Well, you all know I'm gonna pitch a fit about this one.
Pitch, pitch pitch!!!
Center for Gender Equity makes some more equal than others
Phillip Matier, Andrew Ross
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
UCSF's Center for Gender Equity hosts its annual "Take Our Daughters
and Sons to Work Day" on Thursday -- but judging from the list of
activities being offered, the gender equity program is anything but equal.
For example, the 9- and 10-year-old daughters are being invited to
participate in 17 hands-on activities such as working with
microscopes, slicing brains, doing skull comparisons, seeing what goes
on in the operating room, playing surgeon, dentist or nurse for a day,
and visiting the intensive care unit nursery, where they can set up
blood pressure cuffs and operate the monitors.
They can learn about earthquake and disaster preparedness, how to use
a fire extinguisher, how to operate several types of equipment -- even
fire a laser.
And what do the boys get to do?
Learn about "gender equity in fun, creative ways using media, role
playing and group games" -- after which, the boys can get a bit of
time in with a microscope or learn how the heart works.
"It's ridiculous," says one UCSF doc, who asked not to be named for
fear of retaliation from the university. "I have no problem with the
Center for Gender Equity, but just make it equitable."
Longtime center director Amy Levine, however, tells us the program
isn't intended to give boys and girls the same learning opportunities
-- nor, she says, is it a career day.
"It's about dealing with effects of sexism on both boys and girls and
how it can damage them," she said.
Hence, while the boys undergo gender sensitivity training, the girls
focus on their capabilities -- be it handling a scalpel or microscope.
UCSF tried mixing the boys with the girls a few years back, but Levine
says it just didn't work out.
"It mirrored the same sexism that occurs in the classroom daily," she
said, "where boys raise their hands more often, demand more attention
and have discipline problems."
So now the boys have their own gender sensitivity program, where "they
learn about violence prevention and how to be allies to the girls and
women in their lives," Levine said.
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