PATHETIC! Mother Cries Sexist on Child’s English Homework
If you have spent any amount of time browsing the web, you will have noticed that a lot of things are apparently sexist now. Also, everyone seems to obsess about definitions so much that I think I will join them in properly defining sexism.
Sexism, as defined by Oxford Dictionaries, is discrimination based on gender. It goes on to specify that sexism typically only affects women. Even if that were true, discrimination, also defined by Oxford Dictionaries, is the unjust treatment of someone based on means beyond their control, such as skin color or gender. Discrimination would be someone getting turned down for a job offer based on their gender alone.
So why does it feel like media is shoving false claims of sexism down our throats? I was scrolling down the Yahoo home page and maybe ten stories down was an article about how a woman read her six year old’s homework, thought it was very sexist, and rewrote the homework page.
What was the six year old being subjected to? It was a fill in the blank story meant to help her learn vocabulary words. And the story happened to be about the first day a woman went back to work, and how her daughter Lisa wasn’t very happy because she was used to spending a lot of time with her mother and her father did a poor job of what her mother used to always do.
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The article never shows the full original homework page, nor does it mention how the story wraps up. In fact, the article says, “‘It just pushed so many buttons for me, and with each sentence it managed to get worse!’ Polvino told Today.” After quoting her, the rest of the article details the story that the mother rewrote, leaving the original ending completely out.
The original homework piece, from what we are given, was not sexist against women. The story did not mention anything about a woman’s place in life, or whether or not a woman should be allowed to work. In fact, it mentioned that she had worked before and was going back to work again. It wasn’t sexist against men either, because if you were used to someone else doing the cooking and cleaning, you’d have a lot of trouble managing in the beginning as well.
Furthermore, the story doesn’t affect overall how this woman’s six year old daughter is going to see life. Many other factors, such as how she is raised, who she befriends, and how often she gets to explore ideas that are new to her will determine how she values herself and how she wants to live her own life.
It is not sexist to tell a child a story about a woman who lived in a traditional lifestyle, just as it is not internal misogyny if a woman wants this lifestyle. But it seems that if you get a little bit sassy and post something that gets more likes than you anticipated, you’ll get enough publicity to temporarily quell your need for attention. Maybe they’re onto something. Tonight I’m going to start a petition against sexist road signs. Wish me luck.