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Gravity – Igniting the love of science and defying gender stereotypes

Okay, so this weekend, we finally watched Gravity and I can only thank my lucky stars that we didn’t watch it on Imax… The movie was good but boy… me and hubby were feeling the effects till the next day. B was ok with it… not as entertained as say, Frozen or even Fast and Furious (despite the fast cars and drugs cartel themes, it is actually quite a family centric movie – the plot always revolves around saving one member of the family and B loves the whole crash whiz bang routine) .

This was her synopsis of the movie – ” She just keep getting no battery!  No battery! No battery!”

But I am sure she enjoyed it because her latest favourite book is Spacecraft : My First Book of Question and Answers.  For the past 2 weeks, this has been the bedtime book. I half suspect that she is enamoured with the book because there are lots of True or False sections which she is using to test us! Of course, in the process she is learning a whole lot about space.

It usually goes like this:

True or False? Hubble needed  to wear glasses.

The answer is True. Astronauts had to give it a new pair of lenses which worked like glasses as it couldn’t see very well at first.

I like the fact that she is into all this. How boring would it be if she were only interested in pixies, barbies and tinkerbells?!! and how much she would miss if she were just into all that girly stuff.

We make it a point to show and practise with her either anti gender stereotypes  – we point out female Prime Ministers, we have taken her to see female dentists and female pediatrician.

On the flip side of the coin, I like to challenge her beliefs such as  pink is for girls… ”

“What happens if a boy likes pink? Will he turn pink? Will his nose fall off?”

and then, I add some seriousness into it…

“Will the other children not like him? Would you not like a person just because the person likes a colour that you think a boy or girl shouldn’t like?”

So, we talk, discuss the outcomes. I don’t name it yet. I don’t tell her that it’s prejudice. Now it’s just the time to introduce and lay the foundations of ethics and principles. I feel there is no need to call or label something right now. There is a lot of extremism floating around our society nowadays (despite what we hear about having an inclusive society, I hear and see all sorts of discrimination), and one way to counter it is to inculcate a leaning towards rational discourse in children. Most children have a natural sense of right and wrong, a sense of justice, so rather than preaching and telling them what to think, using an enquiry base way of learning is more beneficial:

Would you like it if it happened to you?

If a person said that, do you think it’s rude or polite?

What would have been a better way of saying it?

Getting a child to come to a conclusion on her own is probably more beneficial than just serving it on a plate and forcing it down the throat like a duck being force fed, because you sometimes kill the duck (metaphorically, you kill the child’s love of having conversations with you).

 

 

 

 

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