work sheet question
twitter | @StephptaylorCLT

Proud Mom Shows Off Her Son's Answer To A 'Sexist' Work Sheet Question

February 24, 2022

Parents tend to be proud of their kids' accomplishments, and putting schoolwork up on the fridge is a pretty common aspect of the parenting experience.

But sometimes, kids give parents something to be extra proud of. One proud mom shared her son's 'mic drop' response to a work sheet question on Twitter.

Plenty of sexist gender norms are pushed on kids from a young age.

classroom, students, teacher
Pexels | Mikhail Nilov

While lesson plans are more inclusive than they were in decades past, teachers often wind up teaching their kids outdated conventions that can be construed as sexist.

That's the situation that mom and Twitter user Stephanie Parks Taylor wound up posting about.

Here's her tweet, which has since gone viral.

As you can see, Stephanie's eight-year-old son rejected the very premise of the question — that Lara, the hypothetical person on the work sheet, had a title defined solely by her marital status: Miss, Ms., or Mrs.

It's definitely a proud mom moment.

A woman dropping a mic
Giphy | Allure

Stephanie's son said that he thinks the woman in the question is a doctor. There's no evidence of this within the framework of the question, but it's certainly a valid response — particularly when the question is trying to place the woman's title within a framework defined by her marital status.

Why do these titles even exist?

One of the responses to Stephanie's tweet correctly points out that men's titles are simple: they're always Mister. But women can be Miss, Ms., or Mrs., and it all comes down to whether they're married or not.

It led to a broader discussion of relationship inequality.

We've seen more of a shift towards women keeping their names after getting married, but there's still an expectation that they take their husband's name. And even though there's nothing stopping a husband from taking his wife's name, it's a rare situation and one not bound by the same societal norms.

Maybe the curriculum needs an update.

This response echoes my thoughts: why is that question on a worksheet? Is that really the most valuable lesson we can be teaching kids when it comes to titles?

The tweet also gives a valuable life lesson: when in doubt, women can be called "Ms". It's the only all-purpose title that has nothing to do with marital status.

If you say so...

I don't think the worksheet should be hailed as a progressive model. Maybe kids learn about naming conventions through worksheets, maybe they learn about them from parents. In any case, any worksheet along these lines might want to note that "Dr." is the title that should be used by doctors, male or female.

It probably comes up more than you might think.

In a workplace, most people likely refer to each other by their first names. But in a school setting, it isn't so simple. When I was in grade school, most of the women who taught me went by "Mrs.", but there was at least one "Ms." and a "Miss" or two as well. It was tough to keep things straight.

Maybe it's an English language thing.

Language quirks are always fascinating, so it's interesting to know that these naming conventions don't necessarily cross language lines.

It's always good to see a mic drop moment.

Stephanie's story is a fun one, and it's great to see kids thinking outside of the constraints of their worksheets and applying critical thought.

Let us know what you think of this story in the comments!

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