Gender Roles

Discuss the May 2017 Book of the Month, Farmer Beau's Farm by Kathleen Geiger.

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hsimone
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Gender Roles

Post by hsimone » 10 May 2017, 16:48

In this read, we see Farmer Beau working on the farm while Bamma focuses a lot of her day inside the house. What are your thoughts about the gender roles represented in this farming couple? Is it sending a positive message? Is it too subtle for children to notice the distinct roles each person has?

(Credit to @gaporter who brought up this point in another post)
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Post by Amagine » 10 May 2017, 19:52

In this particular story, I think it is too subtle for children to notice, but that is only because we don't see much of Bamma in the book. Usually, I'm not a fan of what is considered "traditional" gender roles. There is enough books out there depicting women in the house while men work outside. I would want a child to see another reality. The reality that the roles can be reversed and women can work outside while men tend to the house. That's a positive image I would like to see more of in children's books.
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Post by hsimone » 11 May 2017, 08:40

I agree, it could a bit too subtle due to how the story takes shape here. I also love when reads portray women working outside the house and doing the same things that men can do because in reality they can.
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Post by Christina O Phillips » 11 May 2017, 08:59

I think that it is too subtle for children to notice. If the gender roles had played more of a role in the book, it would bother me, but so much more happens in the book that I myself glossed over it.

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Post by hsimone » 11 May 2017, 11:04

Christina O Phillips wrote:I think that it is too subtle for children to notice. If the gender roles had played more of a role in the book, it would bother me, but so much more happens in the book that I myself glossed over it.
That makes sense. The roles weren't the central focus of the story, which is good because it would have bothered me, too.

I do sometimes wonder even if we, as adults, gloss over the gender roles in this story, if children will do the same. Sometimes, I feel children are more perspective than we may think. It's kind of like the message that a man and a woman belong together because that is how couples are portrayed in most children's books. The books may not come right out and say this bold statement, but because it is there (through pictures), then children might get the impression this is how a couple should be like. So, I almost wonder because Bamma typically spends a lot of time at home and Beau works outside, if children will see this as the norm... :eusa-think: I guess it also depends on what other books they are reading and what they are exposed to at home.
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Post by LivreAmour217 » 11 May 2017, 16:34

I didn't give much thought to the humans in this story. I was more focused on the animals! Personally, I'm never phased by gender role portrayals in literature, traditional or otherwise. I tend to just accept characters the way that they are, just as I try to do with real people.
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Post by hsimone » 12 May 2017, 11:02

LivreAmour217 wrote:I didn't give much thought to the humans in this story. I was more focused on the animals! Personally, I'm never phased by gender role portrayals in literature, traditional or otherwise. I tend to just accept characters the way that they are, just as I try to do with real people.
This is a good point because there are women who are stay-at-moms or work from home, and that doesn't mean there is something wrong with that.
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Post by Sparkletime » 12 May 2017, 12:49

Children notice more than we ever think is possible. They might especially notice if characters in a book are different from the norms they have (like if their dad is stay-at-home). That being said, they might be at that point where they're accepting of all possibilities more than some adults might be. Children accept things more than people think like if this book featured a lesbian couple instead, I don't think a child would question it too much. They might go "oh that's different from my family" but children of the age to read this book probably recognize families come in many shapes and have many roles that are filled by different people.
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Post by LivreAmour217 » 12 May 2017, 14:28

hsimone wrote:
LivreAmour217 wrote:I didn't give much thought to the humans in this story. I was more focused on the animals! Personally, I'm never phased by gender role portrayals in literature, traditional or otherwise. I tend to just accept characters the way that they are, just as I try to do with real people.
This is a good point because there are women who are stay-at-moms or work from home, and that doesn't mean there is something wrong with that.
Thank you! Yes, many women elect to stay home, and that is their business.

-- 12 May 2017, 15:32 --
Sparkletime wrote:Children notice more than we ever think is possible. They might especially notice if characters in a book are different from the norms they have (like if their dad is stay-at-home). That being said, they might be at that point where they're accepting of all possibilities more than some adults might be. Children accept things more than people think like if this book featured a lesbian couple instead, I don't think a child would question it too much. They might go "oh that's different from my family" but children of the age to read this book probably recognize families come in many shapes and have many roles that are filled by different people.
I agree. Young children are generally accepting of the world around them, and they usually won't make a big deal out of something unless the adults start flipping out!
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Post by hsimone » 12 May 2017, 15:35

LivreAmour217 wrote:
hsimone wrote:
LivreAmour217 wrote:I didn't give much thought to the humans in this story. I was more focused on the animals! Personally, I'm never phased by gender role portrayals in literature, traditional or otherwise. I tend to just accept characters the way that they are, just as I try to do with real people.
This is a good point because there are women who are stay-at-moms or work from home, and that doesn't mean there is something wrong with that.
Thank you! Yes, many women elect to stay home, and that is their business.
Yes, very true. I guess with the basis of this question, I was thinking that adults should expose children to all sorts of options for the future. Not that we need to have these elaborate conversations about the future at such a young age, but to have some exposure of what options are out there.
LivreAmour217 wrote:
Sparkletime wrote:Children notice more than we ever think is possible. They might especially notice if characters in a book are different from the norms they have (like if their dad is stay-at-home). That being said, they might be at that point where they're accepting of all possibilities more than some adults might be. Children accept things more than people think like if this book featured a lesbian couple instead, I don't think a child would question it too much. They might go "oh that's different from my family" but children of the age to read this book probably recognize families come in many shapes and have many roles that are filled by different people.
I agree. Young children are generally accepting of the world around them, and they usually won't make a big deal out of something unless the adults start flipping out!
I also believe children are more acceptable, as long as they aren't already exposed to certain views (from adults) in gender roles and family makeup. Unfortunately, some are taught at a very young age that boys do certain things while girls do other things, and that a man always marries a woman.
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Post by Donnavila Marie01 » 12 May 2017, 22:34

hsimone wrote:In this read, we see Farmer Beau working on the farm while Bamma focuses a lot of her day inside the house. What are your thoughts about the gender roles represented in this farming couple? Is it sending a positive message? Is it too subtle for children to notice the distinct roles each person has?

(Credit to @gaporter who brought up this point in another post)
With the lifestyle that they have, this is normal. This is not an issue of double standard society because they are in an agricultural society. Beau wris in the farm because it is the dictate oh his physical strength. Bamma stays at home to tend to the needs of her husband after a long hard work in the farm. Her house chores includes taking care of the animals which isnot that easy, considering that not all the animals in their yard are domesticated animals
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Post by hsimone » 13 May 2017, 03:28

Donnavila Marie01 wrote:
hsimone wrote:In this read, we see Farmer Beau working on the farm while Bamma focuses a lot of her day inside the house. What are your thoughts about the gender roles represented in this farming couple? Is it sending a positive message? Is it too subtle for children to notice the distinct roles each person has?

(Credit to @gaporter who brought up this point in another post)
With the lifestyle that they have, this is normal. This is not an issue of double standard society because they are in an agricultural society. Beau wris in the farm because it is the dictate oh his physical strength. Bamma stays at home to tend to the needs of her husband after a long hard work in the farm. Her house chores includes taking care of the animals which isnot that easy, considering that not all the animals in their yard are domesticated animals
This is a very good point. Taking care of the animals isn't very easy, especially a giraffe! Although, I still think it would be neat if Bamma did some of the physical labor while Beau does some of the housework. Bamma could be a strong lady, we have no idea. :)
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Post by rssllue » 13 May 2017, 04:25

The women who lived and worked around the house in such a setting were and are very strong. Both husband and wife worked hard to keep their families fed and safe and complemented each other very well in doing so. Just because a woman stays mainly around the house to do her work does not mean that she is not strong. ?
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Post by Amagine » 13 May 2017, 15:15

rssllue wrote:The women who lived and worked around the house in such a setting were and are very strong. Both husband and wife worked hard to keep their families fed and safe and complemented each other very well in doing so. Just because a woman stays mainly around the house to do her work does not mean that she is not strong. ?
She probably is a very strong woman. I'm just not a fan of seeing the same depiction of women in children's books. In children's books, there are a lot of women characters who are generally housewives or seem to be in the home constantly while the husband/father is away. While these types of women are strong characters too, children need to see a visual of other types of strong women like the kind that work away from home or even the kind that cuts the grass or shovels snow. There are so many different types of women in the world. I hate that that the same type is the one constantly shown.
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Post by Donnavila Marie01 » 14 May 2017, 02:57

Amagine wrote:
rssllue wrote:The women who lived and worked around the house in such a setting were and are very strong. Both husband and wife worked hard to keep their families fed and safe and complemented each other very well in doing so. Just because a woman stays mainly around the house to do her work does not mean that she is not strong. ?
She probably is a very strong woman. I'm just not a fan of seeing the same depiction of women in children's books. In children's books, there are a lot of women characters who are generally housewives or seem to be in the home constantly while the husband/father is away. While these types of women are strong characters too, children need to see a visual of other types of strong women like the kind that work away from home or even the kind that cuts the grass or shovels snow. There are so many different types of women in the world. I hate that that the same type is the one constantly shown.
You have a good point. This could be one of the diversities that we were discussing in the diversity topic. It is also good for children to see other possibilities. In reality, there are already husbands who stay at home and wife working on behalf of the husband.
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