Accidental gender studies

I’ve mentioned I’m working on a visual schedule for each of the kids.

You know what makes for an interesting exercise? Doing a Google search for line drawings of morning activities – like waking up, eating breakfast, getting dressed – for a boy, and then doing it again for a girl.

A search for “drawing of boy eating breakfast” turns up exactly that: cute or silly drawings of little boys eating breakfast. A search for “drawing of girl eating breakfast” turns up a few cute pictures of kids and a whole lot of subtly and not-so-subtly sexualized drawings of young girls and women. Don’t even get me started on “drawing of girl getting dressed.”

Let me illustrate.

Here is the top Google result for “drawing of boy eating breakfast:”

Here is the top Google result for “drawing of girl eating breakfast:”

Top result for “wake up boy drawing:” (awkward wording, but for some reason the way I typed it in)

Top result for “wake up girl drawing:”

I could keep going, but you get the picture.

This was particularly interesting on the heels of uproar this week in my own Seventh-day Adventist denomination over a global vote denying division offices the option to ordain women to the ministry. (Women currently serve as pastors with a separate “commissioned” credential that, among other inequalities, excludes them from holding the highest level of church executive offices.) I will refrain from delving into my thoughts on that particular issue but will say this: we still have serious societal problems with how we view and treat girls and women. Hyper-sexualization and marginalization are ages-old practices that are discouragingly tenacious for those of us who believe women deserve a better reality and girls deserve more to aspire to.

Don’t believe there’s a problem? Try a few Google searches of your own.

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