Oh hai, Gender Stereotypes

Was thinking about ballet, and about The Baby,
And was thinking to myself:
Well, Self, if it’s a boy, and he shows an interest, I will sign him up for ballet. But if it’s a girl I will sign her up whether she’s interested or not and make her stick with it until she gets to pointe and she gets no say whatsoever so there.
And then I was like Woah! Dude, Self! Where did that even come from! Best to check yourself! Yikes! Scary gender stereotypes that I didn’t even know I had. Sheesh.

About adultbeginner

Had my first ballet class Ever at the advanced age of thirty-two. Yikes.
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8 Responses to Oh hai, Gender Stereotypes

  1. Amber Forbes says:

    I would so force the boy into it! Ballet NEEDS more boys!

  2. Ashley M says:

    Ballet is good for boys. My favorite male soloist with the Carolina Ballet will tell anyone he started taking ballet because his football coach made the team take dance to improve their control and balance and now he’s rocking it out. I suspect he’ll be principle soon even. And Amber is right, more men in the company is always good.

  3. guyenne says:

    We have a list of classes that we want our child to try regardless of gender, and I totally put ballet on there. The other items I recall offhand are piano, and martial arts (aikido or wushu or tai chi). If it’s something you love, your kids should at least try it for a year so they have some idea what you’re talking about. And I don’t tend to think that the preschool ages classes count as trying it out, but that’s a different topic.

    I also want to take sewing/ceramics/etc. classes with them at some point, and teach them to cook.

  4. Jenna says:

    My future children will try ballet, regardless of their sex. They’ll also learn to ride horses, play an instrument, learn to swim, and sample whatever sport strikes their fancy. I’ll let them quit or continue as they choose once they’ve been doing it long enough to be able to honestly say that they do or don’t like it, but I’ll be making sure that they’re making honest choices. No continuing only because they think it’s what I want, and no quitting just because their friend did or because the class conflicted with some other activity last time we registered. These are lessons my mother didn’t learn, and because of this I *didn’t* continue in ballet or gymnastics after age 5, I *didn’t* get my life guarding certificate, and I *didn’t* learn to play the flute. By 13 I just had folk dancing and piano left. My younger sister, on the other hand, was very outspoken about what she did and didn’t want to do, and determined to get her way, so she had a new activity every fall, but never stuck with any of them.

  5. Nadine says:

    NOOOO! Don’t make her stick with it no matter what. Don’t be that ballet-mother. I’m a dance teacher, and ballet-mothers are the bane of my existence. It’s really hard work teaching girls who don’t want to be there. And it’s not fair on the students who DO love it.

    • That’s it exactly! Forcing a girl just because she’s a girl seems kinda unforgivable and crazy and I’m horrified that I went there! Even for just a minute in my head. Poor kid better hope it’s a boy so it gets some say in its life! Yikes. Makes me wonder what other crazy preconceived notions I’ve got floating around in there.

  6. O'Fla says:

    As a former ballet-dancer and Mom of two dancing daughters (one professional, the other in full-time training), the only “advice” I can give is to model the behaviors you treasure. If your kid sees you sticking with things, even though you may not feel like it right now, and sees you not giving in to “instant gratification”, then they are likely – eventually – to stay with things and not give up easily.
    But, that said, everyone is different, and you will find what works best for you and your family! :)

    There are indeed gender stereotypes, and most of us hold onto some of them without knowing we do, often until we are challenged by something or someone close to us. Better late than never!

  7. Katy says:

    I’m still a teeny bit bitter that my husband got a better mark in his Grade 1 ballet than I did… don’t let the stereotypes get you down!

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