It’s never too early to reinforce gender roles!
Wilkins Elementary School in Maple Shade Township has canceled its third grade class’ Women’s History Month fashion show after (wait for it … ) a parent complained that the boys and girls were both asked to create an outfit from a period of women’s history, like the ’20s or the ’70s. Teacher Tonya Uibel sent home a packet for parents (which included photos of style icons like Madonna and Twiggy) and said kids should create an outfit to better understand how women’s fashion and women’s roles have changed over time. According to Fox News, Uibel’s packet instructed parents:
“If your child is a young man, he does not have to wear a dress or skirt, as there are many time periods where women wore jeans, pants and trousers. However, each child must be able to express what time period their outfit is from. Most of all, your child should have fun creating their outfit and learning about how women’s clothing has changed!”
But outraged parent Janine Giandomenico was not having it.
Giandomenico — who posted on Facebook about the incident — told Fox News that her 9-year-old son with autism was “in tears” over the assignment because he thought the other kids would make fun of him. “My son was very upset,” Giandomenico told Fox News. “He said, ‘Mommy, please don’t make me do this.’”
The school principal promptly canceled Friday’s fashion show. The third-graders will simply draw a picture of “a person” wearing historical fashion instead. I guess because there’s no threat to anyone’s incipient masculinity by doing that.
Sigh. Way to educate the young’uns, people. The takeaway for these kids is not going to be that women’s roles and fashions have changed over time; now the takeaway will be that a boy in a girl’s costume — even for the duration of a class period — is a very, very bad thing.
(Oh, by the way, Jersey? Women’s History Month was in March, so you’re a wee bit late to the party.) [Fox News]