Date: 2021 22th October
- Discover existing sexist stereotypes. This time in traditional tales.
- Look for alternatives for the inequality between men and women in tales.
We are used to listen the lifelong tales since we were children. We have never raised some details in them as for example how little boys and little girls, men and women who are main characters are treated: Princes are always brave and they save princesses who unavoidably fall in love with them. Women are gossiping and sensitive. Men are strong and handsome...
We assume that many of them have a learning or final moral that may be applied to our lives. Nevertheless, we do not realize that treatment based on gender is also assumed by the listeners, stablishing behavior patterns and stereotypes in their minds. Fortunately, nowadays the range of tales is more varied and offers more possibilities and types of people. Despite this, we must not forget that we still tell traditional stories which maintain stereotypes.
The purpose of the activity is help the students to realize these stereotypes by reading the tales. After, they reread them and make proposals about how the tales could be to show equality between characters of different gender.
We propose make the students read some of these tales without telling them at the beginning in which will consists the activity, that is to say, coeducation and gender equality:
- The Cinderella
- Snow White
- The Sleeping Beauty
The class will be divided in some groups. A single book will be reread by each group of students and the will have to answer the following questions:
- How are the tale characters? What personality does each character have?
- What has attracted your attention about the main characters and other secondary characters of the tale?
- Comparing male and female characters... Do they have the same characteristics and qualities?
- Could their roles be exchanged? Is there something that would not fit this exchange?
Hereafter, according to the answers given by the students and highlighting some questions which could have been unanswered, a participative reflection about the assigned roles to women and men take place. We will ask the students about if they have noticed the stereotypes present in the tales now or the first time the read them. They also will be asked about if there is need to have these characters with a set of non-stereotypical characteristics instead of a set assigned by gender.
After this reflection, we propose them to reread the tale and redo it their way. For this they have to take into account the values and real equality between men and women. This activity may be completed with the edition of the tale reworked by them and they may add illustrations and details. It also may be put in the school library for being available to other students.
To conclude, this video may be played in class: