Reply To: Module 2 – Gender

Maire Stokes

I read ‘Matilda’ with my all boys 4th class this year. We were examining something that had been said to Matilda, I think, by her mother to the jist that she should be more concerned on making herself look good for a prospective husband rather than take an interest in her studies. I threw it out to my boys & asked if her mother was right. I got one very assured yes. Possibly others felt the same but this boy was the only one to verbalise it.

I discussed the responsibility on us all to present ourselves well & to have good hygiene, but that what we look like on the outside is mostly for ourselves personally. We also revisited a discussion on how important your actions are rather than how you look. (we had done this in previous S.P.H.E. lessons where we examined prejudices due to physical traits)

Having a love of sport myself I try to highlight amazing sports women to the boys. We watch you tube videos of these women excelling & I also show them males participating in sports they may have deemed ‘feminine’ like figure skating. This year the boys were mesmerised by the athleticism, strength & balance of  these men & women.

We studied women who were pioneers in the fields of architecture, computer science & engineering & how the feats of many women through history were not documented or lauded as highly as they should have been. I try to lead by example also as I believe that it is in their own lives that children need to witness fairness for all. I will lift heavy items, climb up on tables if needs be & haul anything around the school if needed.


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