‘Limited by Gender’ – No thanks

Gender. I’m quite concerned about it. Strangely, I’m only now concerned about it. I wasn’t concerned when I was a kid, or when my kids were kids, but I am now. Now I have three grandchildren under the age of three; two of them grand daughters, and I don’t want gender limiting what they will become. It’s not that things are worse now, in that respect, than they were 30 or 50 years ago, that is clearly not so. It is that generally we are much more aware that gender stereotypes are problematic, and often pernicious, and make a difference, and the arrival of my grandchildren has sensitised me to this.

I’m not a prolific blogger. I don’t have a force within me that drives me to write. I joined Twitter because I thought it would be a better way then texting to keep in touch with the family (it isn’t), and a good way to keep up with the world and the different thought threads in it (it is). I started blogging because I thought it might be a good way of capturing a legacy of thought to pass on to the family (including the grandchildren, eventually). Won’t know about that for a while. But, definitely, if my grandchildren do read this, I want them to know that my considerable love for them extends to wanting them to be free from societal imposed gender frameworks of being. I want them to know that they are intrinsically valuable and valued for who they are, and that they should be free to explore unencumbered by nay-say-ers or put-in-a-box-ers.

There has been a lot recently in the edu-Twitter-world about gender, and much heat (and some light) has been generated. Any serious debate bounces around and sways to and fro. But, let’s be clear; education has a big part to play in encouraging opportunity, and equality of opportunity. I expect it to play that part.

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