Teach Your Kids To Overcome Gender Stereotypes! #StreamTeam @Netflix #Ad

    Growing up, our mother was not raising my sister and I to be damsels in distress.  I can still remember her telling us how important it would be to get an education and to always be independent women.  It might seem unbelievable but studies have shown that girls are being influenced by gender stereotypes from as young as six years old.  That is why it is so important that they have access to positive role models in the media and within the entertainment programming that they are being exposed to.    Thankfully, Netflix is home to girls who mean business and that’s something all kids can get behind.  Whether it’s Violet’s quick wit, Elena’s activist mentality, or Deidra & Laney’s unorthodox thinking, there’s something for every girl to relate to.  Strong female characters aren’t just important for girls.  Boys are growing up with Eleven saving the crew and Tip showing that true friendship knows no bounds.     … [Read more...]

Are Females More Prone To Bullying?

   This morning, I had to have some serious conversations with my students about a bullying situation that I have been watching unfold for the past couple of days.  It's the typical situation where a new kid arrives at a school and is targeted by other kids who have been there for a long time.  Add the fact that they are females and that the new kid is beautiful and drawing the attention of the male students and you have a recipe for disaster.     I enlisted the assistance of a lot of people to help me get this anti-bullying message out to my students including fellow staff members, parents of the children who were involved, and even older siblings of these girls.  As a united front, we met with a few classes and discussed with them the fact that we have a zero tolerance policy regarding bullying or any kind of violence or aggression in school.  Additionally, we talked to them about the dangers of being the victim of bullying such as low self-esteem and thoughts of suicide.  We even … [Read more...]

What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Gender?

    Being a woman, I have always been very sensitive to words or actions that pigeonhole females into prescribed gender roles.  The reason for this has a lot to do with the experiences that I have had academically, professionally, and culturally.  No matter how far we have come as a society with regards to tolerance and equality, one cannot deny that there still exist many stereotypes about what women's and men's roles in society should be.     From a parent's perspective who is trying to raise two boys, I am even more aware of the messages that my husband and I are sending our sons about gender and equal rights.  Unfortunately, however, my husband has been a little more resistant over the years to letting go of some of the "Machismo" that he was raised with in a Latino household.  You see, in traditional Latin culture like in many other cultures, boys are raised to be strong and to be providers while women are raised to take care of the home and be the nurturers of the … [Read more...]

Let The Girls Shoot!

    As many of you know, my older son is very athletic and his favorite sport to play is basketball.  Currently, he is playing on an intramural team since his regular season for the school Bantam team has finished.  Today, as I was sitting in the bleachers watching the game, I noticed that whenever one of the girls on either of the teams had possession of the ball, the coaches would call out to the male players, "Let her shoot!"     Now, I'm all for being a gentleman and chivalry but, am I the only one who thinks that this is sending the wrong message out to all the kids about gender equality.  By telling the boys to back away and allow the girls to shoot the ball they are saying, in essence, that the girls are not as skilled at basketball as they boys are and that a special set of rules applies to them.     I wonder if professional female basketball players would be offended if they were playing on the same team or against their male counterparts and this took place.  It sends the … [Read more...]

Can Women Raise Men?

          I was just having a conversation with my brother yesterday about how there are certain things that boys have to learn when they are growing up about being men and about defending themselves.  It was interesting to see how our points of view differed on certain points because of our gender differences and it really made me think about the fact that it is extremely important for male children to have positive male role models in their lives.  As good as our intentions are in raising our boys to be good men,  he stated that there are just certain things that only a man can teach another man.    This became apparent when our conversation turned to the topic of bullying and self defense.  As a mother, my first reaction if my sons have issues like this in school is to alert the school authorities and to try to talk through the problem.  My brother argued that this path does not always lead to a solution and that male children need to know how to defend themselves … [Read more...]