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Feminism: chat

Cross for DD

13 replies

Glenthebattleostrich · 24/06/2021 20:33

My 11 year old daughter is still in primary school. Today I had a call from her teacher to tell me that as she tripped over a rope barrier a boy used the rope to try to pull her skirt up and look up it.

School have been fantastic, the boy has been dealt with appropriately and no complaints there. Bit I am so angry.

DD feels bad that the boy is in trouble because of her. I have explained he's in trouble because of his actions and for no other reason. But even with a feminist mum she's still picked up the message that it's somehow her fault.

I was talking to a friend who said i should make DD wear trousers to school so it doesn't happen again. Erm, excuse me, why should my daughter not be comfortable? She finds trousers to hot in summer so wears a knee length skirt ffs. Blame the boy not her clothes.

I am so angry and sad that she is still a baby and is already having to deal with harrassment from boys and victim blaming bullshit. No real point yo this, I just needed to vent somewhere hopefully I'll be understood.

OP posts:

StillWeRise · 24/06/2021 20:41

But try and see the positive- your DDs school dealt with it appropriately- only the other day I read of a teacher telling a girl 'boys call you names because they like you really'
also, your DD has seen her mum angry and active on her behalf- she is learning a good lesson from you. Also you have taught her that her comfort is more important than others' opinions.
Good job OP.


Biscuitandacuppa · 24/06/2021 20:41

My dd is 10 and hopeless at remembering that wearing a dress means she often flashes her knickers unintentionally. To combat this during the summer months when she wears a dress to school she also wears short cycling shorts underneath.

I sincerely hope that the boy in question is dealt with appropriately and you are right there is no way a child of her age should have to deal with this stuff but sadly the reality of school life these days seems to be exposure to this sort of shit at a worryingly young age. It is absolutely not her fault at all and his behaviour was completely wrong.
But we have as parents a responsibility to prepare our daughters and somehow have conversations that are awkward and feel far too soon so that when (and I say when because this won’t be the only incident) it happens again she is better prepared and takes no personal responsibility for someone’s else’s poor and inappropriate behaviour.


SmokedDuck · 24/06/2021 21:06

I think it's a good thing your dd is empathetic, and that part shouldn't be discouraged. It's good to feel for others, among other things it protects us from becoming vindictive. And this is a little boy, in the end, and people that age can make dumb mistakes because they are impulsive, because they don't anticipate consequences, because they aren't yet cognitively capable of understanding why something is wrong (as opposed to just knowing it's inappropriate.)

But it's a good opportunity to talk about the fact that it's important that people have appropriate consequences for actions, and why, and how we decide what is appropriate and what would be unfair. And that it is not only ok, but common, to both feel sorry for someone and understand why they did something, and to want to see appropriate action taken. One doesn't preclude the other, (and really they are connected though that might be a lesson for later.)


Glenthebattleostrich · 24/06/2021 22:15

Thanks. We have discussed at length that the boys actions have led to his punishment. The teachers who dealt with it are fantastic. One is very pro empowering the girls (he spent quite a lot of his own money on books about inspirational women because he felt the resources were lacking for example) and is absolutely brilliant at dealing with issues. He and my daughter's class teacher (also assistant head) both praised my daughter for her cool response and for immediately reporting it. They have been very clear that what he did was wrong. I do know DDs teacher well through pta work and she is an amazing feminist (helped block mermaids training 😁) who is inspirational to the girls and an all round fab woman.

I just really didn't think I'd have to deal with this sort of thing just yet and needed to have a vent so I didn't go slap the childs dad whose response was well boys will be boys lol. Apparently it was made very clear that this was being reported as a safeguarding incident and that no thats not an acceptable response.

Ive now had a large glass of red and calmed down a lot.

OP posts:

Forgotthebins · 24/06/2021 22:56

What it makes me think, is that resilient doesn’t mean bad things never happen, but that you can cope when they do. Sounds like your DD coped brilliantly with the initial incident, and was well supported by the school and you. It’s not surprising she now wonders if she got him into trouble, because girls are indoctrinated to think things are somehow their fault. Luckily she has a brilliant mum to tell her she did exactly the right thing. Maybe the boy learned a lesson about boundaries, maybe not, but that boundary was drawn and can be defended again. Your daughter should not waste an ounce of her empathy on him. And you should enjoy your Wine


DdraigGoch · 24/06/2021 23:34

Excellent to see that the school have their heads screwed on in all matters. You just need to help your daughter understand that she is in no way responsible for the boy's actions. How to achieve that (years of "be kind" indoctrination from society), I've no idea.


Beamur · 25/06/2021 09:14

Furthermore this incident will help consolidate for your DD that she was right to complain and not just put up with it. The boy in question might now think twice before doing it again. Your DD has helped make the world a tiny bit safer for other girls too. Well done her.


OhHolyJesus · 25/06/2021 09:15

The school sounds amazing OP, what a brilliant example of how to handle it.

I guess it's a shock that this is where it begins but it sounds as though it's been dealt with really well.

The boys will be boys response would make me seethe. It's never an excuse. Ever.


ErrolTheDragon · 25/06/2021 09:39

My dd is 10 and hopeless at remembering that wearing a dress means she often flashes her knickers unintentionally. To combat this during the summer months when she wears a dress to school she also wears short cycling shorts underneath.

A ten year old isn't 'flashing her knickers'. They're clothing, which should adequately cover her.

Girls don't need a second layer - they are not sexual objects, their normal underwear is not shameful. How does it functionally differ from swimwear except that most of the time it happens to be covered?


FemaleAndLearning · 25/06/2021 09:49

Safe Schools Alliance have some interesting stuff on sexism in schools. Factsheet number 13.
I think it was handled well and should be handled like this to give that early message to boys it is wrong. The message boys will be boys is very harmful to girls.
What concerns me more is how your daughter is feeling and it sounds like you have covered that, but we are not responsible for other people's behaviour. His actions his consequences. This is hard for adults to comprehend let alone kids, but is really important for girls to grasp.


VikingVolva · 25/06/2021 18:29

Everyday sexism is definitely an issue in schools, and as the pupils get older it morphs into the sort of dreadful behaviour we read about on Everyine's Invited.

It is really good that you are happy with how the school dealt with it, and I suggest you tell your DD that the boy made a mistake, and the school is making sure he learns from his mistake (and perhaps that other pupils do too)

'Boys will be boys' shouid never be used to excuse even slightly creepy behaviour. Once past the toddler stage of being fascinated with bums, pulling skirts up (directly, it in this case with props) is just not on. But little boys make mistakes - not because they are boys, but because they are young and still learning. And they need to learn not to be creeps.

And no, your DD should not swop to trousers (or shorts) unless she wanted to anyhow. Women and girls have every right to go about their day to day business without fear that someone will hoick at their clothing to expose them


MouseyTheVampireSlayer · 26/06/2021 19:19

It sounds like you, your daughter and the school did some brilliant teamwork on sending the right messages OP.
It sounds like your school handled it brilliantly. If you get time it might be worth writing to Ofsted or your local authority to let them know how well it was handled. This will then be used in the school's favour and may even be used as an example of how to approach similar issues in other schools.


newnortherner111 · 27/06/2021 09:00

School were excellent, very disappointed in your friend's response. Certainly worth thanking the school at the very least, if not Ofsted as was suggested above.

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