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A rant about the school concert

(9 Posts)
AGapInTheMarket Thu 07-Dec-17 01:26:23

My daughter is in her first year at school so it was my first experience of a primary school concert since I was a performer myself!
I was surprised and cross to see that several of the classes had costumes which were gender specific! One that I particularly remember had the boys dressed as tigers (tiger masks, orange clothes with black tape stripes) and the girls as 'jungle girls' in grass skirts, leis and white vest tops.
I managed to find a teacher that I know socially and apologetically mentioned my concerns and she promised to feed it back to the relevant people. I was torn between doing what I feel is right and not wanting to rock the boat (to my daughter's possible detriment) right at the beginning of her school life.
What would you have done??

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 07-Dec-17 01:39:15

Having anyone in jungle costumes is grim. That would bother me more than it being girls.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 07-Dec-17 01:57:31

Cultural appropriation and sexism. Nice combo that school!

SweetGrapes Thu 07-Dec-17 06:38:43

And of course, there are no female tigers in the wild.... miracle of science, tigers!!

MentholBreeze Thu 07-Dec-17 09:02:49

What a weird one - although having said that, my kid's last performance specified different clothes for boys/girls too - albeit just skirt/trousers rather than completely different animals (and it wasn't enforced, there were girls in trousers because that's what they wanted to wear - so it was pointless to specify them separately really).

In the UK though, all the primaries I know use those paid for musical play things now (no traditional nativity) where all the parts are carefully balanced, the music is all fantastic etc. (really, I was truly impressed and actually enjoyed my first nativity as an adult - I was expecting to have to grin and bear it, but it was properly good!). DS1's school split by year group (so all the year 3s were stars, all the year 1s were sheep, reception provided the kings/innkeeper/joseph/mary/shepherds etc) - which is much fairer - I was an angel pretty much all my childhood because girls were angels (Gabriel... we glossed over that!) and boys were shepherds.

tendergreenbean Thu 07-Dec-17 19:27:16

I cannot even begin to comprehend why this would be a problem, unless your daughter wanted to be a tiger, asked, and was explicitly forbidden on basis of gender, I sincerely doubt this is the case.

It must be awful to go through life unable to enjoy something as innocuous as a nativity without wanting to right some fabricated injustice.

QuarksandLeptons Thu 07-Dec-17 19:53:06

OP Good for you. It’s people like you feeding back that boys and girls should have equal opportunities, that over time will remove the barriers to girls succeeding in life.

Even a small thing like questioning which characters a girl / boy can be in school play creates a small change in the minds of the teachers.

It will in future prompt them to examine biases they may not originally have noticed.

Over time, these small changes will lead to a more equal playing field between the sexes.

tendergreenbean I’m sure OP had a lovely time at the play. You can enjoy something but still notice if there are sexist stereotypes or limitations placed on one sex. They are not mutually exclusive.

Nuffaluff Thu 07-Dec-17 20:13:42

In our nativity this year we had none of that. The angels and shepherds were a mix of boys and girls. We had a female king. Baby Jesus' sex was not revealed due to being covered in swaddling clothes.
We did have a girl Mary and a boy Joseph though. Actually, come to think of it Joseph needn't have been played by a boy seeing as he's not the father.

MrsTerryPratchett Thu 07-Dec-17 20:21:14

@tendergreenbean do you believe that the only issue with sexism is explicit, outspoken rules? No issue with socialization, girls being discouraged from active roles, stereotypes, none of that?

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