Triple Bill of Grumping….

// 20 January 2009

Whilst I’m at it – this BBC story about a man running a child care centre annoyed me (but not as much as Ex-President Bush). Why? It insidiously presents the idea that childcare is usually all women because of some exclusionary practice rather than the truth – because it’s inordinately badly paid. (Duncan Wise the interviewee admits this “Mr Wise believes men may still be put off the career because of low pay and that they may not even consider it as a profession.”. And it doesn’t surprise me that the sole man in the organisation is running it – that holds true for primary schools as well as pre-school care. In the pre-school sector of private providers finding the start-up capital is much harder for women.

The only two direct examples of people making negative comments both come from men – a father and the Mr Wise’s rugby club.

So here we have an article which portrays childcare as a closed club and doesn’t draw out that women are so numerous here because of the pay and it’s only men that seem to have a problem with it.

Comments From You

Aimee // Posted 21 January 2009 at 8:14 am

My boyfriend was a nursery worker for years. He left because the pay was atrocious, as it generally is in female dominated professions. He experienced sexism a couple of times – once when a parent decided that it was unacceptable for a man to be working with her child, and another time for prety much the same reason. What annoyed me most about this, though, was the number of people who thought it was good for the children to have a ‘male role model’. Many men in female dominated professions are praised SO much – like they are somehow superior to all the ordinary women in the pr ofession. The same with male teachers. Actually, all childcare workers should be praised on their own merits. Regardless of gender.

Kez // Posted 21 January 2009 at 10:15 am

Aimee – I agree up to a point (that men are sometimes applauded for doing “non-typical” jobs, when the fact that women do the same jobs is taken for granted) but it can work the other way, too.

My husband is a primary teacher and works incredibly hard, but has been on the receiving end of a few comments (from other men) along the lines of “what sort of job for a man is that” and “why don’t you get a proper (i.e. ‘real man’s’) job”. I can well imagine that the same could apply to men working in nurseries – when they weren’t being suspected of being paedophiles.

I suspect most men in these types of jobs do often face a certain amount of suspicion and discrimination which the women in the same jobs don’t, so perhaps they deserve some level of credit for overcoming that. Of course, in an ideal world women and men could both do whatever jobs they fancied and were equipped for without need for any comment whatsoever (and child care would be a higher status and better rewarded job than it currently is) but we don’t live in such a world….

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