The best and the worst

Goals of the exercise: to discuss gender stereotypes and how they affect the lives of boys and girls
Age of the participants: from 10 years old
Number of participants: 12 to 30
Duration of the exercise: 60 to 90 minutes
Materials: markers, several A4 paper sheets cut into 4 pieces, each with one of the following phrases to complete:

The worst thing about being a girl is …
The worst thing about being a boy is …
The best thing about being a girl is …
The best thing about being a boy is …

Step by step

  1. Give to all participants a paper with several unfinished sentences (4 in total).
  2. Ask the participants to clearly and concisely finish the first sentence without cooperating with the others. Ask them to do the same with all of the sentences.
  3. As they complete the sentences collect the pieces of papers.
  4. When they all finish, post the sheets relating to the first sentence on the wall and discuss the results with the group.
  5. Repeat the same procedure until the last sheet.
  6. Instead of posting the papers on the wall the monitor can also give back the sheets to participants after shuffling them, and asks them to read aloud the phrases they received. No one should try to identify the author(s) of the sentence(s).

Debriefing

Discuss with the participants the problems associated with gender stereotypes:

  • What are the differences between boys and girls?
  • Where do these differences come from?
  • What stereotypes do you find here?
  • In your opinion, how does gender classification influence the way we look at our lives?
  • What are the consequences of these stereotypes on young boys and girls?
  • How are people affected when they do not fit into these stereotypes?
  • Is there any kind of violence that comes from these stereotypes?
  • What is the weight of stereotypes in our life choices? How do we let it affect our freedom of choice?

This game can also be played in the school playgrounds. To do this, ask the young people and children to complete the sentences and to place them on a wall or panel of the bar, for example. Usually young people gather next to the panel and comment the sentences and then the monitor can stimulate a debate.

Authorship/adaptation or source: CooLabora
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