School teaches boys household chores, sewing, ironing, cooking to smash patriarchy & gender stereotypes

For those of us girls who were taught sewing in school while the boys went off to do woodwork, we didn’t realize at the time the gender roles that were being forced on us from a young age. But we all know that what we learn at a young age can shape our thoughts and views as we get older. Teachers at one school in Spain are attempting to break down these gender stereotypes and teach boys how to iron and sew, and it’s attracting attention around the world. The Montecastelo School of Spain‘s slogan is “Equality is learned with actions.” So, staff are taking this to the next level and adding ironing, sewing and cooking to the curriculum for their boys alongside masonry, carpentry, plumbing and electrician classes. 
Classes, which started in 2018, are taught by volunteers, including some of the students’ dads. School coordinator Gabriel Bravo, said these were vital skills to better prepare them for adulthood.

Breaking down stereotypes

“It seemed very useful for our students to learn to perform these tasks so that, when they form a family, they are involved from the beginning and know that a house is a matter of two,” he said. “It’s not a matter of the woman cleaning, doing the dishes, and ironing. This will allow them to become aware and learn to handle themselves at home.”

The boys were hesitant about the new initiative to start with but have gradually become more accepting and some say it has also helped them to understand how much work their parents do. “At first, I thought it was a joke, that it couldn’t be”, one pupil said, according to Konbini.com. “I personally feel that it allows me to realize how much work it is for parents and I see it’s not that easy”, another pupil said.

‘Fully independent’

Economy professor Andrès Luna, who teaches ironing, said: “They must understand that this is not a woman’s job, but also a man’s one. They need to know how to iron too”. Thousands have praised the school project. Claire Breton wrote: This will teach young boys everywhere not only about gender equality but also about how to become fully independent and not rely on his mom all the time.

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