Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘Sexism’

The Plight to Ban Books Marketed for a Specific Gender

March 17, 2014

 

Malorie Blackman

As if book publishers and sellers don’t have enough to worry about. There used to be plenty of bookshops in my area, now there is one (which has changed management 3 times in 3 years!).

I do not like gender stereotyping and I detest sexism, but let our children read the books they want to read. If boys centered books attract a new market of male readers – isn’t that a good thing? If girl centered books features ideas and insights that are almost exclusively meaningful to girls, is that really objectionable?

Why can’t we allow our children the right to decide for themselves whether they want to read a book pitched at their gender without having others ban them from making such a choice? Why can’t we support our writers, publishers and sellers, who are already facing challenges within the ailing industry:

A national campaign to stop children’s books being labelled as “for boys” or “for girls” has won the support of Britain’s largest specialist bookseller Waterstones, as well as children’s laureate Malorie Blackman, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Philip Pullman and a handful of publishers.

The Let Books Be Books campaign seeks to put pressure on retailers and publishers not to market children’s books that promote “limiting gender stereotypes”.

A petition calling on children’s publishers to “stop labelling books, in the title or on the packaging, as for girls or for boys” because “telling children which stories and activities are ‘for them’ based on their gender closes down whole worlds of interest,” has passed 3,000 signatures.

 

Click on the link to read This is What I Think of the No Hugging Rule at Schools

Click on the link to read Political Correctness at School

Click on the link to read What Are We Doing to Our Kids?

Click on the link to read Stop Banning Our Kids From Being Kids

Click on the link to read Banning Home-Made Lunches is a Dreadful Policy

Advertisements

What if she were a Man?

December 10, 2013

 

eppie

 

Barred from teaching for just two years for sexual activity with a 17 year old student? Are you serious? Surely, she should never be allowed to teach again. Lucky for her she isn’t a male teacher:

A teacher who was found half-naked in a layby with one of her teenage pupils has been struck off for two years.

Eppie Sprung Dawson, 27, was found ‘unfit to teach’ by a disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh yesterday.

She was not present at the hearing, but in a statement read to the General Teaching Council for Scotland panel, she agreed to being struck off and admitted having sex with Matthew Robinson last December, when he was 17 years old.

She said: ‘On the 9th of February I was convicted at Dumfries Sheriff Court.

‘I engaged in sexual intercourse with him; Contrary to Section 42 of the Sexual Offences (Scotland) Act 2009.

‘I was sentenced on 18 September 2013 and sentenced to a Community Payback Order and made subject to the sex offenders register.

‘I readily and willingly consent to being removed and understand that I will be prohibited from teaching for a period of two years.’

 

Click on the link to read Teacher Allegedly Published the Grades of her Students by Writing on their Foreheads

Click on the link to read You Can’t Foster Tolerance With Racist Teachers

Click on the link to read The Teacher that Defended Hitler and Child Abuse and Advocated Porn

Click on the link to read The Worst Thing a Teacher Can Ever Say to a Student

Click on the link to read A Teacher Who Beds their Teenage Student Should be Jailed

Click on the link to read My Teacher, the Pedophile

Sexism and Schools

October 15, 2013

lolly

For all the persecution, bullying and inappropriate workplace demeanor handed out to women for no other reason than their gender. For all the glass ceilings and boys clubs, it figures that there would be one sanctuary, one workplace, where women were treated with more respect than men. It just so happens that the place where the sexism tables are turned is in my very line of work.

A crossing guard is forced to walk away from his profession for no other reason than he high-fived children. Of course the council saw that as inappropriate but didn’t want to say what they really felt, and instead used the “safety concern” excuse. We all know that the council was less worried about safety and more worried about a grown man high-fiving children.

Which leads me to the following question: What if it had been a woman crossing guard who high-fived kids? Still a safety concern? I think not.

I feel sorry for the crossing guard and completely understand why he walked away from his job. To stop high-fiving would be giving tacit approval to the subtext of his allegations.  And whilst I don’t think male teachers or crossing guards should be high-fiving students, I sympathise with the clear double standards that are in play. The same double standards that sees female teachers often hug students and have them on their lap. The same double standards that gives female teachers lesser sentences for the same heinous crimes as their male counterparts.

But at the end of the day, whether you’re a crossing guard or a teacher, what’s more important than equality is the rights of children. I may be in the only field of work where men get treated worse than women, but that’s OK with me, because those kids deserve the very best of care regardless of who is put out or discriminated against.

Click on the link to read I Would be Happy to Have CCTV Cameras in My Classroom

Click on the link to read Should Classrooms Be Fitted With Surveillance Cameras?

Click on the link to read Schools Putting Spy Cameras in Toilets and Change Rooms

Click on the link to read Two-Year Olds Forced to Have Fingerprints and Mug Shots Taken

Click on the link to read Male Teachers Beware!

Click on the link to read Are Male Teachers Subject to Sexual Discrimination?

Click on the link to read The absence of male teachers in public schools

Women Teachers Lack Confidence in Teaching PE: Lord Coe

July 28, 2013

 

coe

 

Was Lord Coe being sexist or merely relating the findings of research? You be the judge:

Lord Coe was plunged into a sexism row last night after saying that most women teachers lack the confidence to take PE lessons in primary schools.

The former London 2012 chairman blamed their failings on training colleges that offer only six to ten hours of sports tuition over two years.

Although he was simply highlighting research carried out by a sports charity, his comments drew an angry backlash.

‘It is entirely unacceptable to be peddling such sexist nonsense,’ said Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers.

‘I’m sure Jessica Ennis and all those other female Olympians would be outraged by such views. To imply that female primary school teachers don’t have as much ability as men to teach sport isn’t right.’

But Lord Coe, the Government’s Olympic legacy ambassador, insisted it was not a question of ability, but one of training.

‘I was shocked by how little they get,’ he said.

‘Eight out of ten teachers in primary schools are women. And this is not remotely pejorative but I think that something like 80 per cent of them said they just did not feel confident taking physical education.

‘I am guessing that there will be a lot of men who will feel the same way.’

Lord Coe has long emphasised the ‘crucial’ need to provide better PE teaching in primary schools.

Click on the link to read my post, Do experienced teachers give enough back to the profession?
Click on the link to read, ‘Teachers Trained Very Well to Teach Very Poorly
Click on the link to read my post 25 Characteristics of a Successful Teacher

 

Father Posts Daughter’s Controversial Worksheet

November 11, 2012

 

I don’t have a particular issue with this worksheet. I honestly believe that differences exist between genders and understanding these differences can help you as a teacher or parent. My problem is with the teacher’s corrections. This young girl was entitled to respond the way they she did. It was an open-ended task that clearly had no right or wrong answer. By insisting that she fill out the table in a certain way, the teacher is in fact undermining the very nature of the task.

The girl’s father was far less generous about the objective of this activity than I was:

A little girl’s school assignment has generated impassioned debate online after her father, blogger Steve Bowler, sparked outrage by posting the third-grader’s worksheet, which dealt with gender stereotypes.

Dad, who designs and blogs about video games (@gameism on Twitter), pointed out his daughter’s unsuccessful attempt to separate items into three categories: boys, girls and both. On Saturday, he posted her completed worksheet and tweeted: “Proud my 8yo girl failed this worksheet. Wish she had failed it even ‘worse.’ #GenderBias”

Based on the image alone, Bowler tweeted that it looked like his daughter’s class was asked to sort activities and products like “Barbies” and “Erector sets” into gender columns. She crowded all the answers into a column labeled “Both,” and the teacher wrote at the bottom, “We talked about how each square needs to be filled in.”

“My wife brought [the worksheet] to my attention Friday night when we were looking through her schoolwork folder,” Bowler told HuffPost via email, adding that his daughter hadn’t complained about the assignment herself.

Click on the link to read Hilarious Parenting Checklist

Click on the link to read 7 Rules for Raising Kids: Economist

Click on the link to read Dad’s Letter to 13-Year Old Son after Discovering he had been Downloading from Porn Sites

Click on the link to read Mother Shaves Numbers Into Quadruplets Heads So People Can Tell Them Apart

Click on the link to read A Joke at the Expense of Your Own Child

This Can Only Ever Happen in a Co-Ed School

October 20, 2012

The beauty of teaching in a co-ed school is that if done properly a mutual respect develops between the genders. It is the perfect forum for dispelling myths and forming respectful relationships between the sexes.

Take this above video for example. A young girl in Norway is teased by a cocky male classmate. He refuses to bend over to avoid her soccer kick. Instead, he remains standing, defiantly sending the message that since she is a girl she is incapable of kicking the ball with any real force.

As the video shows this tactic was not very wise.

I am not posting this video to belittle the boy. Instead I want to comment on the lessons he and his classmates may well have taken from the incident. This was a brilliant showcase for demonstrating the boundless capabilities of the opposite gender and how nobody deserves to be taken lightly in any sphere or circumstance.

Teaching in a co-education environment, we see examples of this every day. It does more to enhance the relationships between genders than any bogus speech delivered in parliament can ever achieve.

 

Click on the link to read Why do Boys Score Better than Girls at Maths?

Click on the link to read Should We Include Feminism in the Curriculum?

Click on the link to read Arguments For and Against Single-Sex Education

Click on the link to read The Perfect Example of Courage and Self-Respect

Children’s Books Deemed Sexist

May 6, 2011

It turn out the classic children’s books I have grown up reading have “enforced gender equality.”  Books I appreciated as a child have been among those labeled sexist for featuring a male hero instead of a female one, according to a recent study:

A large-scale study of children’s books published between 1900 and 2000 revealed that they were almost twice as likely to feature a male central character than a female one.

The gender bias was even worse when it came to books with animal characters – often favoured by publishers as ‘gender neutral’ with male animal heroes featuring in three times more books than female animal heroines.

And female characters were even overlooked when it came to star billing – kids’ books were twice as likely to include a male character’s name in their title as a female name.

Researchers from Florida State University, USA, also discovered that while books printed during the 1990s came close to equal representation of male and female human characters, animal characters were twice as likely to be male as female.

In a conclusion that will baffle fans of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, researchers said their findings indicated a ‘symbolic annihilation of women’.

They warned that the role of kids’ fiction as a ‘dominant blueprint of shared cultural values, meanings and expectations’ could send a message that ‘women and girls occupy a less important role in society than men or boys.’

Evidence of this inequality was noted in how readers ‘interpret even gender neutral characters as male’ and in the way mums ‘frequently label gender-neutral animal characters as male when reading with their children.’

And in books where the characters are animals – such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, Fantastic Mr Fox and Winnie-the-Pooh – leading and positive female roles are scarcer.

The likes of Jemima Puddle-Duck and Mrs Tiggy-Winkle had key roles in just 7.5 per cent of children’s books. Male rabbits, bears, owls, dogs, foxes and toads were more prevalent – they were the lead characters in 23 per cent of books.

The study, results of which are published in Gender and Society journal, looked at almost 6,000 children’s books published between 1900 and 2000.

Books were chosen from three different sources, including those which had won the prestigious Caldecott Medal, awarded annually to American kids’ fiction.

Study author Professor Janice McCabe, professor of sociology at Florida State University said: “We looked at a full century of books.

“One thing that surprised us is that females’ representations did not consistently improve from 1900 to 2000; in the mid part of the century it was actually more unequal. Books became more male dominated.”

And on the problem of animal characters, Prof McCabe added: “Together with research on reader interpretations, our findings regarding imbalanced representations among animal characters suggests that these characters could be particularly powerful, and potentially overlooked, conduits for gendered messages.

“The persistent pattern of disparity among animal characters may even reveal a subtle kind of symbolic annihilation of women disguised through animal imagery.”

The study found that the imbalance has worsened since the turn of the 20th century, when the split was even.

In the early 1900s there was a move away from books about fairytales based on heroines such as Cinderella. But there were numerous strong female characters. Nancy was the captain of the Amazon in Swallows and Amazons, and What Katy Did was a major series. Male characters such as Harry Potter and Alex Rider now dominate.

I have no issue with the general findings, and I fon;t think too many would be suprised that there is a disparity between central male and female characters in children’s story.  What I do have a problem is with two statements:
As a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz in all forms, I find it absolutely mind-boggling that the researchers have called it a ‘symbolic annihilation of women’.  Talk about over analysis!  I find this label deeply offensive.

And then there’s this bold statement“The persistent pattern of disparity among animal characters may even reveal a subtle kind of symbolic annihilation of women disguised through animal imagery.”

Annihilation?  Is that the best word they could come up with for books that didn’t pass the gender test, but surely passed the good intentions test?  Is it not possible that while these classic books are a sign of the times when it comes to gender disparity, they are also largely brilliantly written and conceived stories that were written to entertain and engross children rather than to symbolically annihilate women?


%d bloggers like this: