3 thoughts on “For strong daughters, stop with the sex stereotypes

  1. I found this piece very insightful. As I was reading, this quote stuck out in my head “In general, girls received awards for their personalities and appearance and boys for their actions and physical attributes.”
    For a moment, I thought the author of this article was quoting Dr. Julia T. Wood from our textbook: as she also wrote about girls were more closely linked to their appearances and boys were more relatable to their attributes.
    As I was reading, I thought this article was a great example of gendered pressures children face in school. If little girls get it stuck in their brain that all they can be are the best helpers, friends, and dressed, then what happens when a girl gets to high school and can run the fastest in her gym class? The same with boys, what happens when they get to high school and discover they are the best dressed in their class?
    I think it would be beneficial for teachers to realize the gendered pressures that children face in elementary school and actively work against it. If I were a teacher, I would try my hardest to promote diversity among girls and boys, and make them feel like they could be well rounded; as opposed to only thinking that girls can look pretty and boys have to be good at sports.

  2. I had never really thought about how gender norms could surface in something as simple as awards children receive and superlatives that are awarded in year books. My high school was, as I’m told by many, ‘innovative.’ For our superlatives we had a boy and a girl so there was never room, for gendered norms. Whether it was most athletic or best eyes, there was a representative from both sexes. I really like this about my alma mater and hope that other schools, from pre-school to high school, can have similar practices.
    Kids should be able to find what they are good at and not have to stay within rigid gender norms. I love how the little girl in the article thought that her award was for being the best at bowling. It shows that although she likes dressing up she isn’t solely concerning herself with feminine gender roles. She enjoys playing in the dirt, looking for worms, and collecting pine cones just as much as she likes dressing up. She is unique, neither meeting solely feminine or masculine norms. Just as it should be.

  3. I had a similar experience with this when I was a Freshman in high school. We did Freshman superlatives in marching band. Most of the boys got awards such as most comedic and most likely to date the most band girls. I, however, got best smile. At the time I thought it was cute and thought nothing of it, but now I look back and think “is that really the best part of me?” Why wasn’t I awarded best dancer in the color guard? (No one received that!) Everyone on color guard got awards such as best hair, best make-up, or best spirit. Every award went back to our looks, or something superficial, nothing about our actual talents.

    I don’t think we should teach kids to think within gender norms. Girls are good for more than just dressing nice and having awesome hair. I LOVED the part of the article when the author talked about his daughter being appalled that her pants had fake pockets! She was mad she had no where to put her pine cones. Digging around in the dirt and finding pine cones is not something that most people would label as feminine. I personally think it is awesome that although she dresses girly, she still participates in some “boyish” behavior.

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