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Girls referred to as "chicks", "birds" and "old biddies" in Y6 production

(38 Posts)
ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Fri 12-Jun-15 20:18:08

I was shock. I don't think it is ok for 11 year old boys to be taught to talk this way about girls or for 11 year old girls to be expected to accept it.

The plot of the play - written by the headmaster who I feel should know better - was St Trinians type girls school meets Eton type boys school and chaos ensues. It was set in the 1950s.

AIBU to think this is unacceptable or does the context of the play justify the use of pejorative language?

LikeIcan Fri 12-Jun-15 20:24:22

That's how people spoke in the 1950's


TwinkieTwinkle Fri 12-Jun-15 20:25:35


ilovesooty Fri 12-Jun-15 20:27:42

In that case would it be OK to use words like spaz, mong, paki and wog? After all, that's how people spoke then... hmm

ghostyslovesheep Fri 12-Jun-15 20:29:05

exactly Sooty x yanbu op

PHANTOMnamechanger Fri 12-Jun-15 20:30:19

I don't think it is ok for 11 year old boys to be taught to talk this way about girls or for 11 year old girls to be expected to accept it

but it was a play not real life, and Y6 do know the difference!

I'd bet they have talked all about changing attitudes and that what was acceptable then is not now socially acceptable.

Although i do get your point, I mean, not even in a play would you want to hear them using racist words like the N word or P word, which were also commonplace then.

ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Fri 12-Jun-15 20:30:54

It made me cringe everytime I heard them talk that way but I have been thinking ever since about whether the 'historical' context provided justification. The programme said 1950s but I probably would not have picked it up from the play itself.

ragged Fri 12-Jun-15 20:30:56

I normally find birds mildly offensive but in that context, I wouldn't.
Birds is so true to the day, hopefully it was a bit of a comedy about quaint old ways?

southeastastra Fri 12-Jun-15 20:31:59

sound like an odd idea for a story, and the headmaster wrote it?

can't get worked up about the words though

LikeIcan Fri 12-Jun-15 20:34:53

In a theatrical production set in the past - ( key word 'past' ) you have to use the language of the time - you're being ridiculous to suggest a play set in the 1950's has to use the language of 2015.

ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Fri 12-Jun-15 20:44:57

I'd bet they have talked all about changing attitudes and that what was acceptable then is not now socially acceptable.

If that happened I would be more comfortable with it. My DC is Y1 so I have no idea what is to be expected in Y6.

WyfOfBathe Sat 13-Jun-15 13:06:27

YABU. I expect that it fits in with the y6 history lessons.

Once children get to secondary age, they will be reading books in class like To Kill A Mocking Bird, which contain words like the n-word -- and they will be taught about how times have changed, the context in which the book was set, and why discrimination is not acceptable.

JohnFarleysRuskin Sat 13-Jun-15 13:08:45

Totally unnecessary in a new play for kids.

Were the words about boys/men derogatory as well?

ProudAS Sat 13-Jun-15 14:59:52

If words like spaz, mong, paki and wog were acceptable in the 50s then it is not inappropriate to include them in a play set in the fifties. We cannot judge what happened 60 years ago by modern standards. The children need to understand how attitudes have changed however and such a play could be an exercise in just that. Have the school taught their Y6 boys that certain words for girls are not acceptable in 2015?

Icimoi Sat 13-Jun-15 15:02:43

There are some distinctly iffy (by modern standards) social attitudes and language used in Shakespeare. Should we prevent children from performing his plays?

HuftysTrain Sat 13-Jun-15 15:03:19

I would hate that. Why is it necessary or educational to act out the sexism of the 1950s? Some things are better for us having progressed.

It's just a play, it's not real - that's a lazy response.

ilovesooty Sat 13-Jun-15 15:12:04

It's not Shakespeare or TKAMB where the concepts, language etc were of their time and which are studied in depth by older pupils. This is a modern play for younger pupils written by the head teacher and not a text for study.

TTWK Sat 13-Jun-15 15:25:49

In that case would it be OK to use words like spaz, mong, paki and wog? After all, that's how people spoke then.

If yr 6 were putting on a play about race relations or disability set in the 60s and 70s, all those words would be perfectly acceptable. It's all about context.

One would hope that during the course of rehearsing and discussing the play, the attitudes of former days and how things have moved on were discussed. They're 11, about to go up to secondary, not toddlers.

kickassangel Sat 13-Jun-15 15:35:05

It seems a bizarre and dwelt sexist play to put together for that age group. I mean, the whole thing sounds like a plot line that would usually include sexual innuendo and bedroom farce type scenarios. Also deeply stereotypical of class distinctions. I mean, if you want to do something historical about that period could you not do any lay about fair wages. A kind of child friendly made in Dagenham?

Hard to tell without having seen it but St Trinions is like Benny Hill, and Carry On, best left in th roast.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 13-Jun-15 15:46:41

It's not like it's some classic play or something it's been written by the headmaster.

Sounds really odd to me and I'd be pretty hmm as well.

What's the plot / is it any good?

ImNotChangingMyUsernameAgain Sat 13-Jun-15 16:23:28

Rough plot was Flirty and Basher are girl and boyfriend who met as babies. Now they are both 11 and off to school. Boys school is in the country and the boys are all well behaved. London girls school moves to the country because the London site has been sold to property developers and the head mistress is in Holloway for fiddling the books. The girls are a rough bunch who brew gin in their dorms. Flirty and Basher are reunited and she denies knowing him to look cool to her friends. There is a dance for both school and the girls challenge the boys at sport and beat them up. The old headmistress gets broken out of Holloway and everyone lives happily ever after.

Not a huge amount of historical references but the costumes were 1950-ish.

I am genuinely in 2 minds over it.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:27:08

Flirty and Basher? Seriously? Or are they names so it can't be identified?

From your description it doesn't sound like the girls and women have many redeeming qualities confused

JohnFarleysRuskin Sat 13-Jun-15 16:32:59

Gawd! sounds appalling.

Fatmomma99 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:34:00

This play sounds TERRIBLE!

Does the headmaster always write them himself???

Fatmomma99 Sat 13-Jun-15 16:34:58

and, btw, whilst I would think and hope that the themes were discussed by the Yr 6, and that in the main they'd be able to get their heads round it, aren't these type of plays usually shown to the whole school?

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