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Gender roles

Mom condemns ‘sexist’ homework assigned to daughter, rewrites it to reflect modern values

June 2, 2017

After her 6-year-old daughter was given a “sexist” worksheet to complete for homework, one mother from New York City took to Facebook to denounce what she described as the negative message being sent to young girls about their role in life.

Mother Lynne Polvino shared a copy of the offensive assignment on Facebook, noting that her daughter had been required to fill in the blanks of a story about a girl who was upset over her mother returning to her office job. In the story, the girl goes hungry because her mother is in a “rush” and the father is incapable of making breakfast. The “happy ending” to the tale is only resolved after the mother decides she’s going to start leaving work early to take care of her daughter.

Posted by Lynne Polvino on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

“It just pushed so many buttons for me, and with each sentence it managed to get worse!” Polvino, a children’s book editor, told TODAY Parents. “My shock and dismay quickly turned to outrage. I mean, what decade are we in, anyway? In this day and age, we’re going to tell kids that mothers working outside the home makes their children and families unhappy? That fathers don’t normally do things like cook and wash the dishes?”

Polvino decided to write an alternate version of the assignment — one in which the mother was returning to work from her paid maternity leave and the father was home on “paid paternity leave, caring for Lisa’s younger brother and contributing equally to the running of the household.” In Polvino’s version, the mother is still home before her daughter returns from school — not because she left the office early, but because her daughter had been playing at a “free federally-funded after school enrichment program.”

“Lisa was glad she was growing up in a society free of gender bias and misogyny. Lisa feels fine now. The end,” Polvino’s version concludes.

Posted by Lynne Polvino on Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Polvino added she had also emailed Hazel’s teacher, and that the teacher had agreed to screen assignments more carefully in the future.

“I have so much respect for all the working moms of past generations who had to deal with this type of crap on a regular basis,” Polvino said. “I’m so grateful to them for paving the way.”

Read the full story on Yahoo News.


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