Impact beyond kids

I was reminded yesterday by a parent that doing gender work with children has a much greater reach than just the kids involved in the work.

The parent tweeted a story about their child correcting the parent’s gendered assumptions and credited the work I had done with the child’s class last year.

Twitter thread
Post 1:
Me, as neighbour got in car: "she might reverse"
6yo: "don't say she, you don't know that just because of how someone looks. They might look like a girl but not feel like that in their heart. They might be non binary."
Post 2:
Thanks for your contribution to E's education @lizziemaughan, these conversations were very one-sided until last year, and now I'm the one getting corrected.

This goes to show the gender work has not only the reach of the parents, but also, with 127 likes on twitter, the parent’s community.

Another time a parent shared a wonderful story with me after I had been doing gender work in her child’s class. The parent told me they had been to a therapist appointment and her kid, Jane (a pseudonym) had been really frustrated that on a previous occasion the receptionist had referred to her and her non-binary friend as “girls”. Jane asked to talk to the receptionist about this. The parent told the receptionist that Jane had been learning about gender and being an ally at school and wanted to practice her skills. First they told the receptionist how wonderful it was that the toilets and change rooms at the therapy office were gender neutral. Then Jane explained to the receptionist that you can’t assume people’s pronouns and need to ask people what their pronouns are. The receptionist was very welcoming of this advice. They said that they sometimes find it tricky to know what to say to people and that she was grateful to learn she could say this. I expect this receptionist probably also shared this story with their colleagues, friends and family.

So remember, the gender work you do with children does not stop in the classroom and it has the potential for much greater reach and impact. You are doing a great job!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *