Re: Title IX concern issue

CHammer (
3/11/98 1:12 PM

Legally, I wouldn't mess with *not* having the GEMS program in math/science
for 5-6th grade girls be limited to girls in the sense that if boys or
teachers got ahold of the flyer -- with the clear *emphasis* for the program
is designed for girls to counteract bias and discrimination -- and still
wanted to come or to send boys then, sure, why not? has to be the stance. The
explicit refusal of boys if they wanted to go or if such exclusion was stated
on the flyer would be the only way any chance of a Title IX claim on behalf of
the "what about the boys?!?" hysteria. (You see my own personal perception

I developed then faciliated a yearly conference for Jr. and High School girls
and their parents (approx. 300 yearly attendance) on math and science
featuring a role-modelling "showcase panel" of females working in
math/science/technology-related fields for the last 5 years. About once a year
someone complained or challenged us asking indigantly "why can't boys come in
they want to?" and/or "isn't this unfair to the leftout boys?" We always
explain this was set up to address bias and those self-identity/esteem and
career development issues the research generally holds relevant particularly
for girls. Then, we always undercut the somewhat baseless-basis of their
argument by inviting any boys who would like to to come! We certainly aren't
refusing boys! (I think two boys came the first year and one other boy came
the fourth year.)

This was fine and "no-big deal" to either the participants or myself, but it
does beg the question, and underscores the general disaster of the Take Your
Daughter to Work-Day and the common dissolution of the significance of that
day into a tepid take your "children" to work day-thing with no focus or deep
learning. Individuals in bureaucracies, businesses, and schools often don't
"get it" that it's really okay and legal for one gender to get some
remediation and attention (like focus on math and science) and another gender
get another kind of remediation and attention (like focusing on reducing the
number of boys inappropriately placed in special education). This shows up in
quite silly ways in all kinds of policies and procedures. What is the root
issue here? Sexism? I'm not sure. Certainly the misunderstanding,
misrepresentating and resultant current disfavor of affirmative action laws
plays a big role. Christy

Christy Hammer, Ph.D.
Social Studies Consultant
NH Department of Education
101 Pleasant Street
Concord NH 03301

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