Sunday, October 16, 2011


Picture this:

Kindergarten class:
1) Once or twice a week, as part of the curriculum, girls go to ballet class while boys go learn how to play chess. No questions asked about individual preference, just a plain gender division.
2) Random homework assignment: Make a list of boy toys and girl toys.
3) Art work is displayed on the classroom wall, one bulletin board for boys another for girls, labelled as such in large signs overhead.

Am I overreacting by being appalled?


  1. What?!? How- ballet and chess are both fine things, teaching very different skills; I'm appalled that a school that can afford such things is denying both to separate halves of the student body!

    That goes above the obvious desperation to enforce gender roles- that's like only teaching the girls history and only teaching the boys math. Who sets this curriculum?!?

  2. Cara, that is what I thought, why not just offer it to everyone, rather than divide the kids up based on gender. I was told that in the subsequent grades kids will opt into any of the activities available, but this early arrangement seems to me to set-up the model for later.
    As a justification, I have been told by the staff that 1) It has always been like this, and 2) my daughter can join the boys in chess if she wishes. All poor ideas, in my opinion.

  3. wow, that is just plain weird! Sounds so outdated.

  4. I would be appalled too! I see no reason to have such obvious gender distinction, especially at such a young age. The boy's art is hardly likely to fraternise with the girl's art now is it?

    I find the justification 'that's the way it has always been done' really grates on my nerves. If nothing ever changed the little girls wouldn't even be allowed in school, they would be at home cooking and cleaning!