This mom rewrote her daughter’s sexist homework, and her version went viral
A simple “context clues” assignment turned into a different kind of lesson for a New York City elementary school student. Her mother, Lynne Polvino, was stunned by the sexist homework her daughter was sent home with, so she decided to rewrite the “fill-in-the-blank to complete the story” worksheet to prove a very important point.
The sexist homework called for students to read the story and fill in the blank spots with words chosen from a word bank. As Polvino read, she realized that the story was about a disappointed main character, Lisa, who was angry that her mother went back to work after taking some time off.
"Lisa was not happy," the worksheet reads. "Her mother was back at work."
The story continues to describe how Lisa’s day was just awful because her mother had the audacity to go back to her job. Lisa’s father really screwed up breakfast and then had the nerve to ask Lisa to do the dishes! All Lisa wanted was for her mother to be at home, waiting for her to return on her way home from school — which ended up happening, so Lisa ended up “feeling fine” by the end of the story.
Polvino could not believe that the worksheet gave the idea of a working mother such a negative connotation. So, she decided to take a stand and rewrite the story to teach her daughter a more positive lesson.
"Lisa was happy," Polvino wrote. "Her mother was back at work."
In Polvino’s revision of the sexist homework, Lisa had a great day because her father was on paid paternity leave while mom went back to work, so the household ran smoothly. He still made Lisa do the dishes, though, because all people should know how to pick up after themselves.
"Lisa was glad she was growing up in a society free of gender bias and misogyny," Polvino concluded. Yes!
Polvino posted the side-by-side of the original story compared to her rewrite on Facebook. The post has just under 1,000 likes and has been shared over 500 times.
She noted that her rewrite should be taken as a social commentary, rather than a criticism of the school or teaching staff. Polvino realizes that NYC public school may not have the funding to update their teaching materials as much as they would like to.
You go, mom!