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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in sexual harassment

Posted by on in Early Childhood

boy and girl playing together 800x400

The short answer to the question posed in the title is yes. While it may seem as though the #MeToo and #Time’sUp movements have nothing to do with young children, the experts tell us that sexism does indeed begin in early childhood. In fact, psychology professor and author of Parenting Beyond Pink and Blue, Christia Spears Brown, told me in a recent interview for Studentcentricity, that sexism begins at birth! And when we consider the pink and blue phenomenon – and how differently girl babies are treated from boy babies, even prenatally – we have to admit that what she says makes sense.

Sexism begins with gender stereotyping, which is all too easy to reinforce. Christia and other experts contend that every time teachers say something like, “Good morning, boys and girls,” attention is given to gender. And the more often statements like these are made (“Boys line up here, girls line up there.” “What a good girl you’re being.”), the more children get the message that gender matters – a lot. And that’s when they start making black-and-white generalizations about the meaning of gender.

Yes, I know; statements like these seem perfectly innocent! But what if they’re not?

According to a Slate article on this topic, “The more ingrained kids’ gender stereotypes become, the more easily they conclude that girls are inferior to boys—that boys have higher status because they biologically deserve it.” Studies have also shown that “the more strongly boys believe these stereotypes, the more likely they are to make sexual comments, to tell sexual jokes in front of girls, and to grab women.”

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Posted by on in Teens and Tweens

Miracles happen in schools every day. Minds are expanded. Passions are discovered. Imaginations are ignighted. Children learn and civilization advances. But sometimes what happens at school is not inspirational. Sometimes students are unbelievably cruel to one another. I don't teach at a school, but I hear things from the kids who write to me. The email I want to share today enraged me past my boiling point. I know I'm supposed to manage my distressing emotions with skill and grace. After all, we're role models, right? I'm supposed to take the high road, along with all those re-centering breaths. But as a woman, a mom, and an educator, this email made me feel like strangling someone. Injustice will do that to me every time. 

Have a read:

Hi Annie,

I just started freshman year and I have to take swim class. I have large breats and the girls in the class make fun of me in the shower and in the pool. Today, while we were swimming, one girl went into my locker and stole my bra. I had to get dressed for my next class without a bra!! Do you have any idea how I felt walking around like that? Guys were staring at me and a few guys tried to touch my breasts! That's what I had to go through for two whol periods until my mom came and brought me a bra. High school just started and I'm a joke already. All my friends are at another school so I've got now one who has my back. – Lost

Dear Lost,

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