Gender stereotyping is holding back boys in education …. I know! Let’s sort it out with even more gender stereotyping!
someone, somewhere, every sodding day
Do you ever wonder why boys are lagging behind girls at school? Don’t worry, I’m not asking you to use your imagination. It is a well-known fact that the cause can be only one of two things:
- boys are thick
- women teachers do girly stuff and girly stuff is boring
There have been, like, loads of studies to prove this. Lots of studies headed up by men. I mean, I don’t read them, personally. That’s because I’m a woman and I find this stuff insufficiently girly. Perhaps I should try printing out said reports on pink paper one day.
Obviously no one really thinks boys are thick. It’s be bloody scary if we did, given that they tend to grow up to be the ones who, proportionally, hold such a vast share of the world’s political and financial power. Things are bad enough now – god knows what a mess we’d be in if our men actually were stupid.
Obviously I’m doing my bit to counteract the drip-drip effect of evil femininity dampening the precious creative flame of male genius. I’m a mother of boys and I’m currently helping both of them to learn to read. But by ‘eck, it’s hard. Here’s me wanting to read them stories and all they want to do is to settle down with the microwave maintenance manual (why isn’t there a phonics version of that? Me, I blame the feminists).
My partner is male, so he’s doing a better job of things than me. I mean, he doesn’t do anything different in practical terms, but he is a role model, just by virtue of existing. I do worry about my eldest child when he’s at school, though. Eldest’s form tutor is female and obviously my son is biologically hardwired not to respect her. I can’t wait till he gets to Year 5 so he can get a male teacher. That’s good for the girls, too, because what they lose in role modelling, they gain in having someone with authority at last.
In my more fanciful moments, I do wonder whether a culture in which women and girls were treated as the equals of men and boys wouldn’t be the real solution to these problems. I find it interesting, for instance, that to insult a boy, you only need call him a girl. The female equivalent is always tomboy, or more offensively, lesbian (not a description of actual desires, but a suggestion that “no one [male] fancies you”); girls, they’re so rubbish that even when they transgress gender stereotypes, they’re still just rubbish versions of themselves. Still, I guess if the term “boy” isn’t an insult, that still leaves our girls with room to aspire to be more like boys.
Anyhow, all of this is just me being fanciful. If reading books makes boys feel like “girls”, then we need different books. God forbid that in this day and age anyone should think that being like a girl is okay.