Just before my six year old daughter fell asleep she told me the day’s woes: “The spÂ* said that B. was a princess, and he didn’t like that, and so he pushed S. so hard that she fell on top of me and hurt my foot!” I looked serious and said “Oh” slowly and that was all that was needed, but inside I was thinking of gender and what it must mean when from the age of six girls have to put up with violent boys as a matter of fact, and six-year-old boys are already indoctrinated to think that being called a princess is the ultimate dishonour. And Norway is one of the least sexist countries in the world.

* I don’t know the English for spÂ. Kids fold them out of paper and use them as fortune telling machines, opening them and shutting them according to numbers chosen by the person to be “spÂdd”.

3 thoughts on “pushing

  1. Liz

    When I was a kid, we called them “fortune tellers.” Klutz press, however, has a book about them (which my kids have, and love), which calls them “Cootie Catchers”.


  2. meredith

    Yes, we called them fortune tellers too.

  3. Francolis Lachance

    Inverted the delightful folded paper artworks present four-chambered receptacles (great for holding paper clips!). In the origami books and sites they are called “salt cellars”.

    I have used them in language teaching since beneath a flap one could place a complementary piece of information that was coordinated with the design (e.g. Arabic numerals and their lexical signs).

    I wonder if such a toy or educational device could be adapted to gender …. a game where depending on the selection made by the fortune teller one would have to speak and act as a princess, as a witch, as an amazon sea captain, … imaginative play to disarm stereotypes. Or with inflected languages that mark grammatical gender, other possibilities arise.

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