Ancora Imparo - I am still learning

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Okay, this is nothing about Christmas - and not very jolly, either

What are your pet peaves? You know, those things that really get under your skin. I have two or three that really bother me. My BIG pet peave is double standards. You know, like this is the standard that I have set for you, but I have a different standard for myself or for this person over here. My first pet peave leads into my second pet peave - generalizations and stereotypes. You know, like all girls love to cook and clean house and all guys love football and fixing cars. Pet peave number one and pet peave number set the stage for pet peave number three - arrogance.

That said, I've been having some interesting conversations about male/female stereotypes and opinions lately. Most of them have been very light-hearted and respectful. Although others and I may not agree, our conversations are generally speaking nothing that would offend the person of the opposite viewpoint. That is, until yesterday. As regular blog readers know, Taliesin and Nathanael are in dance class. In fact, next week Taliesin has a dance program coming up; so I will be posting some fun pictures when I get them. (Of course, Taliesin has also begun karate, and Nathanael will begin karate in February. And Taliesin has basketball in January and February. And, of course, Taliesin has been in many, many art classes - and that doesn't count children's church). Anyway, it seems the one that most people question is dance class. Somewhere along the line, despite the fact that there are probably almost as many male dancers as there are female dancers; many people find dancing (particularly, ballet) feminine. Oh, well, people have their own opinions, I guess. But yesterday, at one of our monthly activities that I will leave unnamed; Taliesin was excluded from a dance activity because he is a boy. The person who is planning this activity gave her reason as boys are more difficult to work with than girls. Well, I can tell you from first-hand observation that all of the young children at this activity are typical young children. The boys are no wilder than the girls or vice versa. They are typical five and six-year olds who have a hard time sitting still and being quiet. These are skills that improve with age; but at five and six, it's difficult for the kids to retain self-control for long periods of time. But the fact that an adult would exclude a five-year old child from something he is interested in based on gender is really just too much for me. I have contacted the leader of the organization and will take it farther if need be. I just cannot understand why it is such a problem to not discriminate. I can honestly say that if Taliesin saw the other children his age (even if they are all girls) performing and he was not able to, it would upset him. Perhaps other boys would not be interested, and that is fine. But, in our family, we do not discriminate on the basis of gender or age or any other reason.

I'm sorry to interrupt the happy Christmas postings with something negative; but our happy Christmas time was interrupted by this and I felt it something important to include on the blog.

Kandy - student of theology, even though I have been told theology is a man's area.


little castle said...

It would bother me also. I hope you can find some answers that are satisfactory.

unschoolermom said...

We have had some resolution to the issue. I am not pushing the event this year (we will not be attending); but I do know that, for next year, if it is an event for the entire organization, neither gender can be excluded based on organization rules and guidelines.


Donna said...

i've been following this discussion at our CCU group, sorry you had to experience this with your son. Unfortunately, the world isn't always fair. But you are a good mom for standing up for your son.

unschoolermom said...

I have to stand up for my son. It's kind of like the coordinator of the main homeschooling co-op here told me once - God gave our children to us. If we do not stand up for them, who will? I hope I do not lose any friendships over this. I enjoy this organization and really like the leaders. I just think this was a bad decision on the part of one of the leaders.


TERI said...

Good Job! Kandy. It is hard to believe that something like this even has to come up! Some of the most accomplished ballet dancers are male!

unschoolermom said...

They definitely are! You should have seen Taliesin (and the girls) at the Christmas dance program tonight. They all did such a good job! Taliesin had so much fun!