Gender Roles, History, Family – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – by Abbey DeLisle. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

Gender Roles, History, Family – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – by Abbey DeLisle. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

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There is no doubt that things were much different in 1948 compared to 2017. My maternal grandmother was in high school from 1948-1952, during the height of the domestic scene for women in America. No boys were found in sewing or cooking classes, boys and girls had gym class separately, girls wore dresses to school every day (no shorts allowed for girls!), and only boys were allowed to take auto mechanic class. Although very irritating to me, pretty predictable. But my grandma elaborated on many more things and informed me that boys took typing along with girls and girls had shop class for 8 weeks. How intriguing! Just as I was condescending the 1950s for sexism, conversation allowed me to see complications I had never thought about before.

Moving on to the next generation, my mother, I thought I had it all figured out. My mother went to high school from 1977-1981, a time I forgot was also much different than the current time. My mom informed me that gym class was still separated by gender, boys didn’t take sewing, shorts at school was not allowed for girls, and girls didn’t take auto mechanics. Arbitrarily it appears, girls had to take foundry (shop, gardening, and woodworking), basically what is taught to boys and girls in current curriculum. My grandma jumped in and said she was shocked when my mother didn’t make my father’s lunch everyday like she had, and admitted she made her daughters clean every Saturday but not her son. I was beginning to see the distance that time and societal changes had created between the generations.

In the 1950s, it was largely assumed that the women’s place was in the home and they “didn’t talk about that stuff” (referring to social issues). But as easily as I forgot about the struggles of sexism in the 70s and 80s, my mother didn’t question the norms. We take for granted how far we have come but yet we stand in the same place as our predecessors still, unless we continue to discuss societal issues that need to change.

Abbey DeLisle, NSR Staff Writer, is a Junior Biology and Peace & Justice double major; The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, MN, Class of 2018

Please contact Professor Liang if you wish to write for The North Star Reports — HLIANG (at) css.edu

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The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy (http://NorthStarReports.org) is a student edited and student authored open access publication centered around the themes of global and historical connections. Our abiding philosophy is that those of us who are fortunate enough to receive an education and to travel our planet are ethically bound to share our knowledge with those who cannot afford to do so. Therefore, creating virtual and actual communities of learning between college and K-12 classes are integral to our mission. In three years we have published over 250 articles covering all habitable continents and a variety of topics ranging from history and politics, food and popular culture, to global inequities to complex identities. These articles are read by K-12 and college students. Our student editors and writers come from all parts of the campus, from Nursing to Biology, Physical Therapy to Business, and remarkably, many of our student editors and writers have long graduated from college. We also have writers and editors from other colleges and universities. In addition to our main site, we also curate a Facebook page dedicated to annotated news articles selected by our student editors (http://www.facebook.com/NorthStarReports). This is done by an all volunteer staff. We have a frugal cash budget, and we donate much of our time and talent to this project. The North Star Reports is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. For a brief summary, please see the American Historical Association’s Perspectives on History, at: http://www.historians.org/perspectives/issues/2013/1305/Opening-The-Middle-Ground-Journal.cfm

Hong-Ming Liang, Ph.D., Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, The North Star Reports; Chief Editor, The Middle Ground Journal; Associate Professor of History and Politics, The College of St. Scholastica. Kathryn Marquis Hirsch, Managing Editor, The North Star Reports.

(c) 2012-present The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy http://NorthStarReports.org ISSN: 2377-908X The NSR is sponsored and published by Professor Hong-Ming Liang, NSR Student Editors and Writers, with generous support from The Department of History and Politics of The College of St. Scholastica, and the scholarly Middle Ground Journal. See Masthead for our not-for-profit educational open- access policy. K-12 teachers, if you are using these reports for your classes, please contact editor-in-chief Professor Liang at HLIANG (at) css.edu

53 Comments

Filed under North Star Student Editors, Professor Hong-Ming Liang

53 responses to “Gender Roles, History, Family – Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell – by Abbey DeLisle. The North Star Reports: Global Citizenship and Digital Literacy, at NorthStarReports.org and facebook.com/NorthStarReports

  1. Tessa Lowry

    Abbey,
    thank you for sharing your story with us, I do still think there are gender roles around today. Although they are still around they are nowhere near as prominent as they were. If you look at the mechanic field there are not many women in the profession, not because they aren’t allowed but just because of how its viewed. I believe strongly that a female can do anything a man can do and especially at home a job should not just be expected because of your sex. My grandparents are not like this and I am very thankful that I have not had very many experiences with anyone like this.

  2. Madina Tall

    Thank you for this interesting article abbey. It is very strange and difficult for us to imagine a time that we can only envision through oral and written histories. Although it may be difficult for us to take in, i think it’s still very important for us to accept the past and learn from it. We have indeed come a long way but there is much more that we must work on. I think it is always best to look back at what has been done wrong and right so that we do not repeat the same mistakes as history told us not to do.

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