National Geographic’s Gender Revolution Issue

Have you seen this month’s issue of National Geographic? We decided to pick up a copy and explore some of the content with the children in our group.

The issue is meant to address “the shifting landscape of gender”. I’m still reading and exploring my copy, so I can’t speak on how well that was executed.

Anyway, judging by the cover of the issue, we felt this would still be a great topic to explore and open up the conversation with our children. Keep in mind, all children in attendance ranged in age from 2 to 6yrs old. Naturally, this calls for a little flexibility on our end as parents when addressing the heavy and extensive terms. But, you gotta start somewhere.

So, we ripped out the pages of one of the copies (done in advance), and allowed the children to explore some of the images. We ended up focusing on mainly the cover and the full spread of the group photo, National Geographic composed of 15 individuals representing a broad spectrum of gender identities and expressions. It didn’t take long for my child or children to lose interest, but luckily, we did have one kid who wanted to learn more about the spectrum of gender identity.

Gender roles as perceived by society on a white board
Our member, Shaniese, came up with a great idea to make a list of “gender roles” that our society had given to boys and girls. They then took that list and deconstructed those misconceptions, coming to the realization that boys and girls are more than capable of taking from each column and doing whatever they feel.

White board with boy girl columns listing certain attributes and circling misinformed gendered roles

We also read Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall

Red: A Crayon's Story

We don’t enforce any gender “rules” in our home, and my goal is to engage with my children more as to why these pre determined roles that society has set up are an issue. I’m hoping practice makes perfect and that we get better at these discussions, as they grow.

Tell us about any activities or books your family likes to engage in to deconstruct these ideals.

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