Re: Toys and gender (More)

trees westcot (
Tue, 29 Oct 1996 13:42:16 +1030

At 06:59 PM 10/23/96 -0400, you wrote:
>It's absolutely true that perpetuating gender stereotypes is in the best
>interests of companies. I have a survey up on the web about girls' interests
>and I've gotten nearly 1,000 responses from teenage girls, a large portion of
>which yearn for computer games about makeovers, shopping, and cheerleading.
> It's what the girls *WANT*, although this desire is clearly guided by the
>media and the parents.
>Its absolutely true ,not just for companies that want to make money. Its
also true for a world which is essentially patriarchcal in its make up. I
started teaching in 1978, and really the debate and the issues have hardly
changed. I'm now nearing fifty and back in a classroom after 8 years away
and I find attitudes have changed little with regard to the 'basics' of what
it means to be a girl and what it means to be a boy for a lot of kids in
schools here in Australia. We're still grappling with things like how to
provide equal airtime for girls in a class of 25 - 30 children. Its
difficult providing airtime for 30 students let alone Thinking about gender
or race.

On one level its totally depressing, on another level I know change is a
paradox, both fast and slow. And I believe that there have been some
changes. Wasnt it Doris Lessing backin the late 60's, early 70's who said in
one of books about pushing boulders up hills. Well its true.

And so Id love to hear peoples thoughts about how they tackle construction
of identity with little kids(5+) in a classroom.

Trees Westcot

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