School "Gender Bender Day"? Feedback Friday

While "Googling" a solution to our TV that keeps randomly turning off (always right when someone is about to kiss, tell a joke, or reveal a deep dark secret!), I stumbled upon a story from The Daily Caller website about a Milwaukee elementary school's proposed "Switch it up Day" (originally called "Gender Bender Day").  What on earth Google thinks this has to do with the search term "tv turns off when using my dvr", I have no idea!

Anyway, it caught my eye so I clicked and read about Tippecanoe School for the Arts' spirit week. One of the spirit days involved girls dressing as boys and boys dressing as girls for the day.  Our school has a similar spirit week and the themes are Crazy Sock Day, School Spirit Day, Backward Day, etc...

I was able to find a copy of the flyer distributed by the school with the original name here:

The school stated that the day's theme was "chosen by the school's student council and it is only meant to be fun" and that participation wasn't mandatory. (source)

A school board member speculated that parents stirring up controversy over the day were using their children for political purposes and that little children aren't thinking of "sexual orientation". (source)

When it came time to celebrate "Switch it up Day"/ "Gender Bender Day" it was reported that few students participated and that most of the gender benders were teachers and staff.

There are lots of comments on the articles I found on this controversy, so I thought I would mention it here for Feedback Friday...

Do you find the idea of "Switch it up Day" offensive or fun?

Would you feel differently if it were called "Gender Bender Day"?

Would you encourage your child to participate in this day as a series of themes for the week?


  1. We had "opposite sex" day for spirit week when I was in high school. It was one of the funniest days of the whole week. The boys that took on the challenge were hilarious....coming to school in dresses with their hairy legs and their big feet stuffed into heels that were too small. It was great!

    People are too sensitive about everything. This shouldn't even be a controversial subject. Wearing a dress for a day or using eyeliner to draw on a mustache won't change the sexual orientation of anyone. Good grief!

  2. You need to tell us what happened w/ your photo booth drama.

    Ditto Jill! We had powderpuff games in high school and it was fun for the girls to act like obnoxious boys and the boys to come in cheerleader uniforms on game day. "Gender bender" does have some negative connotations, and I might have chosen to call it something less controversial.

  3. I thought it seemed okay too, kind of like Halloween dress up or something, right? Who knows, but it doesn't seem to stir up the same venom here as it did on the article I read.

    I am behind on so many posts! You're right, I need to follow up with that photo booth thing!

    I swear, you, Jill and Wendy are the only 3 who still come over here - no one comments any more :(

  4. I'm here :) I just have no opinion, we don't really do dress up days here in the UK and I don't know what spirit week is. I've dressed up as plenty of men in my time though :)

  5. I'm here :) I just have no opinion, we don't really do dress up days here in the UK and I don't know what spirit week is. I've dressed up as plenty of men in my time though :)

  6. ((hugs))I'm sure people are still reading, even if they're not commenting. I follow a lot of blogs but don't comment on all of them.

  7. I think it sounds like a fun idea! Being from the UK I don't know what age-group elementary schoolers are, but thinking back on my childhood there were always people up for cross-dressing--usually the boys, though there were a number of tomboys too.
    Unfortunately the phrase 'gender bender' has some negative connotations thanks to small-minded people so 'switch it up day' is definitely a better thing to call it. I guess the phrase 'gender bender' can be seen as having connotations towards sexual identity and orientation, which some would struggle with.
    Still, if 'Switch it up day' was called 'gender bender day' instead, I don't think I'd feel any differently about it because it's still the same thing. If I had children, I wouldn't push them to dress as the opposite gender if they didn't want to, but if they showed an interest I would encourage them!

  8. We always did that in high school. Maybe not elementary school appropriate but I think it's parents making a big hoopla over nothing. I would never push my kid to do ANYY spirit week activity if they didn't want to but I think this is honest fun.

  9. Yay! I still have some lurkers out there!

  10. I suppose this article hits a raw nerve with many b/c children are SO sexualized anymore.
    even since the 80's & 90's the schools have chgd.. it's a sad commentary on the adults that want to deprive children of a happy childhood.. innocent children are far & few between these days.. How sad ..
    I think those that commented about Powder Puff & All have the right idea.. I just don't think the entire atmosphere is the same as when they were in school.
    we should take back our children's childhoods ! & keep them innocent & Happy..:-)
    One girl I know, who is 10 , was told by her FATHER that rabbits are just horn_ _ all the time. WHY would a ten yr old need to hear that ! the father is an idiot ! doesn't he know or care about her innocence ? !


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