Play this funny mashup of ads for girls and boys. Give gifts that aren’t pink and blue (at the end of this post).
Feel pressured to act like a man or be lady-like? Sick of violence in the news? What’s it got to do with when people are called “guys” when they’re not, ask if a baby is a girl or boy, or say women aren’t good at math? Guess how women and men scored when they took the same math test twice but in the second time, they had to state their gender?
Find out in this funny TEDtalk by Jeff Perera. Here’s what youth said in his events:
“When I ask boys to name things that they like about being a boy…Many…share thoughts such as how they don’t like that boys get very competitive, leading to aggressive behavior… [One boy said] boys aren’t encouraged to raise children…Encouraging girls to be ‘more lady like’ and more sugar and spice, leaves them struggling to raise their voice when they face injustice….”
Why care? Well, one woman didn’t get copywriting gigs until she changed her name to James Chartrand and made this site that seems like there’s an “i” in “pens”:
Jobs came pouring in. Her day rate doubled. ”But what got me the most was…nobody told me it was too expensive. Nobody asked me to bring it down….When I use my real name and I do business, there is always, always, ‘Is that the lowest you can go?’” she said.
Things you can do:
If people are called “guys” when they’re not, you could say, “How come everyone is called ‘guys’but men aren’t called ‘gals’? Some of us aren’t guys. Yet. ;)” I haven’t thought about transitioning from female to male but you never know who has.
If people ask about a baby’s gender, turn to the baby and say, “Baby, choose your gender. ;)”
If you tell people they’re good-looking, they might develop unhealthy body image issues. That’s why I compliment people on things they can control as in, “I really like that fanny pack on you.”
Share this TEDtalk by Amy Cuddy on how to be confident (or fake it until you make it).
Find out if you’re good at negotiation.
Share this video game that a dad hacked so Pauline rescues Mario from Donkey Kong or Sesame Street show where Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor says being a princess is “not a career.”
Try gender neutral language like Washington, Florida, North Carolina, California, New York, Vermont, Maine, Rhode Island and Utah. In Washington, laws were rewritten so terms like fisherman and freshman are replaced by “fisher” and “first year student.” “Penmanship” becomes “handwriting.”
Give gifts that aren’t pink for girls and blue for boys:
The Official Guide to Dysfunctional Parenting pokes fun at starting “girls age two on a fat-free diet…and boys age one on Militia magazine…” What’s funnier is it looks like a kid’s book.
The coloring book, Sometimes a Spoon Runs Away With Another Spoon, has a girl who is ready to fix a truck, be president, and a boy who doesn’t want to be Superman. It’s one of the few books I found that made me feel better after I read that:
AMightyGirl.com also lists 1,000 books, toys and films of courageous girls.
And it’s never too early to get kids of any gender a recycling truck and tool set made from recycled bottles.
Posted on Tuesday, January 1st 2013