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to think that criticism of the school run is a form of sexism?

(204 Posts)
Handay Thu 14-Mar-19 22:17:25

There seems to have long been a popular narrative that people taking their children to school by car are clogging up the roads with unnecessary journeys and delaying working commuters.

Most of these journeys are done by women.

It is a legal requirement for children to go to school, just as most people are contractually obliged to go to work. For many women, their obligation will fall across both aspects in that they will drop their children at school and then continue to work.

Why then are one set of people using a car in order to travel to somewhere they are obliged to be, criticised? There are, especially in cities, probably lots of car journeys that are "unnecessary" in the sense that the people making them could travel by alternative means. Why are women and children's journeys categorised as somehow less important than those of other road users and why are they repeatedly told that they should not be on the roads?

Just one recent example of this here on Jeremy Vine this week:

lastqueenofscotland Thu 14-Mar-19 22:19:59

We have a massive massive massive issue with the school run at the two schools near me.

Cunty parents parking over driveways
Fucking selfish idiots driving down a pavement that’s wide enough (just) for a car with children walking down it.
Stopping dead in the middle of a busy 40 mile an hour dual carriageway that goes onto an major a road a road.

PurpleDaisies Thu 14-Mar-19 22:21:55

There seems to have long been a popular narrative that people taking their children to school by car are clogging up the roads with unnecessary journeys and delaying working commuters.

I haven’t heard that narrative. From an environmental perspective, driving when you could walk is bad. Also better for children’s health to walk. Obviously if the person doing the school run is going on to work, that’s tricky.

I don’t think this is a sexist thing.

PurpleDaisies Thu 14-Mar-19 22:23:13

Had forgotten about that aspect of it. Agree totally lastqueen.

Bayleyf Thu 14-Mar-19 22:23:12

Journeys to work tend to be longer than journeys to school.

Obviously there are exceptions, but that means that far more of the school journeys will be walkable or bikeable.

areyoureallysaying Thu 14-Mar-19 22:23:57

We have a school at the top of our road, most of the parents dropping off are twats ! FACT !
The majority of them live within the village yet still choose to drive and then they park like absolute idiots and spend ages with car doors open on to the road unloading babies, kids, scooters and buggies.
Some people dont live in the village and have no choice BUT the local pub literally one minute walk away from school has offered its car park but it appears that is way too far for them to walk.
They are all twats
Rant over !

EmperorBallpitine Thu 14-Mar-19 22:28:00

Most of the parents I know are driving on to jobs, appointments etc. Quite a few people walk, but the majority of parents live out of the village. People are quick to complain but taking multiple children to school, getting in on time, finding a reasonable parking space can all be tricky! There are definitely some idiots too

Handay Thu 14-Mar-19 22:32:38

I'm not talking about twattish parking. I'm talking just general criticism of people driving their children to school. School is somewhere that children need to go to therefore going there is not an unnecessary journey per se. There are so many journeys that people make in their cars that could theoretically be undertaken by other means. Even supermarket shopping doesn't require a car - delivery, using a shopping trolley etc. So why single out a category of journey that primarily involves women and children getting to where they need to be?

Bouchie Thu 14-Mar-19 22:36:15

because if they can walk they should. Have you noticed how unfit so many children are. My DH does most of the school runs on his way to work (they walk he then cycles on)

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 14-Mar-19 22:38:56

I agree OP, in fact I had the same conversation with my mother the other day when she was ranting about people driving their children to school. Who in their right mind wouldn't prefer a nice stroll in the morning? People aren't driving three streets for a laugh - it's a combination of not being able to get children into catchments, work, dropping smaller siblings off at nursery to work, etc etc.

That's not to say some of the school-runners round here don't park like absolute arses, but that's two separate issues.

blackteasplease Thu 14-Mar-19 22:39:40

I agree OP. There is a sneery way of talking about "the school run " as thought it's some idiotic thing women habe decided to indulge in.

Btw I walk the school run myself and then on to work by public transport (in London) so no vested interest!

TheDarkPassenger Thu 14-Mar-19 22:41:48

I often have meetings in other cities or across our large town, I need my car at work. And therefore I need to drop my children in the car. On days when we can we do walk, as I hate parking around school!

Scienceforthewin Thu 14-Mar-19 22:44:06

I agree. Every school holidays someone comments how much better the traffic is - why should people (and mainly women!) with kids stop driving to ease the traffic when people who "only" drive to work and back are just as much the problem?

MeteorGarden92 Thu 14-Mar-19 22:44:13

🤔 it’s a legal requirement to not park across hashed markings, on double yellow lines, or blocking access. Yet somehow mothers (and yes it is 99% of the time women) seem to think this doesn’t apply to them! Usually the reason they think they’re ‘above’ this is that they are indeed on their way to work and usually running late.

I see regular threads from C***y school run mums on here. Personal favourite was a few months back when the woman thought it was ‘ridiculous’ that the school had put a barrier across the teachers car park as she ‘needed’ to use it in order to get to work on time after dropping off. 🙄

As a woman; women like that both encourage and deserve sexism!!!

SunnyCoco Thu 14-Mar-19 22:44:51

I currently live in an area with such high pollution that parents have been told that their children will be exposed to less pollution if they are in the car, than if they walk.

Although this would , of course, perpetuate the situation.

As to your broader point, OP , I completely agree. It's not like people are doing it for fun.

Oct18mummy Thu 14-Mar-19 22:46:40

Hopefully most parents apply for schools within a short radius of where they live therefore why do they need to drive they should walk!

Jam82 Thu 14-Mar-19 22:49:47

I think most people who can walk their kids to school do, as the school run in the car can be a bit of a nightmare! I would rather walk, but am mostly going on to work. Even on the days that I’m not going on to work I have my wriggly 3 year old with me, who currently thinks it’s fun to try and run away, which is dangerous with so many cars around 😩
One thing I’ve noticed at our school is that when it’s a wet day the school run is actually much easier and the traffic flows more easily. This is because the children go straight in, meaning the parents drop them off and go. On other days the parents have to wait around until the children go in at 8:55, meaning all available parking spaces get used up quickly. I think something more along the lines of the US drive up and drop off system would prevent a lot of the school run issues.

Handay Thu 14-Mar-19 22:54:13

Yes I think the requirement that many schools have to hang around until the bell goes exacerbates parking issues which are already less than optimal due to most schools being built without any thought for the need to park near/outside them. There are plenty of people though who seem to think that women and children should just walk everywhere while the big important men have the roads to themselves to get to their big important jobs.

Yubaba Thu 14-Mar-19 22:56:31

I do a mix of walking to/from school and driving depending on my work pattern. We live 3 streets from school but on a work day I don’t have time to drop the car home and then walk to do the pick up. I finish work at 3:15 and have to do the pick up at 3:30. It’s very tight but I don’t work far from school so I usually make it.
Luckily our school has an agreement with the sports club next door to use their car park so parking isn’t bad outside school.

RandomlyChosenName Thu 14-Mar-19 22:59:03

I couldn’t agree with you more op! Also, are you me, because I nearly started this thread a couple of days ago!

It seems to be “there is too much pollution” “who’s fault is it?” “Mum’s doing the school run”.

The school run is seen as an unnecessary, lazy journey. The expectation is that Mums and their children walk to the school (and then Mums walk home). It seems to be based on a 1950s idea that mothers are housewives and all they are doing is some housework whilst the children are at school and therefore have plenty of time to walk to the village school.

It is so sexist as it doesn’t take into account that Mums have jobs which they need to go to after dropping their children at school and don’t have time to walk.

And I never hear anything about real unnecessary journeys- people going out for leisure activities, restaurants, people visiting friends.

Why don’t we blame men driving to play football at the club down the road for pollution? Or people driving to the wood to walk their dog? Why blame the NECESSARY school run??

chlorinata Thu 14-Mar-19 23:00:00

I don't think it's a form of sexism, but I do think people vastly over-estimate the amount of extra traffic it causes. Yes, there is a significant drop in traffic in the school holidays, but that includes absence of all the cars driven by parents who don''t drive their kids to schools but do take annual leave in the holidays.

BackforGood Thu 14-Mar-19 23:00:04

Of course it's not sexist.
It is a criticism of the number of parents who could walk, that choose to drive. That doesn't mean that everyone who drives could walk, but there are a lot of people who do. It is those people that are criticised
They could be men or women.

mangolover Thu 14-Mar-19 23:00:24

There seems to have long been a popular narrative that people taking their children to school by car are clogging up the roads with unnecessary journeys and delaying working commuters.

Most of these journeys are done by women.

Actually at our school it's just as many men.

BlackeyedGruesome Thu 14-Mar-19 23:01:02

Yanbu op. Parking tests equally male and female at our school.

BabiesComeWithHats Thu 14-Mar-19 23:03:09

I agree OP.

We live within easy walking/scooting distance of school, and I like the fact that I can get the DC to school without needing a car. But if I'm travelling to the train station after, or need to be back to be logged on at 830am, then I need to use a car.

Lots of people say things like ' well just leave earlier' but it's not the getting TO school that's the problem, it's the walking BACK from school that then eats into my working day.

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