Gender Across Borders, a global feminist voice for gender justice, in collaboration with Bell Bajao: Bring Domestic Violence to a Halt is looking for writers to contribute to a series on the relationship between children education & leisure and the perpetuation of gender stereotypes to run on the 28th March.
In general, we find assertions claiming that boys don´t cry, girls play with dolls, boys play sports, boys play with guns... The rules are as strict as the punishment for any deviance from them: bullying from other kids, parental reprimands, kindergarten teachers trying to correct one´s effeminate ways…
In this sense, it is not a surprise to find, among children, expressions like “you kick like a girl”, or the famous “this is so gay”, even from children who have never seen a gay person or a girl kicking a ball. They just learned this is how it is, and it´s bad.
These presuppositions on what it is to be a girl and to be a boy, created at early childhood, but kept all along the way, have deep consequences on human development.
Pre-teens and teens whose gender is not constrained to the social standards, which vary around the world, find themselves to be more and more victimized by violent bullying. The alarming rates of suicide among bullied kids have shocked and touched important personalities, leading to the creation of the It Gets Better campaign.
The perceptions of gender can, unfortunately, be determinants of one´s future: while a boy should go for scientific fields, for he has a natural talent, the girl can think twice, for all she has is effort. Examples are endless.
So, we invite you to explore the stereotypes and how do they affect children. How do they define the relations between boys and girls? How can they lead to violence? Do the stereotypes forced into children evolve? How can childish notions on gender be determinants of one´s entire life? How can we avoid bullying? How can we keep our playgrounds free of all levels of gender violence and discrimination? And above all, how can we challenge gender stereotypes?
Feel free to express yourself through personal narratives, profiles, book reviews, journalistic articles, analytical pieces, critical essays and last but not least editorials. Photo essays, art/posters, short films, digital animation and sound files will also be accepted.
To apply, please submit your piece (300 – 1500 words in length, if written, 2-4 minutes if digital) along with a résumé/CV or short summary of interests and experience to Leticia at email@example.com by March 18 2012. Articles should include relevant links (no footnotes) that provide additional information and an image to run with the entry. No prior experience with blogging or professional writing is necessary, however please familiarize yourself with the Gender Across Border’s website (please note that this is a volunteer-based site so you cannot be compensated for your submission). Anyone with an interest in feminism, human rights, gender, and development is welcome to contribute.
Contributors must be available via email between March 19-24 to participate in the editing and uploading process. The series will run March 28 on Gender Across Borders and Bell Bajao: Bringing Domestic Violence to a Halt.
Please feel free to email Leticia at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Unfortunately, GAB can´t yet compensate the writers, but we are looking forward to your submissions!