“The Gender Agenda: A First-Hand Account of How Girls and Boys Are Treated Differently” by James Millar and Ros Ball— The Unwritten Rules of Gender

Millar, James and Ros Ball. “The Gender Agenda: A First-Hand Account of How Girls and Boys Are Treated Differently”, Jessica Kingsley, 2017.

The Unwritten Rules of Gender

Amos Lassen

We are all aware of the unwritten rules of gender that society has forced upon its members and these rules pertain to everything from language and clothes, to toys and the media and take effect at birth. “The Gender Agenda” is meant to make people aware of the way gender is constructed and constantly reinforced. It takes the form of a diary that chronicles the differences two parents noticed while raising their son and daughter. It is an adaptation from tweets and blogs the couple kept throughout parenthood and it shows how culture, family and even the authors themselves are part of the ‘gender police’ that can influence a child’s identity, and offers ideas for how we can work together to challenge the gender stereotypes that are ingrained in our society.

We see the way casual everyday comments about children reflect and reinforce gender stereotypes and it explains why changes are needed. Our eyes are opened here to the little things that when taken together can make a big difference to the way boys and girls are raised. This is a fascinating yet shocking read that is filled with useful tips on how to fight back against the gender police. We see how gender inequality is embedded in our society from the earliest years of a child’s life. We need to be aware that casual everyday comments about children reflect and reinforce gender stereotypes.

 

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