Final Day of Class! December 13

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In "Feminist Education for Critical Consciousness" (in Feminism for Everybody), bell hooks argues for the need to give children access to a feminist education. Is this possible? Necessary? What would it look like? Did you have access to feminist education when you were younger? If so, what were (weren't) you taught?

On our last day, I thought I'd show you my introduction to feminist/feminist values: Free to be...You and Me.

top_logo.gifI'm a child of the 1970s (born in 1974). When I was in elementary school in North Carolina, the entire school watched the Free to be...you and me film (Videos/VCRs didn't exist yet...yes, I'm that old) during an assembly. Everyone was really excited because it was a long film--a whole 45 minutes!--and long films meant less class time. Anyway, I don't remember much of what I thought about the film back then (I was probably 6 or so). Yet, I'm sure some of it seeped into my consciousness, helping shape how I experience the world and how I see myself and my relationship to others. 

Originally a book/album created by Marlo Thompson, with a little help from Gloria Steinem, Free to be...you and me was turned into a one hour TV special. It first aired March 11th, 1974 (3 months before I was born). You can find out more about the history of the project here. Several years later, it became a popular film to show in schools around the country (like mine in North Carolina. It was also shown in Minnesota). 

It stands as one example of feminist mass-based education. Would such a show be possible now? What sorts of feminist (or feminist-friendly) films did you see in elementary school? If we were to create a feminist resource for kids, what would/could/should it look like?

Here's one of my favorite songs from the show:


Note: Rosey Grier was a football player during the 1970s. I really like how "Free to be...you and me" challenges the stereotype of who does cry (girls/women) and who isn't supposed to (boys/men). In addition to having Grier sing the song, they also show a series of images of all sorts of people crying. As I was searching through youtube for this clip, I also found this one from Barney, "It's OK to Cry":

 

Barney is singing to little Beth about how it's OK for her to cry. Does this song undercut a feminist message to boys (and all children), that its alright for everyone to cry?

4 Comments

Final Day of Class! Wow! Congratulations Sara & students! I wish I'd been able to check in with more of your content, but the little I was able to follow is really good work. Congratulations everyone!

Thanks Vaneeesa!

Hi Sara,
hope your final day is really memorable.

I like so much these type of post.The last day of college is really so memorable.When my last day was in college then we have enjoyed so much.Nice post

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