- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 26, 2001

On April 26, radical feminists across the nation will celebrate the 9th Annual Take Our Daughters to Work Day, a day when they ask Americans to take girls to work with them, but leave the boys behind. This stealth feminist holiday breeds victimology in young girls and seeks to "retrain" boys through gender sensitivity and "work of caring" exercises.

Take Our Daughters to Work Day is yet another example of feminists´ desire to discriminate in favor of females at the expense of males and to divide the sexes in order to foster their ideological agenda. Feminists tell us that after age 11, girls´ self-confidence drops. What they don´t tell us is that boys experience the same drop in self-confidence and perhaps even more severely. The American Medical Association reports that boys are five times more likely to commit suicide than girls are.

The Ms. Foundation had the phrase, "Take Our Daughters to Work Day" trademarked so they would have exclusive rights on the plethora of products sold with the phrase emblazoned on it. Items for sale on the Ms. Foundation´s web site include a pocket mirror and lip gloss, stickers, Girl Force "baby-style" T-shirts, comic books, dolls, sport bottles and hats. The Ms. Foundation also promotes materials to re-educate boys and girls on "gender stereotypes," including posters, activity kits and booklets for parents and teachers.

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

In "Especially for Boys," an Ms. Foundation 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."

Another section in "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, neither our nation´s families nor their daughters will be better off because we exclude our sons and teach our daughters that they are victims, all in the name of the feminists´ version of "equality."


Lisa DePasquale is the program director of the Claire Booth Luce Policy Institute

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