Re: Kids@Work Day

Shoshanna Mayer Ph.D. (
Mon, 6 May 1996 14:01:07 -0400

I think a useful contribution to the discussion on taking only daughters,
or boys a n d daughters to work (in the name of equity) could be the the
stance pointed out in Barbara Houston's article Should Public Education
be Gender free ' in Lynda Stone's (ed.) THE EDUCATION FEMINISM READER,
ROUTLEDGE, 1994. The author makes a distinction between gender-free,
that is formal equity that has more or less already been achieved (gender
free) but left us with the legacy of discriminating hidden educational
practices, the likes of boy-favouring interactions in class and
androcentric teaching materials. To counteract this situation, she raises
the need for gender-sensitive practices which "allows one to recognize
that at different times and and in different circumstances one might
be required to adopt opposing policies in order to eliminate sex bias",
to lift out girls only, for compensatory experiences.
By this approach formal gender equity , equal access to all resources,
would be vital but not enough to eliminate gender-bias. Hence the ideas
of possibly separate science-programs, all-girls groups, and Take Your
Daughters to Work. I agree to this gender-sensitive approach as a way
to counter the unequal hidden curriculum. One problem is to explain
it to boys-men, and to...mothers of sons. The latter ones are sometimes
ambivalent about sincerely caring for feminist strivings for equity,
while at the same time feeling apprehensive of their sons' privileges or
just traditional male birthrights getting reduced, with
not a lot to gain in the process. So kudos for TYDTW. And would
feminist mothers of sons please tell us more of their feelings and
experiences? Shoshana

On Tue, 23 Apr 1996 wrote:

> Date: Tue, 23 Apr 1996 12:55:03 -0400
> From:
> Subject: Kids@Work Day
> This morning a friend of mine received a phone call from her husband saying
> that Thursday, April 25 was Take Your Son or Daughter to Work Day at his
> place of employment. I told her there must be some mistake because April 25
> has been designated "Take Our Daughters to Work Day." She told me his
> employer announced that employees could bring either sons or daughters to
> work on that day. He's decided to bring his son because his son is "more into
> computers" than his daughter. This man works as a computer programmer for
> Northwest Airlines.
> Anyone know of any other major companies who have taken the same stance?
> Exactly what message should we take away from this?
> Mary Miller

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