I was doing a puzzle with D this evening (who is just 3). It was about a farm, and he asked me “where is the farmer?”. I pointed out the woman who was putting hay in a wheelbarrow. He said “girls aren’t farmers”.
I’m amazed by this, as we have a series of books about “Mrs Boot the Farmer” (who appears to be a single parent of two children), as well as quite a few picture books with a mix of male and female farmers. We had a discussion about it, and he appeared dubiously convinced that both men and women are farmers. C tried to help me by saying from his older brother position of superiority that girls and boys aren’t farmers, but I think that made D more determined to stick to his position.
I really thought that we were doing well in subverting the dominant gender stereotypes. Clearly more effort is needed.