I read a couple of articles this morning addressing some ‘professionals’ who have advised head teachers that they should not be addressing pupils as ‘boys’ and ‘girls’ because it causes stress. It was also said that terms such as ‘girls’ and ‘ladies’ would never be used by one of the professionals as it was ‘patronising’.
I thought I would share my thoughts on this for anyone who is interested. I am a girl, and I am proud to be a girl. I would never consider someone saying ‘girls’ or ‘ladies’ as they enter an assembly of all-girls to be patronising, a criticism or an insult. To suggest that terms such as these should be scrapped feeds into inequality and the idea that being female is somehow lesser. To summarise: this does not empower girls and is a ridiculous notion.
Further to this, I don’t believe referring to children as ‘boys and girls’ causes stress. In fact, deliberately not doing so may cause stress for young children who (rightly) struggle to understand why suddenly this is not okay. Boys are boys, girls are girls, not just biologically but psychologically and while it is important to educate children on sexuality and identity/gender there should not be undue pressure on children to have to conform to be neither boy or girl, which getting rid of such terms would certainly do.
For these so called professionals to suggest things such as these really suggests to me that the need to impulsively ‘label’ is getting out of hand. Let kids be kids, regardless of gender, let them be boys, let them be girls, let them be whatever the hell they want.