Gender inequality is learnt and experienced from a young age. The pressures on girls and boys to see themselves and behave in particular ways according to their gender is immense - coming from the media, from peers, from toys and marketing. In the midst of all this - how do you 'teach' feminism to children and empower them to resist and speak out against sexism? What does it mean to be a mother and a feminist? Find out about key gender equality issues are facing you and your children and what you can do about it.
Over six weeks, Viv Groskop, writer and broadcaster, will explore key gender issues which come up in family life. Participants will be able to share their experiences and ideas for promoting gender equal ideas. In addition, you will hear from feminists, thinkers and other parents who are standing up for women's rights as well as leading experts on gender and education.
Week 1: Tuesday 18 September 6.30-9.30pm
- What does it meant to be a feminist? Does it change when you have a family? Share your experiences of grappling with this issue.
Week 2: Tuesday 25 September 6.30-9.30pm
- “Whilst you’re upstairs reading about the patriarchy on the internet, I am downstairs cooking dinner.” -- Viv’s husband. How does feminism fit into a family and a relationship?
Week 3: Tuesday 2 October 6.30-9.30pm
- “Mummy, you don’t go to an office. That means you don’t have a job.” -- Viv’s eight-year-old son. Family, feminism and work (or non-work). How do you set the best example? How can you reconcile competing demands on your time? Dealing with envy, guilt and exhaustion.
Week 4: Tuesday 9 October 6.30-9.30pm
-“Mummy, can I wear your make-up?” -- Viv’s five-year-old daughter. Explaining feminism and gender issues to children: reading, television, films, toys and how to handle the pink/blue divide.
Week 5: Tuesday 16 October 6.30-9.30pm
-”What’s the point in trying to change anything?” Viv’s inner child when she thinks about feminism. The possibilities of family activism, “equal parenting”, information about support groups, campaigning and protesting.
Week 6: Saturday 20 October 10am-2pm
-- “Mummy, is it true Miss Piggy is a man?” (All of the Muppets are voiced by men.) How to handle gender stereotypes as children get older: managing situations at school and beyond. How to deal with your own changing attitudes to feminism as your family circumstances change.
NB The course content may change at the discretion of the course leader and the Mumsnet Academy.
Viv Groskop is a writer, broadcaster and stand-up comedian who has written about family and gender for the past 10 years. She has three children under the age of eight, two boys and a girl. She is a regular on BBC Radio 4 and writes regularly for a host of national publications, from the Daily Telegraph to the Guardian. She is a contributor to the best-selling Women of the Revolution: Forty Years of Feminism (Guardian Books).
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