They make fun of me
Article by the teacher, Elena Lazaridou
The reason for this lesson was an incident about two months ago (laughter, but I do not blame, Fricandela ate!) When a little boy came to me crying to tell me that they were called “woman” because in her shoes there were some pink spots. Another day, while I was painting carrots, hearts and balloons for the act of adding (so far my painting skills arrived), some boys laughed and said the exercise with hearts was only for the girls.
“What do you mean, boys do not have a heartbeat?” I asked and stayed to look at me as if I had just explained the Pythagorean theorem. So we started by sharing the glues with the following question and these two games, without mentioning the words doll and sword. As expected, all the little ones chose the sword and the little girls the doll. Then I shared the same question with the same objects, but the difference was that they were now colored. (In color printing for obvious reasons). They realized that somewhere there was a trap and they began to laugh uneasily but they soon picked a game again. One third of the children have now changed their choice and chose the game whose colors “fit” in their sex. In the following discussion, various opinions were heard: “I wanted a sword before, I wanted a sword”, “Now the doll became boyish” etc. while the children who changed choice admitted that they only looked at the color and not the game itself.
Then there were some pictures that I tried to tell them to understand that colors do not threaten our identity, nor the objects we use, nor our clothes or games. They are girls, they are boys and that can not be changed. I want them to be free to play with what they like, to dress as they like, to eat, to sing and generally to live free from bans of stereotypical perceptions. The second part of the lesson was about the professions. I distributed them with the following images asking them to match the objects that represent different professions with the person who practices them. (man or woman). Before I can figure it out, a little boy asked me, “And if somebody does it both?” “You’ll match it with both.” As I explained the activity, I did not name the professions so as not to give “gender” to the words and to preach them. (eg These items have to do with cooking, those with building etc.).
For the same reason I chose only objects, not human figures. (apart from the ballet that I found the objects that I referred to a woman.) Almost all the children were involved in cooking, ballet and hair salon, while the man, the referee and the pilot. Many children, however, put the hairdresser and cook as well as the referee on the woman, explaining how they have seen them all. So, we went to the next pictures with people who practice unusually for their sex.
We agreed that men and women can do almost all of the professions. Of course, this has to do with the skills that each profession requires, such as physical strength, skill, and so on. and which people have it. Starts the first: “Footballer or singer”, the second: “singer” … Do not poll, we made a band and soon we release the CD! Almost all admitted that they had said this “when they were young”! So we talked about modern super-heroes and princesses.
And some useful habits!
When I have to share them with colored cards for some activity, I do not choose the colors but I give it to luck, something that they have become used to and say in their own words “We have no choice!”. Another thing that makes me very easy is not to look for “boyish” and “girls” stickers and seals every time but to use similar figures for all, animals, balls, school supplies, people, etc.
No one sticks to the stickers, and I laughed a day with a little boy who was in the notebook sticker with a girl with her hair sniffing and said, “Haha! I was put on a crazy!” That’s because I do not dream of my boys being the cartoon heroes, fearless, oppressed, without a trace of feelings and weaknesses, nor for my girls to become naked princesses who will always wait for someone to save them. I want them to be saved on their own (as for my boys) and later to save others.