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Feminism: chat

School council removing makes and female representative....

51 replies

frogswimming · 01/10/2021 14:42

Our primary pupil school council has a male and female chair currently. The head is proposing removing this provision so that two pupils of the same 'gender' could be voted in. I feel uncomfortable about this. I think it's sending the wrong message about women's voices being heard. A place should be reserved for a girl. Can I have some help drafting a note to send to the head to outline this. I don't want to get into equality legislation, just keep it light and chatty.

OP posts:

Thelnebriati · 01/10/2021 15:00

If you contact Safe Schools Alliance they'll be able to help you with the wording.
Its a really bizarre sounding proposal. I hope you can do something to stop it.


Gncq · 01/10/2021 15:06

Yes the whole original concept is to enable equal representation of the two sexes, so girls can be included.

If they seriously want a representative for all the hundreds of different genders out there they'll need hundreds of representatives too.


Lougle · 01/10/2021 15:09

But what if the best two for the job are both girls (or both boys)? Why should their sex be the first consideration in appointing them?


sashagabadon · 01/10/2021 15:11

I’d object as both sexes need a representative. You can’t be what you can’t see applies to both boys and girls. Who benefits from this change exactly?


frogswimming · 01/10/2021 15:18

How's this?

......about the changes proposed to the school council.  They said that there will no longer be a male and female chair, but now there could be two of the same sex.  I think the provision of one chair of each sex is in place to ensure that both sexes are represented.  I am concerned that a female position should be retained.  The girls in the school need to know that their voices should be heard.  Although it's a school council, I think the same principles apply as behind the creation of female only shortlists for political parties.  Girls often don't put themselves forward when in competition with boys.  If the provision for a girl as joint head of the council is removed, it is likely that the predominant representatives in future will be boys. So rather than improving equality, if the roles are 'gender neutral' the opposite effect may occur.  Participation from girls is likely to be higher if they feel that there is a particular role they can fill.  I think it's important to send the message to the girls, and the boys, that equality is not here yet and women's participation in politics continues to be vital to improving this.  You only have to look at today's headlines with regard to institutional sexism in the Metropolitan Police to know that it is still important for women to be heard.

OP posts:

sashagabadon · 01/10/2021 15:21

Very good!


NumberTheory · 01/10/2021 15:34

I would ask them if they are confident that the children’s experience of school is so unusual that the male and female experience is virtually the same. Ask if they buck the trend by having girls equally confident to speak up in the classroom instead of the more regular situation which sees boys monopolizing classroom time and directing classroom focus and subject matter in their favour (do they, for instance, study books in English with and equal number of lead female protagonists? Do they use fashion examples in maths as much as they use sports ones?). Ask what serious study they’ve done into how boys and girls at the school react to leadership opportunities and to student leaders of each sex. Ask if looking at the playground would lead them to think girls and boys constantly intermingle and are likely to feel equally represented by two chairs of the opposite sex.

I would enquire with a curious tone (not simply a battery of questions like above) saying you have some concerns, and pepper in examples you know of where boys as a whole at the school act or are catered to differently from the girls. (At my kids primary, for instance, sport was a much bigger thing for the boys, with a boys soccer team that received a lot of teacher focus and and a girls netball tea, that did not; the playground above infants was pretty much sex segregated with the boys taking up most of it with ball games and the girls sat around the edges. A fantastic rock concert each year was about 75% performer participation by boys and 75% helper participation by girls. Generally speaking events that had lots of female participation were not given the same kudos or status by the children or the school.)


NumberTheory · 01/10/2021 15:35

I clearly took too long to write that! I like your response.


dootball · 01/10/2021 15:36

Likely they are trying to make two girls chairs as it's usually tough to get boys to do it.


LadyDanburysHat · 01/10/2021 15:37

Interestingly they did this with the head prefects at our high school and it was the boys who were negatively affected. 6 positions and only 1 boy, instead of the usual 3.


Anontwentyone · 01/10/2021 15:58


But what if the best two for the job are both girls (or both boys)? Why should their sex be the first consideration in appointing them?

It's a school not Amazon HQ.
The only requirements tend to be being interested in it, and being good at school so you then represent your sex at school.

mondayschild21 · 01/10/2021 17:25

Good luck OP, hope you succeed.


CBUK2K2 · 02/10/2021 03:21

80% of primary school teachers are female and about the same number are left leaning liberal types. It would be much more likely to see two girls than two boys IMHO.


CBUK2K2 · 02/10/2021 03:25

@NumberTheory Do you really want the school (statistically staffed by 80% women) to spend their time counting the sex of characters in books?

I can only assume you’ve not seen a school book for a while as the white male is something of an endangers species in them these days.


timeisnotaline · 02/10/2021 03:33

@CBUK2K2 I assume she means books for reading as white male is not an endangered species in those, far from it.


CBUK2K2 · 02/10/2021 03:42

@timeisnotaline The books my son has brought hone over the years have certainly been pretty “diverse”. As he’s got older they seem to have read quite a few David Williams books.

Schools aren’t quite on par with universities yet with all this identity politics crap but they’re catching up fast.


NumberTheory · 02/10/2021 04:29

[quote CBUK2K2]@NumberTheory Do you really want the school (statistically staffed by 80% women) to spend their time counting the sex of characters in books?

I can only assume you’ve not seen a school book for a while as the white male is something of an endangers species in them these days.[/quote]
Hmmm. No lack of white men in GCSE Eng lit books:


CBUK2K2 · 02/10/2021 05:12

@NumberTheory the thread was about primary school?


NumberTheory · 02/10/2021 06:28

[quote CBUK2K2]@NumberTheory the thread was about primary school?[/quote]
Still mainly male protagonists:

(And plenty of them are white, humans males too, though that narrowing of the list isn’t relevant to this issue.)

I have indeed seen plenty of school books, having two kids in school right now. While they bring home a wide range of books to read and frequently choose ones with female protagonists, the books they are assigned as part of reading groups are almost all male protagonists.


holidaynearlyover · 02/10/2021 06:41

In my children's schools school council is very much swayed to girls as the boys don't want to do it. Same in the school I teach. Am wondering if they are doing it as they can't get a boy representative


ChloeDecker · 02/10/2021 06:51

Do they use fashion examples in maths as much as they use sports ones?).

I’m sorry but this just makes me shudder to read that fashion is the default alternative for girls. Just no.


Squashpocket · 02/10/2021 07:09

I wouldn't assume you'd suddenly see an over representation of boys. Girls are more mature at each age and tend to dominate everything.
I am a feminist through and through, but ime primary schools are dreadfully sexist to boys.


CBUK2K2 · 02/10/2021 08:04


  1. What you’ve suggested is a random list of books. Teachers don’t have to use these, my son has certainly never come home with any of them.

  2. 80% of primary school teachers are female, could we allow there to be some males in books?

CBUK2K2 · 02/10/2021 08:05

@Squashpocket Education at almost every level is massively stacked against boys if data is anything to go by.


sashagabadon · 02/10/2021 08:30

It’s not just about the girls. Boys need a preventative too. I think you’d more likely end up with 2 girls not 2 boys. By asking for one of each sex boys get an opportunity too.
Both sexes need representation, it’s about fairness to both.

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