Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tradition, Relationship Building, or Gender Stereotyping?

Recently in the news, The ACLU has complaints about father-daughter dances and mother-daughter ballgames.  They claim this is gender stereotyping.  The ACLU states, “Public schools have no business fostering the notion that girls prefer to go to formal dances while boys prefer baseball games. This type of gender stereotyping only perpetuates outdated notions of 'girl' and 'boy' activities and is contrary to federal law.” 
When I was younger, I remember father-daughter dances and there were also mother-son dances.  I do not remember there being anything like a mother-son ballgame.  Maybe that was because traditionally the mothers were the ones that were bringing the sons to the ballgames. 
They could change they dance to a parent-student dance.  Second thought, there might be complaints about that too.  How about legal guardian – student dance? 
I do agree that if it is just father-daughter dances and mother-daughter ballgames, it is gender stereotyping.  I also feel that there is a need to strengthen father and daughter relationship.  Is the idea of this dance so bad when there is a need to strengthen father and daughter relationship?  I am not too sure that the harm the ACLU is claiming outweighs the good.  Hopefully they can find a gender neutral solution.  It would be discouraging if eliminated relationship building activities all together.

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