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"it could be distracting having girls around."

(17 Posts)
Onelittlepiglet Thu 19-Nov-15 11:31:22

I just saw there is a very similar thread on here about boys only clubs at school so apologies for a similar topic!

My Dd's school (she is in reception) has a boys only club at school and it was highlighted in a recent newsletter. The is a mixed version of the same club too. They said about it:

"...But the boys agree that girls sometimes try to compete with them and it could be distracting having girls around."

I don't know if I'm overacting to be livid about the wording of this or not. What does it teach children? That boys have a right to not have girls compete with them and that girls by their very existence are distracting to them?!

purpledasies Thu 19-Nov-15 11:37:22

What's the focus of the club? I know my DD's primary school struggled to get boys to sing in the choir because it was so girl-dominated that the boys tended to feel it wasn't for them and dropped out. So it could be aimed at encouraging the boys to do an activity that tends to be dominated by girls. At reception age - as your DD is - girls and boys often play together and may not care much whether their friends are boys or girls, but this does change a lot by age 8-9 when they are much more likely to avoid activities where their gender is heavily outnumbered.

So a bit similar to having girl-only computer coding clubs, or whatever that aim to give girls a chance to do activity that they might otherwise avoid because it tends to be dominated by boys.

If it isn't a girl-dominated activity I can't see why you would want a separate boys club.

momb Thu 19-Nov-15 11:38:47

No, just that the boys have asked for a boys only space. Is there provision for a girls only space at the school?

Is it a competitive sport where it is felt that the boys might be disadvantaged by the girls playing hard against them ('competing') but they can't play hard back?

VestalVirgin Thu 19-Nov-15 12:24:31

Same advice as in the other thread: Use it as leverage to get a girl's only space, if there is not one already.

If the girls have no interest in a maths or computer club, then just a bookclub or some things where they can be socialize with girls would be good, too.

Personally, I think if you have problems to get boys to sing because they think it's "girly", then you have to combat their misogynist attitudes, first and foremost.
Girls usually don't have that kind of attitude about computers or stuff - I, at least, gave up because I was worse than others at it, not because I feared I might be infected with boy cooties.

purpledasies Thu 19-Nov-15 12:36:07

I don't believe that the reason few girls go to coding clubs because they're just naturally crap at coding hmm

Nor that boys are necessarily misogynists if they drop out an activity because it's dominated by girls.

MorrisZapp Thu 19-Nov-15 12:38:46

At our school there's girls football, and ordinary football open to all. The ordinary football is mainly boys.

There's no need for a boys only football as they pretty much have that anyway.

Could be a similar set up?

spondulix Thu 19-Nov-15 13:05:09

I wouldn't be happy with that wording either. My DD is in reception, at that age they should be learning the basics of how to get along, not dividing the sexes because one is "distracting" the other.

VestalVirgin Thu 19-Nov-15 13:37:42

@purple: Not what I meant. I just think there is a difference between girls feeling outnumbered and boys thinking something is too "girly" for them.
I suspect part of the reason why I felt I was bad at computer things is that more effort was put into teaching boys this stuff, so that when I got interested in learning it, I was already too far behind.

@MorrisZapp: You mean you think there's a "club for everyone" that's dominated by girls?
I think that's rather unlikely, unless there are much more girls than boys in that school for some reason.

Onelittlepiglet Thu 19-Nov-15 13:46:09

Sorry had to dash out thank you replies.

It is a music group but not a choir ( so kids play individual instruments and not grouped into boys/girls so not sure how the girls compete exactly).

My daughter isn't part of it because they aren't allowed to join clubs in reception but next year she will. I had an email from a fellow parent at the school who has an older child and she said that there seem to be a few things that have a mixed club and also a boys only option. The only girls only option is netball in the juniors. Football is boys only.

It just feels odd to me that if girls 'compete' then boys have to be given their own group away from the girls. I'd also like to know how the girls are 'distracting' the boys? Perhaps the boys should learn to concentrate rather than blame the girls if they are unable to! I can't imagine a separate group being created if girls complained they were being distracted by boys.

tribpot Thu 19-Nov-15 13:50:11

Compete in a music club? WTF does that mean? So they really have a boys only music club? If it was dancing I could possibly understand it, even potentially choir as our school's choir is mostly girls. But not music.

How are the girls distracting? I thought 5 year olds were by their very definition equal measures distracted and distracting. No gender divide at all.

VestalVirgin Thu 19-Nov-15 13:55:09

I can't imagine a separate group being created if girls complained they were being distracted by boys.

Me neither.

That sort of thing sounds suspiciously like the sentiments behind asking girls to wear veils so males are not distracted by lusting after them.

Though I suppose it is possible they just want to shelter boys from the experience that, oh horror, a girl could be better than a boy at something.

Either way, I would demand that if there's a boy's only option, there also be a girls only option.

tribpot Thu 19-Nov-15 14:18:58

Yes, to be clear, my views on a boys-only dancing club wasn't because of the distracting nature of the girls, merely that boys might be more confident about participating if they weren't going to be hugely out-numbered. My ds has done singing and theatre for many years and been one of only a small number of boys but it's never bothered him.

MrNoseybonk Thu 19-Nov-15 14:42:46

Distracting seems to be the contentious word. There are loads of situations where "one gender only" groups are created (usually women/girls only) with the argument being that the girls/women will be intimidated by the competitive nature of the boys.
Even as adults - mixed gender chess and ladies chess. Not men's and ladies. Mixed gender darts and ladies darts.
So I can imagine a girls only group being created if girls were put off or intimidated by the boys, maybe not distracted.

purpledasies Thu 19-Nov-15 15:07:12

Agree if it is to encourage boys at an activity that tends to be girl-dominated it's oddly worded. 5/6 year old boys are distracted by pretty much anything - other boys would probably top the list for most. And music isn't usually competative.

And would agree that whilst dancing or singing can be very girl-heavy in primary school, I'd be surprised that an orchestra-type group would be. Maybe they happen to have had some very dominant girls who have been putting the boys in their place when they make mistakes and putting them off attending - but would have thought you coudl deal with that sort of behaviour without making it all about gender.

OneMoreCasualty Thu 19-Nov-15 17:13:42

I don't see the point of that description and wouldn't if the sexes were reversed. What's wrong with "we would like more boys/girls to take up X so we are starting a boys/girls only club for X"

What will happen to the mixed club? Will all the boys in it go to the boys' one?

spondulix Fri 20-Nov-15 01:37:43

" Compete in a music club? WTF does that mean?"

Exactly - I felt sure this was going to be about something sporty. Are the girls playing their recorders too enthusiastically for the boys' liking? Did the boys actually say the girls were being too competitive with their tambourines? It seems really unlikely. It's all round bizarre.

GreenTomatoJam Fri 20-Nov-15 07:38:32

Is this school in the 80s? Football just for boys and Netball just for girls? I think that sexism sounds pretty damn ingrained and we're probably giving them the benefit of doubt a bit too easily.

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