Children and patriarchy

Posted: October 5, 2010 in Damned binaries, Education, Gender
Tags: , ,

A lot about patriarchy right now, isn’t there?

My mother is a reading teacher, and she often has random conversations with the children she helps.

Anyway, today she was talking about a book with a child, and the subject of gender differences came up. My mother asked, ‘Don’t you think that girls are as good as boys,’ and the child answered, ‘No.’ My mother thinks her elder brother had been brainwashing her – I think the blame lies rather wider than that, but there we go. My mother, as a sort-of feminist (believes in equality, doesn’t use the word), was shocked and explained that that was wrong, going on to say that boys were better than girls at some things, but girls were better than boys at others – which broadly is true, but I would have then gone on to explain that really, there is no difference; people (I dislike splitting humanity in two) have different abilities, and gender doesn’t matter. (in simpler words, though…)

Ah, well. Hopefully the child went away rather less inclined to believe in the patriarchy. She certainly knew what answer my mother wanted to hear, later, but that doesn’t mean she absorbed it.

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