Middle School's 'Women Studies' Course Criticized For Sexist Lessons On Grooming, Nail Care And Social Etiquette
A school's "Women Studies" course received criticisms from the public for its sexist lessons. The course taught girls between the sixth and ninth grades lessons on grooming, nail care and social etiquette, and had no lessons on gender equality.
Eleanor Hall School in Alberta, Canada launched its "Women Studies" class in February. Advocates of women's issues, however, felt this course took a step back from progress because of what young girls were supposed to learn.
Apart from the history of women's roles and the influence of women around the world, the girls were taught how to style their hair or do their nails. They were also guided on how to behave at dinner parties or prepare food in the kitchen.
"It just feels very 1950s," Women's March organizer Alison Poste said, as per CBC. Poste also questioned why the boys had no similar course. She said a gender studies class should reflect how "women and girls are entitled to representation and every opportunity that boys and men are." For her, the school's course upheld gender stereotypes.
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Education Minister David Miggen released a statement following the criticisms and the uproar. He said his office contacted the school and the school district.
"We informed them that all problematic or offensive components must be changed," he stated in an email, as per Huffington Post Canada. "They have assured me they will make appropriate changes," he added.
Course teacher Michelle Savoie defended the school's "Women Studies" class, where 25 girls are so far enrolled. She said there's value in teaching adolescent girls healthy self-esteem and confidence through the lessons outlined in the course.
"In this age of social media, girls are being frequently compared to others and exposed to messages about how they aren't good enough unless they dress and behave a certain way," Savoie said in a Facebook post. She also wanted her young female students to know how women should be supportive of each other.u