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My daughter's assembly - am I overreacting?

(121 Posts)
flybynight Fri 26-Apr-13 11:20:02

My y5 daughter is studying "significant people" this term. On the first day, she came home effusing about all the significant people they had looked at. She reeled off a list of about 25 men and, with prompting, remembered 2 women. Tanni Grey Thompson and Marie Curie. Very good.

I wrote a friendly note to her teacher pointing out that the male female ratio there could be misconstrued and that, regardless of history's bias in favour of men, children could easily think that men were more "significant" than women. There was no response to the note which is fine. I do know he read it though as my daughter saw him.

Anyway, today was assembly. All about significant people. 18 men mentioned. Two women. I'm really dismayed. And angry. Women's history is intrinsic and equal to my mind. Not a ghetto or a side street.

What should I do? I'm thinking speak to the head. I don't want to make a big fuss (typical woman!) but my gut instinct is that this is not right. What would you do? What would Germaine do?

newgirl Fri 26-Apr-13 11:23:13

Yes talk to the head

Perhaps suggest another assembly with 18 women 2 men

WTFisABooyhooISBooyhoo Fri 26-Apr-13 11:26:44

i would speak to the head aswell. you've already adressed it with the teacher and been ignored.

this is unacceptable IMO. as newgirl says, suggest the opposite and see the response!

PromQueenWithin Fri 26-Apr-13 11:29:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MaggieMaggieMaggieMcGill Fri 26-Apr-13 11:32:51

Starting with the fact that Mary the first, was the first ever women to rule Britian. This is an oft overlooked feature of her reign!

slug Fri 26-Apr-13 11:46:41

Empress Matilda preceeded Mary by a few hundred years

PromQueenWithin Fri 26-Apr-13 11:50:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

notcitrus Fri 26-Apr-13 11:53:35

What about suggesting an assembly about who gets remembered by history (wealthy men, ruling men, men with support of money, legal status and wives to pursue their inventing or art, and the odd activist), and just because history doesn't record others doesn't mean they weren't important.

Suggesting names is good too but insisting on equality risks looking like scraping the barrel, which is why I think an assembly on why most names from history are male and usually also rich, white and non-disabled, would be more help.

flybynight Fri 26-Apr-13 11:56:07

I shall speak to the head then. Once I'm feeling a bit less adrenal about it. I'm one of these conflict averse people that gets very red in the face and a bit spitty when riled.


Nancy Astor
Elizabeth Fry
Catherine the Great
Coco Chanel
Rosa Parkes
Nina Simone
Martina Navratilova
Florence Nightingale
Margaret Thatcher
Indira Ghandi
Benazir Bhutto
The Brontes
Mary Seacole
Mary Cassatt
Grace Darling
Gertrude Jekyll

Suggestions please.

notcitrus Fri 26-Apr-13 11:56:58

Matilda only ruled England, not Britain. And mostly while Stephen had control of parts of England. Still an impressive ruler, though.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 26-Apr-13 12:09:24

Williams sisters are a good current example. They have forced tennis authorities to consider the women's game as on a par with the men's.

Emmeline Pankhurst
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 26-Apr-13 12:10:33

What men did they mention? Curious to know what the school considers to be 'significant'? Famous, influential, notorious, thought-provoking?

cornydash Fri 26-Apr-13 12:11:52

Malala Yousafzai

Fuzzysnout Fri 26-Apr-13 12:14:39

Rosalind Franklin who played a key role in determing the structure of DNA with Crick & Watson but died early without recognition.

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 26-Apr-13 12:18:30

Marie Curie

battyralphie Fri 26-Apr-13 12:20:04

Lise Meitner, who was overlooked for a nobel prize
Amelia Earhart
Wangari Muta Maathai

FrequentFlyerRandomDent Fri 26-Apr-13 12:20:15

My DD's heroes: female astronauts.

Miggsie Fri 26-Apr-13 12:21:04

Professor Uta Frith - pioneer of autism research
Rosalind Franklin - her discovery led to the discovery of DNA - Crick and Watson could not have done it without her research
Mary Shelley - there would be no Percy Shelley without her - she pushed his work after his death - he was ignored in his lifetime
Clara Schumann - in her lifetime she was more famous than her composer husband
Mary Woolstonecraft
Florence Nightingale
Elizabeth the First
Marie Stopes
Mary Anning - doscovered first dinosaur fossil in England - could not join the Royal Academy becuase she was a woman but contributed hugely to Englsh knowledge and shamefully overlooked!!!!

Waspie Fri 26-Apr-13 12:21:05

A vote to include Caroline Herschel a very influential astronomer

Booboobedoo Fri 26-Apr-13 12:22:51

Ayaan Hirsi Ali

amistillsexy Fri 26-Apr-13 12:22:52

Amy Johnson always makes me feel proud!

While we're on the subject, can I bang my own particular drum and ask how many of the 'significant people' were disabled? I dread to think...


cornydash Fri 26-Apr-13 12:24:43

Temple Grandin

TolliverGroat Fri 26-Apr-13 12:26:08

Don't forget scientists - for example Ada Lovelace, Lise Meitner, Emmy Noether, Rosalind Franklin, Henrietta Leavitt, the perennial favourite Marie Curie. Or Wangari Maathai, Rachel Carson, Dian Fossey or Jane Goodall.

Artists: Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo

Pharaoh Hatshepsut

Irina Sendler

Ruby Bridges. Harriet Tubman (OK, those may be a bit US-specific, although I'd argue not)

TolliverGroat Fri 26-Apr-13 12:26:37

But yes, yes, give us the list of men...

Chandon Fri 26-Apr-13 12:27:06

Angela Merkel (like her or loathe her)
Queen Elizabeth I
Germaine Greer
Susie Orbach
Pippa Middleton (kidding!)

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