When many schools reopened after the lockdown restrictions were eased, the authorities had to pay a lot of attention to all the rules and ensure the safety of the students. Maintaining a necessary social distance and wearing masks became a crucial guideline. Distributing masks to the students might sound like a great initiative but turns out, one school messed up that job.
Dr. Catherine Lebel, a mother of an eight-year-old girl, spoke up about an issue that annoyed her daughter to a certain extent. Her daughter’s school handed out masks to all the students but the problem arose when those face masks had “gender stereotypes” written all over them.
“My daughter came home and said it was stupid that her class got ‘girls’ and ‘boys’ masks, because there were no such things. She was not hugely upset, just annoyed,” Dr. Lebel shared.
This Canadian school had pink masks for the girls and blue ones for the boys. Moreover, the masks given to the girls had the most bizarre design on it. This made no sense to anyone! When this mom shared her experience on Twitter, people were furious about this whole thing and felt as if they were transported to another era.
One person tweeted, “If they were just pink and blue masks, I’d move on and wouldn’t comment. But I’m concerned about the lips/kisses on the “girl” masks. I’m not down with what that suggests, encourages, or celebrates and how it could be interpreted and used against the girls who are wearing them.”
Dr. Lebel explained, “I am irritated by this, but not outraged. Certainly this is not the biggest thing we have to worry about right now, and I am glad to see the school providing masks. However, it seems unnecessary to promote gender stereotypes and I think it’s important to call them out when I see them.”
It was an ignorant move on the school’s part and people were disappointed by this action. The tweets came flooding in after this mother posted her daughter’s experience.
The Calgary mom of the 8-year-old shared, “The gendering just seems unnecessary. Masks are masks and can be for whoever they fit. We try really hard not to talk about things being only for girls or boys and I really want kids (not just my own) to grow up with a sense of equal opportunity.”
8 yo daughter came home irritated today about the “girl masks” and “boy masks” that were distributed to her class. pic.twitter.com/AwgXCrFeMA
— Catherine Lebel (@CatherineALebel) September 2, 2020
The issue enraged many people and they started sharing their views about this cat that promoted gender stereotypes.
A spokesman for Alberta’s Municipal Affairs released a statement to put their side of the story ahead. “The masks came in a wide variety of colours and patterns from Old Navy and IFR Workwear, and our government had absolutely zero input in deciding which colours were sent,” the spokesperson said.
“The sole goal of the masks is preventing the spread of COVID-19, not fashion statements or political agendas. If parents do not like the specific provided masks, they are free to take their concerns to their local schools or purchase other masks.”
The schools have a huge responsibility of teaching the kids about the evils including gender stereotypes that need to be banished. They can do better!