What does it mean to be a girl? A guy? The socially-constructed stereotypes of each sex? The way we treat one another, intentionally or not? This campaign video, put together by Always in June of 2014, is interesting and speaks to some of the under-the-radar sexist stereotypes that are still prevalent today. And you should show it in your classroom.
“You ____ like a girl.” Why is this a common phrase? Why have I heard it said to me before? Why have I said it myself?
As I began teaching a unit on House on Mango Street, the role of women and culture stereotypes of women became prevalent and relevant to teach my eighth graders. As we read and learned about females in the story who were stuck in traditional ‘motherly’ roles or given limited freedoms, I showed this video clip and asked my students what they thought of it and how it related to their reading.
Students talked about the way ‘You throw like a girl’ and other phrases seemed to be so harmless, but when they saw these phrases being acted out in the video, they realized the impact. The phrase didn’t seem wrong…yet when the young girls were candidly acting different, it made my students (and me!) realize what an underlining sexual stereotype this is in our world today.
This video made me realize something about our world, our kids, myself—there is still so much sexism. And even though something may seem harmless, it needs to be addressed and seen as wrong.
I related this video to my House on Mango Street unit, but I think it can be so important any time, and with any curriculum. Students, especially secondary students, need to watch this and think about the thinks we so often say without realizing their impact.