06 Junio 2017 15:58
This mother was horrified at the blatantly male-chauvinist and backward exercise her daughter had been given at school. So, she turned the story on its head
As a woman, you’d have to be in an induced coma to get through the day without feeling guilty about something. And maybe even in your comatosed dreams a little voice would be tormenting you from the darkness, saying ‘Look at you lying about like a spare part when there’s so much to do at home. And you were meant to be at spinning for eight. That fat arse of yours isn’t going to get up by itself’.
Scientific studies like this one have proved women have a stronger sense of guilt than men. Some have even dared to back up the evidence with figures: 96% of women feel guilty for something at least once a day.
And this guilt, this shame, this self-flagellation, does not emerge from the uterus like some kind of hormonal magic. It isn’t hysteria, it’s been learnt. Guilt has been drummed into us at home, in the street and, as twisted as it may seem, also at school.
When Lynne Polvino sat down to help her daughter Hazel with her homework last week, to her horror and disbelief, this is what she found. A fill-in-the-blanks exercise in which the right answers piece together a story deserving of an anti-feminist pamphlet from the 60s.
The selfish mum decides to go out to work.
Knowing that dad is useless.
And Lisa is sad because mum has to go out to work.
Dad too, but he has no reason to feel guilty: it’s mum who is abandoning the family for her stupid job.
‘It just pushed so many buttons for me... and with each sentence it managed to get worse!,’ Polvino told Today. ‘My shock and dismay quickly turned to outrage. I mean, what decade are we in, anyway? In this day and age, we're going to tell kids that mothers working outside the home makes their children and families unhappy? That fathers don't normally do things like cook and wash the dishes.’
So Polvino decided to rewrite the story.
But, hang on a minute, who was meant to be the teacher?