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To be annoyed my boys were told to 'scream like a girl' in an emergency?

(186 Posts)
Kitsandkids Sat 23-May-15 23:39:22

My 2 boys went on a visit to a fire station this week with their Beaver group. Twice since then I have heard them talking about 'screaming like a girl' and then giggling about it.

This morning my 7 year old said that if there's a fire you have to scream like a girl. I asked him who had told him that, thinking it might have come from one of the other children, but he was adamant that a fireman told the group this. That if there's an emergency they should scream like a girl to attract someone's attention.

This has annoyed me a fair bit but I don't know if I'm over thinking it. To me it seems to be degrading to girls. Apart from anything else, my 2 scream a lot themselves - I'm always telling them not to scream if they see a bee, or get to the top of a climbing frame and can't work out how to get down. So it annoyed me a bit that they have been giggling over having to scream 'like a girl' when they probably scream more than lots of girls!

AIBU or would it annoy you to have your kids told this? I do understand that the fireman had to keep the attention of lots of excited kids but I think he could have worded it better.

Theycallmemellowjello Sat 23-May-15 23:42:49

YANBU this is bad for boys and girls really - by characterising girls as weak and by characterising calling for help as girly (and hence weak).

VelvetRose Sat 23-May-15 23:43:57

I agree with you. It's a sexist, stupid phrase.

diddlediddledumpling Sat 23-May-15 23:44:56

this is the best response to being told to do anything 'like a girl'.

MrsKCastle Sat 23-May-15 23:47:29

Yanbu. That would really annoy me.

CheerfulYank Sat 23-May-15 23:48:38

Ugh, stupid! YANBU.

Fatmomma99 Sun 24-May-15 00:26:54

I'm not disagreeing with all of the above, but if your kids were trapped in a house on fire, what would you want them to do?

Fire services deal with the worst of emergencies.

If the worst happened, do you want them to be prepared for politically correct, or do you want their lives saved?

End of.

SaucyJack Sun 24-May-15 00:34:37

No one screams like an (my) eight year old girl, so YABU.

Charis1 Sun 24-May-15 00:37:14

I don't think there is anything wrong with it. women and girls have a higher pitched scream, which is easier to hear. You presumably want your children heard if they are screaming. i think " scream like a girl" conveys the optimum loudness and pitch

PurpleDaisies Sun 24-May-15 00:43:24

Scream your head off or scream like a banshee would have done the job just as well.

YANBU. It was subtle sexism (he was screaming like a girl pretty much always has negative connotations) and the fireman shouldn't have used it.

Charis1 Sun 24-May-15 00:46:54

no beaver scout is going to have the faintest idea what the scream of a banshee is supposed to sound like!

WonderingWillow Sun 24-May-15 00:49:06

YANBU, are you going to pull the leader up on this? You wouldn't hesitate if they'd been told to 'scream like a Jew' or 'scream like a black man'. Sexism is just as repulsive. And rather unfortunate it took place in an all boys' group.

PurpleDaisies Sun 24-May-15 00:50:04

They would know scream your head off though.

WestEast Sun 24-May-15 00:50:45

It's sexist.
Scream like a black person would have been roundly criticised. And rightly so.

What the fuck is wrong with 'scream as loud as you can' ??

dominogocatgo Sun 24-May-15 00:51:29

Sounds like the fireman believes that girls are better at screaming than boys.

PurpleDaisies Sun 24-May-15 00:52:25

Do you honestly think they would take scream like a girl to mean try and pitch your screams higher than usual so you're more likely to be heard Charis? I think you're being overly generous to the fireman there. Scream like a girl is almost always an insult.

Salmotrutta Sun 24-May-15 00:53:22

I think this is such an important thing OP.

You must complain immediately.

Shocking behaviour from that Fire Fighter.

Oh yes.

Don't delay, send an e-mail right now.

Clearly when faced with a fire it is very important that no gender stereotyping takes place hmm

HappyMeerkat Sun 24-May-15 00:55:19

On the other hand I saw a post talking about a DH and he should "man up" and "grow some balls" didn't get much of a negative reaction. But yes I think both cases are a bit annoying not the biggest deal in the world but it has a certain connoations about it

HappyMeerkat Sun 24-May-15 00:56:51

And when I say not the biggest deal it old be way way down my list of issues probably near the bottom

PurpleDaisies Sun 24-May-15 00:57:08

But we are talking about what should be a calm teaching situation, not the students dealing with an actual fire. Absolutely no need for the gender stereotyping there. You wouldn't expect it in a school or scout meeting. If this fireman works with kids a lot he just needs telling to watch his wording.

itsatrap Sun 24-May-15 00:59:42

Yanbu, imo it is sexist, but I also don't like 'fireman', should be 'firefighter'. To me it's gender stereotyping jobs roles.

PurpleDaisies Sun 24-May-15 01:02:22

The op has said that this particular firefighter was a fireman. That's why I've used it here.

nooka Sun 24-May-15 01:16:51

Given this was a Beaver trip so the children were all pre-puberty it's a particularly stupid thing to say because at that age boys and girls voices sound pretty much the same. I very much doubt that an average firefighter could tell the difference between a seven year old boy scream and a seven year old girl scream.

Just a bit of irritating and completely unnecessary everyday sexism.

BertrandRussell Sun 24-May-15 01:57:23

Extraordinary that anyone thinks this is OK. But there are always women who are happy to excuse sexism. Sadly.

missingmumxox Sun 24-May-15 02:10:47

I also came here to say fire fighter and see a few of you beat me to it, if you want to get annoyed about sexism you need to realise that it starts with using terms like fire man, to the point in all the years I worked in a fire service I never heard a fire fighter call themselves anything but.

But yes scream like a girl is sexist, except when I use it, as me and all my friends are absolutely rubbish at drawing attention to ourselves, so I use it to highlight the need for us to get attention and stop shrinking into the background.

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