There’s nothing like controversy and current events to kickstart conversation. Seize the day and get talking with your kids about these recent news stories…
Coronation Street’s James Craven says Aaron is “shocked and devastated” when Amy tells him he raped her (Evening Standard, 23/2/23)
James Craven, from the soap opera Coronation Street, says about his character Aaron having had sex with his friend Amy after she passed out from being drunk and couldn’t give consent: “He’s shocked to hear that she says it’s rape – he believes he hasn’t done anything wrong and that Amy was OK with it. It’s common; it’s normalised. The important thing to take away from this is: the absence of no is not a yes. Only a yes is a yes”
TALKING POINT What kinds of conversations could this storyline start? Read the article >
Female version of George and the Dragon statue unveiled for International Women’s Day (Mirror, 8/3/23)
Next to a George and the Dragon statue in London is Georgina and the Dragon, showing a girl – with Girlguiding badges like Speaking Out, Inventing, Construction, Navigator and Entrepreneur – on a BMX bike slaying a dragon covered in gender stereotypes. A list of 10 stereotypes includes pink vs blue; household chores; toys for girls vs boys; girls are emotional and delicate, boys are strong and brave, and science and football are for boys
TALKING POINT What gender stereotypes do you hear and see? Read the article >
I used to dream of having a doll that looked like me. I hope this Barbie inspires girls to dream bigger (Guardian, 9/3/23)
“When I was growing up, Barbie offered a narrow ideal of beauty. Today I play Barbies with my 12-year-old daughter. We have dolls with curly hair like hers. Now a Barbie has been designed for me – with a telescope – and for 6 other STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths) professionals. I went to 13 schools and had dyslexia. But I dreamed big. Now I’m a space scientist, University of Leicester chancellor and The Sky at Night BBC presenter. We’ve come far. At talks I encourage everyone, especially girls, to have a ‘desire to aspire’ – to reach for the stars. Have a big crazy dream and see where it takes you”
TALKING POINT How can diverse Barbies make an impression on girls? Read the article >
Boys wear skirts to school to protest checks on girls’ uniforms by male teachers (Metro, 24/2/23)
“Girls at Rainford High School in St Helens, Merseyside, were herded into a hall where male staff checked their uniform skirt length with tape measures. Hundreds of kids walked out of lessons in protest, with boys wearing skirts in solidarity. One mum said her 15-year-old ‘felt humiliated, targeted, violated and upset. Some girls were crying. The skirt rule is sexist and restrictive.’ A letter sent to parents said students need to learn ‘without worrying that actions such as sitting down become overly precarious due to skirt length’”
TALKING POINT What do you think of the girls’ and boys’ reactions? Read the article >
Gloria Orwoba: Kenyan senator asked to leave over “period stain” (BBC, 15/2/23)
“Kenyan senator Gloria Orwoba, who was asked to leave parliament because of an apparent blood stain on her trousers, says she was proud to stand up against period shame, adding: ‘I thought I should walk the talk.’ Some MPs, including a female senator, said it was a disgrace and indecent, that she was being disrespectful, that she might be faking it and this was not setting a good example to girls. Ms Orowba was disappointed to be questioned over ‘an accident that is natural’. She said: ‘I have stained my clothes’”
TALKING POINT What do you think of Orwoba’s act and the responses? Read the article >
And finally: to discuss…
“She’s arrived”: Parents Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union celebrate 15-year-old trans daughter Zaya’s catwalk debut weeks after she finally had her name and gender legally changed after first coming out as trans aged 12 (Daily Mail, 8/3/23)
🌈 NBA basketball All-Star Dwyane Wade, age 41, in accepting the President’s Award at the NAACP Awards, addresses his trans daughter Zaya, age 15:
“As your father, all I’ve wanted to do is get it right. I have sat back and watched how graceful you have taken on the public scrutiny and even though it’s not easy, I watched you walk out of the house every morning as yourself.
I admire how you have handled the ignorance in our world. I admire that you face it every day.
To say that your village is proud of you is an understatement.
Thank you for showing me that there is more than just one way to communicate effectively. You taught me that communication with my mouth isn’t enough. I have to also communicate with my 2 ears and my 2 eyes.
As your father, my job isn’t to create a version of myself or direct your future. My role is to be a facilitator to your hopes, your wishes, your dreams.
Zaya, you have made me a better human just simply by being who you were born to be. Our baby girl, Zaya Wade. Thank you for showing the world what courage looks like” 🌈
TALKING POINTS Is it rare to hear a dad to be so publicly supportive of his child? Why is it important to talk about trans identities (think about JK Rowling’s attitudes and anti-LGBT+ movements in America)? Why do you think there’s opposition to LGBT+ people and issues? Do you know any LGBT+ people who are your age – or older? How might Zaya and Dwyane influence people?