I apologize for the paucity of posts as of late. My family has moved over the past week or two and it has been much more grueling than we had anticipated.
I promise to get back to my regularly scheduled posting soon, but in the meantime, wanted to just share some quick thoughts and a link.
In the past few days I’ve heard or read several remarks complaining about boys and girls being distinguished between whatsoever or divided into groups for any reason.
And it has really gotten under my skin.
Now, I have to start by saying that, I am all about equality, overcoming stereotypes, and breaking the mold. Particularly as a little girl, I was as likely as anyone to be found singing the dueling duet between Annie Oakley and Frank Butler (literally, or in attitude) from Annie Get Your Gun: “Anything you can do, I can do better. I can do anything better than you….Anything you can be, I can be greater. Sooner or later I’m greater than you.”
I’ve long admired the strong, pioneering women of my own childhood like Sally Ride, Margaret Thatcher, and well, honestly, my own mom.
So with all that disclaimer on the table I have to say this:
Gender is not obsolete. Boys and girls are NOT the same.
Equal in value and potential and rights, yes. Often more alike than different, of course. But they are not the same, children are not genderless, and we need to stop wishing their differences away.
I agree that gender groupings are often unnecessary, arbitrary, and even sometimes damaging. But ameliorating that is not the same as pretending that gender does not exist or that gender does not contribute to diversity or to the development of a healthy identity.
In a day when we claim to celebrate diversity, it seems a shame to try to pretend that we’re all exactly the same.
There is certainly diversity within the group which must be attended to, but there are also within group strengths and similarities that we likewise cannot ignore.
With that off my chest, here’s a post I wrote a while back that gives more of the reasons why we may actually be hurting kids by ignoring gender differences.
“When we ignore gender differences we aren’t being more “PC” or more progressive, it just makes us more ignorant and less effective in our roles as teachers of children.”