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Quite suprised by comments aimed at dd

(25 Posts)
herladyship Wed 08-Jun-11 22:18:48

At the weekend, we went to a NT property that had an event on where volunteers dress up as various roles from the household. There was a lady (age about 60) who was acting as the ladies maid.

She asked dd (aged 10) if she can embroider, dd replied no. The lady went on (at length) about how all girls should learn to sew at school. dd can be very sensitive to perceived criticism so I tactfully stated that dd had not shown much interest in sewing but enjoyed playing piano, horseriding and drawing.

Lady ignored this and stated she liked to see girls in pretty dresses (dd was in shorts & a t-shirt with butterflies on) and that 'the way some children dress they could be a girl or a boy'.

I casually said that it was a good job dd was in shorts as she had found several large trees to climb in the grounds and we moved on.

dd did not mention the comments, so I don't think she was upset by them. Just suprised me that enforced embroidery lessons & the wearing of dresses seem like a good idea to some people!

fluffles Wed 08-Jun-11 22:20:49

erm.. i assume this was an actor... acting... giving an insight into the attitudes and opinions of the time period she was representing...

Ingles2 Wed 08-Jun-11 22:21:29

but she was in character surely!!!!???

Ingles2 Wed 08-Jun-11 22:22:14

x posts whilst I got my coffee... exactly fluffles

Adair Wed 08-Jun-11 22:22:43

Good opportunity to talk to your dd about history of feminism and the funny attitudes people had in the past I would have thought.

Thistledew Wed 08-Jun-11 22:25:43

The NT reenactors stay in character appropriate to their roles!

herladyship Wed 08-Jun-11 22:25:44

No, not an actor in character. She was doing regular 'character' slots. This was a discussion of her personal views.

EvilTwins Wed 08-Jun-11 22:26:50

Was it my MIL? Sounds exactly like her.

TheCrackFox Wed 08-Jun-11 22:27:26

If she was in character then OKish I suppose and you could use it as a spring board for discussions with your DD.

However, if she wasn't in character then all a bit, well, odd.

Adair Wed 08-Jun-11 22:27:36

Well, some people have strange views! She is 10, she must have come across people who think differently from her before...

herladyship Wed 08-Jun-11 22:28:35

The 'in character' stuff from others was exactly as you suggest..

For example a lady explaining to dd that ladies had to cover their ankles & wrists but could flaunt their clevage grin

And the governess telling her that her husband may have been chosen by her parents already.

SomersetBelle Wed 08-Jun-11 22:32:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

herladyship Wed 08-Jun-11 22:33:30

Obviously dd has come across people with different opinions to her before, and as I said she didn't seem bothered & didn't mention the comments.

I just resented the suggestions that to be a 'proper little girl' you had to wear dresses & sew!

herladyship Wed 08-Jun-11 22:36:13

Really somersetbelle? We are not too far from belton house & love it there, have been thinking about volunteering (but now scared too because I can't sew either!) grin

herladyship Wed 08-Jun-11 22:36:56

Or even *to

HerBeX Wed 08-Jun-11 22:39:40

Oh what d'you expect of the NT.


SomersetBelle Wed 08-Jun-11 22:47:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeiTetua Thu 09-Jun-11 00:35:50

I went to a recreated 17th-century community once, and I eavesdropped as one of the enactors talked to a little girl. She had a Bible there, and asked the girl if she could read any of it. When the girl said she could, the woman smiled and said, "Well, that's very clever. There's not many here that can read, especially not women."

I thought that was a pretty good lesson.

ElephantsAndMiasmas Thu 09-Jun-11 10:54:18

Hmm is there any way you can pretend/imply/joke that she is a bit of a historical relic and/or was in character? Second that it's a good chance to teach your DD about the patriarchy the history of women.

InmaculadaConcepcion Thu 09-Jun-11 11:02:31

The sewing comment could certainly be passed off as her being "in character".

But the "girls dressing like boys..." business? Hmm....

But yes, not unexpected from a retiree volunteer in the NT. I've met quite a few and they're usually very nice, but not what you'd describe as progressive in their world view....

Bramshott Thu 09-Jun-11 11:18:22

I actually kind of agree with her "sewing should still be taught in schools" comment, but clearly it should be to both boys and girls (as it was when I was at school in the early 80s).

SomersetBelle Thu 09-Jun-11 13:36:52

Yes agree Bramshott, it's an important life skill for everyone. Basic sewing anyway.

HerBeX Thu 09-Jun-11 14:05:32

Actually basic sewing is still taught in schools isn't it?

Both my DC's (DS and DD) bought home bits of fabric they'd sewed...

Bramshott Thu 09-Jun-11 14:14:04

DD1 is just finishing Yr 3 and hasn't encountered any sewing yet . . .

Hullygully Thu 09-Jun-11 14:16:13

I think it's fantastic. You should have encouraged her. I would have agreed really emphatically and said that I felt schools were failing gels these days, they needed to learn the womanly arts and said that it had all gone wrong ever since they banned female circumcision.

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