Tuesday, 15 March 2011
Cream buns for the girls
On International Women's day this week a primary school on the Swedish island of Gotland came upon a good idea. They decided that, at the morning break, all of the boys would get crisp bread as their usual snack. But to celebrate International Women's day all the girls would get a cream bun. Little did they know that this would create a parental and media storm to liken the Suez crisis.
At the end of the day, the kids went home and some of the boys complained to their parents that they also would have liked a cream bun. The parents were up in arms! How disgraceful! How terrible! What were they thinking?? How could they violate the rights of the boys and not give them the same as the girls?
This reaction made me think.
While admittedly the primary school maybe didn't make a clever move, they did provide parents with an opportunity. Thinking parents should have sat their boys down and explained why the girls were given a special treat and why they have a special day. Thinking parents could have explained that girls around the world do not have the same access to education, or that they are married against their will, or that they are killed for speaking up against their fathers etc, etc, etc.
What an opportunity for the thinking parent.
Equality does not start with who gets a cream bun or not. It starts in the home, at the kitchen table, in dialogue between children and their parents.