Ellen Degeneres uses her sharp wit to critique Bic pens new line for women. I am always amazed when major companies can have results like this given their enormous decision-making chains. Understanding gender norms is a complex thing, but this seems so basic as to not even be believed.
One of my favorite things about this is how Ellen uses video and social media for social critique and change. Are our students prepare to do the same things to combat steretypes? If Ellen's 1.4 million views (as of 11/3/12) are any indication, they should be.
I am thankful for the work of Ohio University's Students Teaching About Racism in Society (STARS) who came up with this poster campaign. It's a small group that has suddenly become a bit of an internet sensation (Colorlines).
They are college students making strong statements about how we can each make healthy choices over hurtful choices for Halloween. While keeping race and ethnicity in mind, it is important to talk to students about provocative costumes, and how objectification of women (in particular) is equally problematic.
How does your school go about getting into a mess with costumes?
Rigid, narrow codes of tradition masculinity and femininity drive poorer reproductive health outcomes, homophobia and gender-based violence. This is especially true among at-risk youth, like those who are of color or LGBT.To improve outcomes, there has been an increased focus and commitment on "gender transformative” interventions and policies. Gender Transformative approaches question, challenge and change rigid gender norms and inequities. Major international donors–like PEPFAR, UNAIDS, USAID and WHO–have already endorsed Gender Transformative interventions.
Truechild.org is a wonderful resource for grappling with the issue of combating traditional gender norms for young people. This is essential reading/understanding for all educators. Use TrueChild's "learn the facts" section to get yourself up to speed, fast. Our kids need us on this issue as much as any other.