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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation


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I came across this http://t.co/VVSktEpfis today in my Facebook feed.

It got me to thinking about the casual misogyny in American society and how it plays out in schools. (I also wonder about how that misogyny impacts boys- what it teaches them about their roles in society.) What do you do in your classroom (or in your work, if you're not currently teaching) to help girls hold onto their confidence as they move into adolescence? What do you think about campaigns like this one? Do they help? Are they just good marketing?

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Evy Roy's picture
Evy Roy
Former Community and Social Media Intern at Edutopia

Personally, I think something this campaign failed to bring to light is that the phrase "like a girl" is not usually an insult towards girls, but rather towards boys. It can be used to diminish a boy's masculinity, which in many ways, is directly related to his self confidence. Of course, the favoring of masculinity and negativity towards femininity has huge effects on girls, but I believe this specific phrase more often affects young boys.

In general, campaigns like this one do some good because they are easily relatable, sharable, and digestible for the average viewer. They get people thinking about the gender issues that children face every day without even realizing it. They get the conversation started . Sometimes, though, I think they start the wrong conversation. Furthermore, it's easy to say," We don't like the phrase 'Like a girl' - stop using it," but it is much harder to look at the reasons behind the phrase and find solutions to actually solve problems like the favoring of masculinity.

It's hard to say whether the video is all good or all bad. However, even if this is a marketing strategy, I commend Always for choosing this route for marketing instead of a classic feminine menstruation sport commercial.

What do you think?

Laura Thomas's picture
Laura Thomas
Director, Antioch University New England Center for School Renewal, Author of Facilitating Authentic Learning, Director of the Antioch Critical Skills Program; Elementary Library Media Specialist

I agree that this kind of belittling language is equally damaging to boys and girls- in different ways, but still damaging. Thanks for adding your .02! (I also think anything is better than the "smiling women riding bicycles in white pants" meme...)

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