links for thought, December 2011 (2 of 2)

from Melissa Bollow Tempel at Rethinking Schools, “It’s Okay to Be Neither: Teaching that Supports Gender-Variant Children

Unfortunately, it wasn’t until I had a child dealing with gender variance (defined as “behavior or gender expression that does not conform to dominant gender norms of male and female”) in my classroom that I realized how important it is to teach about gender and break down gender stereotypes. Why did I wait so long? I should have taken a hint from that kindergarten teacher years ago. As I thought about how to approach the topic, I realized that the lessons I was developing weren’t just for Allie. She had sparked my thinking, but all the children in my class needed to learn to think critically about gender stereotypes and gender nonconformity.

from Dresden at Creating Motherhood, “Food Stamp Etiquette: Human Kindness

from Molly Remer at Talk Birth, “The Illusion of Choice

While it may sound as if I am saying women are powerlessly buffeted about by circumstance and environment, I’m not. Theoretically, we always have the power to choose for ourselves, but by ignoring, denying, or minimizing the multiplicity of contexts in which women make “informed choices” about their births and their lives, we oversimplify the issue and turn it into a hollow catchphrase rather than a meaningful concept. [...]

And, I maintain that a choice is not a choice if it is made in a context of fear.

from Avital Norman Nathman at Mom & Pop Culture, “Music Madness

Thankfully, besides the classics, there has been a lot of kickass kids music coming out lately. Perhaps a lot of musicians have become parents themselves and realized the lack of quality kids’ music? Regardless of the reason, there are now many options to choose from beyond “The Wheels on the Bus.”

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One Comment

  1. Lara
    Posted 23 January 2012 at 7:03 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the “It’s ok to be Neither” link. I forwarded it a friend, and she sent it along to her school’s guidance counselor. My friend’s older child has always been interested in masculine and feminine, and similarly has liked being called a boy at various times, but primarily identifies as a girl. My friend has always been proud and supportive of her child, but she has found school situations harder to navigate. Interestingly, her child has done better in the local public school this year than in the very-very-PC private school she used to attend, I think simply because there are enough kids that all kinds of variation are self-evident. Anyway, my friend really appreciated hearing someone else who “gets” her kid.

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