‘What must your mum think, always having to wash them?’

As stated in my ‘pink vs blue’ post I dislike gender stereotypes. Unfortunately they are well and truly ingrained in our society. When discussing possible blog posts my wife mentioned something she overheard a male teacher say to a boy at school.

The boy had been playing football at lunch and had very muddy trousers. This is, presumably, something that is a regular occurrence. The male teacher, whilst passing the boy in the corridor, said ‘What must your mum think always having to wash your trousers?’. Of course his mum will wash the trousers for that is perceived to be the responsibility of a woman.

These types of comments infuriate me; they are based on archaic gender stereotypes that have no place in a modern society. Most families do not conform to gender stereotypical roles; women can be the main breadwinner, men can take the lead on the cooking,  washing and cleaning. The comment made is detrimental for teenagers to hear as it upholds the view that the home is the woman’s responsibility when they are forming their views on the world. As teachers we have an immense ability to shape the outlook of our students and flippant comments about the role of men and women are misjudged. Let’s not even get into the fact that as a fourteen year old boy he could even have the responsibility of washing his own trousers!

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