Monday, 13 April 2015

Is it all about the shoes?

The problem with my generation is we thought we were being progressive by wearing trousers. And if you think about it, wearing trousers really does eradicate the need for a lot of other female clothing cliches (I'm talking tights) as well as the excuse for not being able to sit "Indian style" on the floor. Wearing trousers enabled girls to ride bikes with cross bars too. Add to this mix the fact that I also refused to wear the colour pink and I really thought I had overcome the clothing gender stereotype.

But a few articles recently have caught my attention. Namely the choices of shoes available for girls to wear to school. I'm not talking the older girls (for the moment), I'm talking younger girls who, let's be honest, are extremely vulnerable to imprinting. How wonderful young girls are being encouraged to question what is available to them simply because of their gender.

I have to say I don't really remember having preferences for certain toys or clothes. But then, I'm not of the generation who grew up with My Little Pony: it really was dolls for girls and trucks for boys with not a whole lot of variation.

But there is a whole lot of variation of toys and clothes on offer now and dare I say it is the ADULTS who have the difficulty getting their heads around it when a child has a preference for something that is "supposed" to be for something outside their genre's expectations. So much so that young children and now being offered therapy for early signs of being transgender.

Are we pressuring children to make up their minds about their sexuality too early in life? Does it matter about their preferences?

What do shoes say--if anything--about our sexual 
or career preferences later in life?

Just to add a bit of a counter argument, I leave with a lively list of women WHO GAVE NO F*CKS about what kind of shoes they were expected to wear. They didn't let a lack of choice affect them. . .

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Should a 14 year old be tried as an adult?

In my book "Growing Pains" I investigate the astrological significations of violence. I focused on school shooters (Kipland Kinkel and Barry Loukaitis). I pointed out that until their final Saturn oppositions, they are still children (at least astrologically).

Today I found an interesting story in the news about a 14 year old girl and 20 year old man who conspired to murder the girl's mother. The two were lovers but when her mother found out, she tried to stop the illegal affair. So the couple murdered her. Her attorney says the 20 year old is the one who is responsible as he is the adult. 

Is this fair?

I'd love to see your comments!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Monday, 6 April 2015

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Are your children affected by pornography?

As I was taking the train to my teaching job, I became aware of a disturbing conversation going on between a small group of year 8 pupils. Normally, on the long commute to work, I keep my eyes on the free Metro newspaper and do my best to ignore the pupils I will be teaching later that day. After all, I am entitled to my own life too.
But this "conversation" was different.
This scene involved a lone 12 year old girl and several of her male peers.
Now a word about this girl: she is intelligent, middle class, popular and from my dealings with her parents at school functions, she is well loved and protected. But what was happening in this "conversation" she was having with this group of boys shook me up.
The boys were ganging up on her. They were asking her questions about her personal life and things about her sexual experiences.
Let me say it again: this is a twelve year old girl.
From what was being said, it was apparent that the boys had, at some time been exposed to pornography. What they were asking this girl made me (a 48 year old, well experienced woman) blanch. And the girl was trying to answer these boys.
Thanks to Channel 4' "Porn on the Brain" series, I knew that children are exposed to porn from a very early age and that there are some serious issues that are being ignored by adults. What was happening right in front of me was a prime example of the vast differences between what boys expect of girls based on what they have seen in pornographic images and what an inexperienced girl is willing to provide. Yes, I intervened and the girl was very relieved.
To some people, this gap may seem insignificant. To me, the mother of a teenager daughter, it terrified me.
I welcome new legislation here in the UK that is working towards ensuring children can no longer access pornography.
Further, I as a teacher, I would welcome the opportunity and resources to teach girls how to stand up for themselves in an effect manner. For further info check this article here.
But are we too late?
And if so, what can we do?

Friday, 3 April 2015

Coming Soon!!

It's coming in a big, big way!!

Sick of your kids being treated as if they are just like every other kid in the classroom?

Sick of conventional education?

It's time to turn education UPSIDE DOWN!!

More on this in the coming few days!!

In the meantime, don't forget to follow me on. . .
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Bear with me for a few days whilst I pull all this stuff together!!

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