosaurs on everything so that you have to buy them for each child.

And it's so arbitrary! Grasshoppers are for boys but ladybugs and butterflies for girls. Puppies for boys, kittens for girls.

CheerfulYank Thu 21-Feb-13 18:25:46

I meant yy, not yay!

exoticfruits Thu 21-Feb-13 19:17:24

Does anyone not think it rather strange that when I was young (and I am much older than the majority on here) girls and boys were separated e.g. girls did needlework, boys did woodwork and yet there wasn't all the pink merchandise? I don't recall ever having a pink dress, we dressed up in old adult clothes, wellies were black, my school shoes were black lace ups. I learnt to ride on a 'boy's' bike because that is what my grandfather happened to get hold of. (Incidentally why do we have bikes with and without crossbars these days when most women cycle in trousers?) No one would have suggested that girls needed different lego from boys.

exoticfruits Thu 21-Feb-13 19:18:16

Not very clear- I meant dressing up games were just adult old clothes that you were given.

slightlysoupstained Fri 22-Feb-13 07:34:53

exotic I think it's because marketers have realised that they can sell more by creating a "need", as CheerfulYank suggests if at least 50% of parents have to buy new for DC2 then more profits.

Tapping into stereotypes and supercharging them will get a stronger response than a more normal, realistic image.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 07:56:53

They can't supply a 'need' unless people buy into it. Obviously they do.
If businesses see a money asking opportunity they take it. I don't know the answer.
Girls are the preferred sex on MN - never once have I seen a thread saying 'I am so disappointed, I wanted a boy and I got a girl' and yet you get lots who are disappointed with a boy. Lots of us with all boys can say how affectionate they are, how artistic, how well they concentrate, how loving they are as adults etc and I don't think that we do anything to convince them. I can only imagine that is because they want the whole 'girly' thing and imagine lovely little smocked dresses, long hair to style, ballet shoes instead of football boots, a little friend etc and above all they see an adult DD that they will see regularly and go out with, and if not they will be on the phone daily, and once the DD has a child themselves they will bond as one! I can't see any other reason. I have been told, by a woman of course, that it is sad that I am missing out, and will never know,the mother/DD relationship. Ironically she has a pretty rocky relationship with her own DD! There seem to be huge expectations on a DD.

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 09:17:27

Sorry iPad writes by itself! Money making not money asking!

exoticfruits Fri 22-Feb-13 12:04:15

The news today says that the Lego range for girls has powered a 25% surge in global sales. They are struggling to keep up with demand, despite the fact they have doubled production. It points out that it has attracted criticism from feminists - but, quite honestly, if you were on the board of the company you would be mad to stop producing it!

monsterchild Tue 26-Feb-13 14:07:14

Exotic, i have also notice the desire here for dds rather than dss. I have a ds and I couldn't be happier! Will he be a tied to momma's apron stings sort of boy and drive his DW (if he's not gay) mad with his calling me and being close to his parents? I can only hope!

Also, the Legos for girls, while too pink for reality, do get girls building and playing and that's a good thing. My Dsd buildt one of the houses, and when we rebuilt it after it was destroyed by a gigantic monster cat, she suddenly realized she could make anything she wanted out of the blocks and the fun has just started. It's great to see her interested in creating and designing a home!

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