A well-written children’s book is always a joy to read. Basically I believe it’s only the first step, dear author, because it will take more than books to rectify gender inequality. The next step is acceptance by the majority, by our culture, our society, otherwise we are writing for those already converted. For any story to uphold equality, affirmation must be followed up by parents and caregivers, reinforced by gatekeepers, read in classrooms and made available in public libraries.
Don’t cosset these books in a high-end bookstore. Authors should give their book to that demeaning football coach, contact that one-eyed toy shop, that biased publisher or talk to department stores with segregated bookshelves. Visit under-funded schools and daycare groups, drop in to neighbourhood centres and talk to families with no books and poor literacy skills. Debunk the differences with your writing and offer everyone all sides of the gender story, emotions, aspirations and choices.
“Until we get equality in education, we won’t have an equal society” – Sonia Sotomayor.
We can do it!
♥ Gretchen Bernet-Ward