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10y.o. Refused To Do A Math Question Comparing Girls’ Weights; We Need More Kids To Speak Up!

Posted: February 1, 2021

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Children internalize misogyny from observing, reading, and watching things and people around them. Let’s set a better example.

Rhythm Pachecho, a girl studying in the 4th grade at a school in Utah, USA has been receiving praises online after she refused to solve an offensive math problem.

The homework she had been given involved a math problem: “The table to the right shows the weight of three Grade 4 students. How much heavier is Isabel than the lightest student?”

Rhythm, rightly so, got uncomfortable with this question involving the body-weight of three girls, as it perpetuates blatant misogyny towards young girls. Rhythm encircled it and wrote , “What!!! This is offensive. Sorry I won’t right (write) this. It’s rood (rude).”

She also wrote a note to her Math teacher. The note said, “Dear Mrs.Shaw, I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t think that Math problem was very nice because that’s judging people’s weight. Also, the reason I did not do the sentence is cause I just don’t think that’s nice. Oh, and the problem is page 34, number 7. Love, Rhythm.”

Parents stand up for their daughter

In an interview, her mother said that she and her husband are proud of Rhythm “for listening to her gut instincts and standing up for what is right.”

Many on social media have praised Rhythm for taking a stand. While Eureka Math, the company which provides educational material to Rhythm’s school apologized for “any discomfort or offense caused by the question.” The company assured that it will replace the question in all future reprints.

Indian culture and its role in promoting misogyny

It is no hidden fact that the way people in a house treat and talk to each other gets modeled by the kids, but in our age and time, the culture we live in also promotes misogyny in numerous ways.

Children who study Hindi language at schools learn idioms like “Haatho mein choodiyan pehenna” (to wear bangles in hands), which means ‘to be cowardly.’ The association of bangles, (primarily worn by women) with cowardice is a prime example of how gender discrimination and misogyny is instilled in young boys and girls from a young age.

This advertisement of Bournvita from the 1960s, primarily a children’s health drink has a tagline which says, “Pati ki khushi aapki khushi hai” (“Your husband’s happiness is your happiness.”)

This advertisement isn’t only blatantly sexist but also sends a message to young kids that a woman’s happiness always comes secondary to her husband and that a woman’s only job is to take care of her husband and family, sidetracking her own needs. You may say that this was 60 years ago, but just the quote tweets for this tweet tells you how deeply this misogynist idea is embedded in the minds of Indians, even now, in the 2020s, the same message passing from generation to generation through other means.

And the recent, glaring example of boislockerroom is proof enough, that the sexist way girls and women are looked at, even by boys as young as 14-16, is horrifying.

This incident shows the importance of instilling good values and creating a healthy atmosphere for our kids from a young age. They imitate and learn behaviours by watching and listening to people around them.

Image source: YouTube

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