My avatar across the web: a photo of my feet in grey-white socks and brown sandals.

Ben Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

1 Article from April 2012

  1. Educating the “innocent”: This classroom is not yet rated

    A few weeks ago I discussed gender stereotypes in ads with my Grade 8 class. I knew I would have no trouble finding examples to bring in to demonstrate what I meant. Indeed, I found this awesome website, the Gender Ads Project, with thousands of scanned magazine ads categorized by the stereotypes they portray. What I didn’t anticipate was how difficult it would be to find ads that both clearly demonstrate a stereotype and are safe for a Grade 8 classroom. I knew ads were hypersexualized, but it has never been more apparent than the hour or so I spent discarding various ads for being too racy for the classroom.

    This annoyed me, but the source of that annoyance was not the advertisers themselves. Oh, I’m plenty miffed by advertisers for all those gender stereotypes they perpetuate in their attempts to sell, sell, sell. But in this case, I was annoyed by how, as a teacher, my hands are often tied in a way that prevents me from truly addressing important issues in an authentic way. It’s silly to think that kids aren’t being exposed to hypersexualized ads outside of the classroom: these ads pervade every medium, from television…

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