Women & Girls Only, All Ages >> Feminism Across Generations

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Reged: Jun 20 2006
Posts: 75
Loc: New York City, US
Learning About Objectification
      Thu Oct 05 2006 06:49 PM

I'm taking a really great class that looks at gender inequality in the classroom, and as part of it I'll be observing in a first grade classroom for the rest of the semester. I went to my first observation session yesterday, and there was one incident that really upset me.

The teacher was very experienced and committed to creating an egalitarian classroom, so there weren't any incidences of overt sexism for me to be upset by. Indeed, she definitely seemed to encourage and affirm the girls in her class.

She gave the class an activity in which they had to cut out pictures of various building materials from magazines. All was going fine, the six year olds were all bustling and talking to each other, until one girl started to giggle. "What's so funny?" asked the teacher. The girl showed her a picture in a magazine of a highly sexualized, bikini clad woman's torso (which, of course, was being used to sell something). The teacher said, "It's a picture of a woman. Can you see anything you're not supposed to see? No? Then what's so funny?" Then she sent the girl back to work.

This incident made me so sad. I can't imagine a six-year-old trying to make sense of a sexualized image like that. She was probably giggling because she was uncomfortable, and the teacher totally invalidated that and basically acted like it was totally ok and normal to see pictures of women like that and not feel weird about it. It made me so upset that even really young girls, even in educational settings, have to confront and try to make sense of images like that.

Do any of you remember incidents like that from when you were very young? How did you come to realize that we live in a culture that objectifies women? How do you think the teacher could have handled this incident better? Any thoughts?

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Subject Posted by Posted on
* Learning About Objectification Ellen Thu Oct 05 2006 06:49 PM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification nfljersey   Fri Jan 13 2012 12:08 AM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification wailian   Sat Feb 04 2012 05:44 AM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification wailian   Fri Feb 10 2012 06:27 AM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification wailian   Tue Dec 18 2012 07:26 PM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification wailian   Mon Jan 07 2013 12:46 AM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification Kampire   Mon Oct 23 2006 12:59 PM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification Jeyoani   Mon Oct 23 2006 11:09 PM
. * * Re: Learning About Objectification nikeshoxtn   Sat Nov 05 2011 11:55 PM

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