Take Your Kids to Work Week

Menstuff® has compiled the following information on "Taking Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day" that the MS. Foundation is proposing for 2003. Long a time celebrated officially by men's organizations around the country, the MS  Foundation, who has promoted and gotten millions of dollars of corporate support for the "Take Our Daughters to Work Day", annually celebrated on the fourth Thursday in April, has rushed to put a new spin on it by including "and Sons" in 2003, something they had ardently refused to do for many years. Wonder if the law suits against local school districts, etc. to include Sons had anything to do with the people at MS. waking up to smell a new blend of coffee with equality mixed in.

MS. Foundation Says It's Time for "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day"
MS Magazine - Only Daughters to Work?
Take Your Kids to Work Week
Career Day for Our Sons
Take Your Daughter(s) to Work Day


Take Your Kids to Work Week (International)

Seventh Annual Take Your Kids to Work Week was established in 1996. It is always the week after Father's Day. It's a time to share with your children what you do in the world and what keeps you away from home so much. Leaving the house each day with a brief case or tool box or lunch box isn't enough. (Any day this week Hopefully you do this with your kids more than once a year!)

Career Day for Our Sons. (National)

Held annually the Friday after Father's Day. Since only 40 percent of College Students are male, please invite local college representatives to speak to High School son's of employees to plan to go to college. Boys need Affirmative Action for equality in college attendance!!! Sponsored by National Coalition of Free Men. boystowork@aol.com or members.aol.com/boystowork/ Read about Daughters and Kids programs.

Take Your Daughter(s) to Work Day

Sponsored by MS magazine, and sponsored by 3 out of 10 corporations in the U.S. and more than 19 million participants in 1999, this is a day to take your daughter to work to experience what you do and to look at options for herself. We support this program and encourage you to participate. There are other options, not alternatives, but options. (4th Thu in April) Read about Sons and Kids programs.

This gender stuff gets so confusing sometimes. In the past, any exclusion of girls/women has raised great protests. And, boys/men have been and continue to be exclude in many ways. Health clubs for women only. Colleges for women only. Boys Scouts with girls. And, since 1993 a MS Magazine sponsored "Take Your Daughter to Work Day." The exclusion of boys "was meant to remove some distractions. It's a time when both we and our daughters can focus specifically on the girl's abilities and potential." As TODTW organizer Kalpana Crishnamurthy says, "TODTW is a day that deals with the unique issues girls face at adolescence, when girls' distress is most acute. Including boys doesn't serve boys' very different developmental needs - and it detracts from the focus on girls that TODTW was designed to achieve." And, while we understand why it is done, and do actually support the separation of the sexes, as we do in school, colleges and health clubs, we have a concern that if we continue to set-it up so that girls are basically taught that the only time they can be their own person, or be strong is in a women only environment. And, time will tell. So, we support Take Your Daughters to Work Day. And, dads, we encourage you to take your daughter(s) to work on this day. Three out of 10 American companies participated last year as did almost 19 million girls. There are other options, though not receiving anywhere near the corporate or educational system support. Read about Sons and Kids programs.


Woman's Work? A day for girls is evolving to include the boys

Kerryann Schulman, 16, still remembers the first time she saw her mother scale a building, demonstrating how she rescues people from windows during a fire. "To be 6 years old, watching your mother coming down the side of a building on a rope was pretty cool. I knew that was stuff that she did ... but being able to watch her was amazing.”

KerryAnn was a first-grader from Wil.liston Park the first time she went to fire school for Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Now a junior at Lakeland High School in Westchester, she's gone back almost every year since.

Each year, millions of girls like KerryAnn take a day off from school to follow their mothers, fathers and other relatives to work as part of Take Our Daughters to Work Day. Founded by the Ms. Foundation for Women in 1993 as a way to support adolescent girls and nourish their dreams, the program celebrates its 10th anniversary tomorrow. Turning the corner on the program's 10th year, the foundation has published research measuring its success, as well as .announcing a significant change to address the question it's faced since the beginning: What about the boys?

Over the past decade, more than 71 million adults -- about one-third of all Americans -- have participated in Daughters Day, according to the Ms. Foundation. And according to a recent poll, the program has been a success. Research conducted by RoperASW indicates the program has had an impact on girls' lives by exposing them to new work .opportunities, increasing their interest in education, and making them feel more confident and appreciated.

If you ask Ms. Foundation president Marie Wilson, the Daughters Day program's biggest triumph is spurring national .debate about gender and work. "As women move more and more into the public world, men need to move more and more into caring,” says Wilson. "For men to do that, the value of the work women do needs to change.” Daughters Day offers learning opportunities that help do just that.

When she brought her daughter to her office for Daughters Day in 1995, Joann Cunningham had an ulterior motive. The mother from Oceanside wanted her children to be proud of her. "I'd come home and say I was tired, and my kids would laugh and say, ‘Oh, what do you do? Sit in front of a computer all day?'” recalls the district clerk for the Sewanhaka Central School District, who at the time was secretary to the superintendent. "But the day Erin came in, there was a problem with a parent... . That gave her a little perspective.”

Now a junior at Vil.lanova University in Philadelphia, Erin, 21, agrees that before her visit, she had no sense of what her mom did. "I used to think she was just a secretary -- it never seemed like a really hard job.” Later, Erin took a summer job doing administrative work for the school .district. "I always thought of secretaries as just women that never got a college degree until I realized that without them, the whole place would fall apart.”

Wilson looks to a future where the value of all kinds of work helps women and men make life choices less constrained by stereotypes. To help reach this goal, the Ms. Foundation de.cided to formalize what had been taking place informally since the first Daughters Day -- including boys. In 2003, they will change the name to Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Since its inception, the Daughters Day program has heard complaints for sending a bad message about female victimhood and excluding boys. Wilson refutes those claims. "We've worked with boys throughout the 10 years of this program,” she says. "It's never been about girls as victims and men as oppressors.”

In February, male- rights activist Joe Manthey filed a federal sex-discrimination suit against Sonoma County in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, charging that the Board of Supervisors discriminated against men by spending public funds on Daughters Day without allotting funds for those workers who wanted to bring their sons. The suit is pending. Though .Manthey credits the lawsuit for the name change, Wilson insists the foundation has been working on how best to include boys for more than two years.

For some conservative groups, including boys only makes things worse. Lisa De Pasquale, program director of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, takes issue with the whole Daughters Day program, calling it "feminists' gender propaganda.” One Ms. Foundation activity designed for boys raised particular concern for De Pasquale. In an exercise called "Personal Bill of Rights,” the boys were encouraged to explore their goals and interests, and adopt a specific right for each. Examples included, "I have the right to play any sports, or to play no sports” and "I have the right ... to be .interested in reading.” De Pasquale criticizes the activity: "These absurd characterizations undermine boys' true rights to choose their interests while stigmatizing boys who want to play sports or aren't interested in reading.”

Wilson says the foundation is indeed designing special activities for boys aimed at combating stereotypes. "Boys are cutting off a part of themselves every day to live up to the image of masculinity in America,” she explains. "Every man and woman lives under the shadow of these stereotypes.”

Ultimately, says Wilson, the goals for the next decade are to "address the issues affecting girls and boys, men and women, working together. ... We don't want to pit our sons against our daughters.”

Source: Jessica DuLong

Children of the Gender Wars

The March 3 Parade magazine announced that, starting next year, the Ms. Foundation will expand its popular feminist holiday Take Our Daughters to Work Day® to include boys. It will now be called Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day®. Marie Wilson of the Ms. Foundation said, "Now we need to look at how girls and boys can progress together." This was, perhaps, in response to California male rights activist Joe Manthey's civil rights lawsuit against the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. Mr. Manthey contends that government support of this holiday discriminates against boys. Mr. Manthey is correct in that assumption. However, the Ms. Foundation's plans are now doubly detrimental. It offers boys no benefits and subjects them to the same feminist propaganda girls have had to endure.

Beginning in 1995, the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute began to expose this stealth feminist holiday that breeds victimology in girls and left boys behind year after year. At national press conferences, in speeches and op-ed pieces, the Luce Policy Institute exposed how the Ms. Foundation and Take Our Daughters to Work Day® participants divide the sexes at a young age to foster the feminists' ideological agenda. It is now clear that the Ms. Foundation is including boys simply to expand their "gender sensitivity" program designed to retrain boys into girls and labels boys as oppressors of women.

The Ms. Foundation distributes materials to re-educate boys and girls on "gender stereotypes," including posters, activity kits and booklets for parents and teachers. Activity booklets explain that gender sensitivity programs are needed because some men have been "forcefully opposed to these societal changes."

Take Our Daughters to Work Day® materials explain that they are "designed to challenge limited-and limiting-views of gender roles." Suggested classroom activities to prepare for Take Our Daughters to Work Day® asks students to imagine that they are living in a box. Questions that teachers should ask include "What do people say to girls to keep them in 'boxes'?" and "Can you think of anything people have said or done to you to keep you in a box?"

The Ms. Foundation's materials for children, parents and teachers state that the metaphor of "living in a box" is used because, "To be gay, disabled, female, too small, or too smart is to be perceived as an object of disdain."

Teaching young girls that they are victims of patriarchal oppression gives them a false view of society and is hardly liberating.

Continuing with the box metaphor, the teacher is to instruct students to cut out pictures of "extreme stereotypes of women and men" and those "reinforcing traditional stereotypes." The students should then paste the pictures on the inside of a cardboard box. Finally, students should cut out pictures of women and men who are challenging stereotypes and paste them on the outside of the box.

This activity is supposed to make children feel that they should be ashamed if they choose to pursue a traditionally male or female career, such as a firefighter or homemaker. It also demonizes those with parents who have chosen traditionally male or female careers. A child is led to think that if his mother chooses not to work outside the home she is "living in a box" and trapped in a stereotype.

In Working It Out Especially for Boys, a booklet of activities aimed at boys, one exercise suggests that boys keep track of their feelings of "anger and distress" and insights in a journal (or "workbook" if they feel threatened by the term "journal"). The instructions caution that many boys might think this activity is "stupid" or "boring" because they think keeping a journal is only appropriate for girls. In such a scenario, teachers should tell the students that everyone has "the right to keep a journal without being seen as unmanly." This is a "right?"

In an activity called the "Personal Bill of Rights," boys are told that they "have the right to be good at — and interested in — reading," the right "to play no sports," and "the right to be a caring individual." These absurd characterizations undermine boys' true rights to choose their interests while stigmatizing boys who want to play sports or aren't interested in reading.

Another section in Working It Out Especially for Boys helps students explore their aspirations and identity. In the first exercise, boys are asked to list their interests and skills. Teachers are to then guide them toward career options based on the boys' interests. One example in the instruction booklet leads "likes to play basketball" to the popular career path of "ballet dancer." In another exercise, boys are told to pretend to be statues and pose in the position of "acting like a lady." Teachers are told to "help them explore the discomfort they may feel."

Children, girls and boys alike, will always benefit from attention from their parents and teachers. However, our nation's daughters and sons will not "progress" because we teach our daughters that they are victims and teach our sons that they are oppressors who need to act more like girls.

Source: Lisa De Pasquale is president of the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute.

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Equality consists in the same treatment of similar persons. - Aristotle

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