Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gender Stereotypes Make Me Want to SCREAM!

Ok, I have to vent for a minute. I have heard so many gender stereotypes in the last month I am ready to scream. Here are 5 gender stereotypes that I never want to hear again:

1) Pink is for girls and blue is for boys: Recently, someone was telling me about a time when her little boy was mistaken for a girl. She was flabbergasted at this mistake and wondered why they thought she would dress her little girl up in blue. I will tell you all now - if I ever have a little girl, please don’t bring any pink frilly dresses to the baby shower…you would be wasting your money.

("Self-Portrait" by John Kirby)

2) Boys shouldn’t cry: A couple of nights ago I was at the laundromat, which was overtaken by small children who were running around the machines like it was a race course and randomly hitting other unsuspecting children. When one boy (maybe 3 years?) got hit back in the eye he went to his mom and started crying. She made some comment about how he should have hit him back then (great…don’t even get me started on this subject) and then she told him to stop crying like a “sissy @ss girl.” ☹ The child was obviously offended by this comment and said that he wasn’t a girl, to which the mother replied that he was sure acting like one and “only little girls cry.” I CAN’T STAND THIS.

("Self-Portrait With Cropped Hair" by Frida Kahlo)

3) Females are teachers, librarians, day care providers, nurses, etc. - if they are not staying home with the kids: My 7th graders have definitely learned and internalized the gender-stereotyped jobs, but even my 1st and 2nd graders have too. Many would laugh at the idea of a male nurse or elementary school teacher and I would have to work hard to convince them that women can be mechanics or construction workers. (If you want a children’s book that breaks down these kinds of stereotypes, check out How We Are Smart by W. Nikola-Lisa.)

("The Dinner Party" by Judy Chicago)

4) When it comes to gift-giving, women like jewelry, chocolates, flowers or a romantic dinner and men like beer, whiskey, tickets to a sports game, a day golfing, and a calendar of half-naked women: Puh-lease. My sisters and I sent my dad flowers at work for his birthday and he LOVED them! I gave him a Vivian Green CD for Christmas and he likes that too. I’m about to break this stereotype again in 2 days when my husband comes home. Check back for pictures.

(Artist: Cindy Sherman)

5) Girls should be thin with big boobs and wear tight clothes – and they spend hours at the gym fretting about what they look like. Guys don’t care at all how their bodies look: Females AND males care about what they look like and do feel self-conscious when they don’t match up with the image of what society says we should look like. I heard a conversation the other day (again with 3 year olds) about how boys have short hair and girls have long hair. When we accept such narrow views about what is beautiful (or what males and females should look like) it has detrimental effects on people’s self-image, self-esteem, how they are treated, etc.

("Your Body Is a Battleground" by Barbara Kruger)

So, my question to you ---> Am I alone here? Or what gender stereotypes do you all hate??

Put This On the {Map} is touring around the nation, showing a 34 minutes documentary that reteaches gender and sexuality:

PUT THIS ON THE {MAP} trailer from PUT THIS ON THE MAP on Vimeo.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Your Chicago Weekend...

Hey Chicagoans - We survived the Blizzaster of 2011! WOO! Give yourself a pat on the back and take a shower (I know you have all been just lounging around in PJ's all day!) because it's time to get out of the house and DO SOMETHING. So here is a list of some really cool, artsy things to do this weekend or the next....

1. First, check out this video on PBS about an unknown artist who was recently discovered when her storage space was auctioned off and someone discovered 1000's of pictures that had never even been developed. It is an amazing story...

Watch the full episode. See more Chicago Tonight.

2. Aren't you interested in seeing some of Vivian Maier's photos now? You can check out about 80 of her photos at the Chicago Cultural Center in downtown Chicago until April 3rd. For the address, hours, and other info, click here.

3. After you check out the Vivian Maier exhibit, head over to the Gene Siskel Film Center, also downtown, to see Louder Than a Bomb, a documentary that follows some Chicago-area high school poetry teams as they prepare for and compete in the largest youth poetry slam competition. The documentary will be shown through February 10th, 2011. To see the schedule, click here. Click here to hear some of the youth's poems being performed on WBEZ.

4. Warm up with some coffee or tea and check out the gallery at Three Peas Art Lounge.

5. Get on Pandora Radio, Reverbnation, or Youtube and search for some new music to get you inspired, like Melodic Yoza:

6. If you truly consider yourself a Chicagoan and you have never seen Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, then go NOW. It's creative, different, and you are sure to have a rowdy good time.

7. If you are more in a jazzy or poetry mood or if you have never been to the Green Mill, then you must go this weekend or you will be deleted from my "followers list." JK. But seriously, you need to check out the Green Mill. They have jazz every night and Mark Smith has been hosting the Uptown Poetry Slam for the last 25 years. AMAZING.

8. By Sunday, you should be tired and can relax in bed and watch an artsy movie (maybe I suggest 2 of my favorites?...Frida and Rivers and Tides) and be rested enough to go back to a full work week!

(I got the wall hanging in Pakistan and the bedspread was handmade by my father-in-laws mother)