This week’s post was originally inspired way back in July when I was in Poland with my family. We were visiting the Wawel Castle in Krakow, an incredible medieval castle that has withstood centuries of war and occupation (albeit with a few fires and restorations). It is now a national museum. I’d like to use an anecdote from this trip to illustrate the way stories can be retold in a way that is more gender-fair.
As you are probably aware, today is a national election day. We’ve written before about how important and inspiring civic participation can be for kids. One way to do this is to involve your children in the voting process — and in fact, we’ve got some tips:
Today’s post is semi-old news but the message is the same: if you want gender-fair options, ask for them. That’s exactly what one mom did with Lands’ End when she noted the t-shirt options for boys and girls were highly gendered. Lands’ End actually responded by expanding their offerings!
This week we’re re-posting a popular back-to-school series from last year. Tuesday we tackled back to school shopping. We hope that has been going well, and you were able to stick to your End Goal. A reader posted a most insightful comment on that post about the importance of being gender fair when shopping for backpack drives, so we’re dedicating this week to discussing backpack drives. You may recall our focus on family-oriented community service around Thanksgiving and gosh darn it, it’s about time we had another post about service.
I promise we’re returning to our regularly scheduled programming shortly. I’ve got SO many exciting things to share with you all — more book reviews (summer reading kick…), more information about LEGO’s new female scientist mini figs, and end-of-summer fun. I’ve been away presenting my dissertation at a conference in Germany and then vacationing a bit. I’m back now and continuing to work with families and collect data. I’ll have more serious conclusions to share soon! In the meantime, check out some of my favorite posts from summers past:
Back to our regular schedule next week — I’ve been busy lately with grad school and my dissertation. This weekend I got to present some preliminary elements of my dissertation in a local research exhibition. I actually won an award for it, so that was kind of cool. More importantly, I had the delightful opportunity to talk to families, parents, grandparents, and all kinds of interesting people about the exciting research I’m doing in gender and early STEM learning. It is interactions like these that fuel my passion for research in early gender and STEM, and for connecting that research with families and educators. THANK YOU all for being the source of these interactions as well!
Genius. Someone must have read both of our (gender-related developmental psychology) work and invented the doll we’ve been dreaming about. We’ve been scooped! …kidding, mostly.
This week we are revisiting some favorite posts geared toward talking about gender. Monday we took up how to discuss gender fair values in your family. Today we examine talking about gender with prospective new parents.
I was out at a bar with a Fair Play Friend and some of his friends when the following exchange occurred:
Fair Play Friend: So do you know if it is a boy or a girl?
FPF’s friend: We’re not going to find out. You don’t get too many surprises in life.
I was floored.
This week we are returning to some previous posts about how to talk about gender. First up, a post about handling gender fair values in your family. Later this week, how to talk (or not to) about gender with prospective parents.
This might come as a shock, dear readers, but not everyone is on board with this gender-fair business. Some people think differences between boys and girls should be encouraged. Others simply don’t see the harm that comes from not doing anything. Certainly the mainstream media is a culprit, but what about the people in your own life? What if, in fact, the gendered dialogue comes from family members, people whose efforts and affection are ostensibly directed toward your child’s happiness?
I have a lot of problems with Valentines Day. Valentines Day is not only a day of celebrating all things gender-unfair, via a hyped celebration of gender roles. It is also (perhaps even equally so) a day of consumerism. Adults spend a great deal of money proving to themselves they’ve realized their full and highest potential as (heterosexual) sentient beings by buying fancy gifts, dinners, lingerie, booze, and so on, for what is supposed to be the good of their relationship. Children are in on this action as well. It is expected that most children bring valentines to school (often the cardboard variety with Disney Princesses) to distribute to their classmates. These little cards often have candy or a treat attached but rarely much of a note. This whole charade in the celebration of gender roles. Now, if this all bothers you, you don’t have to celebrate Valentines Day. Certainly the choice to abstain is yours. But, can we fix it instead? I say yes, and yes we should. Continue reading