Apparently hiring masculinity teachers was not enough to toughen up the young boys of Shanghai; now, gender education programs are being opened to help teach boys “male etiquette”. According to this CCTV video, at Haoertong Kindergarten boys are taught and encouraged to develop masculine traits such as “bravery, courage, and a sense of responsibility.”
The school’s female principal Xu Hui believes that this program gives boys the extra push they need in developing into successful young men in China:
“On the first day during a new school year, most of the children who are crying were boys. Besides, boys need more time to adapt themselves to a new environment compared to girls. Unlike girls, boys need more physical activities they can do with their hands.”
In the program, the boys are given miniature versions of many different sports to play with, as well as a small sand battlefield complete with tanks, miniature soldiers and toy weapons.
Oh, and in the afternoons the boys will practice kung-fu, another highly valued skill set in the modern Chinese man. [Insert your own Mulan reference here].
Says a proud mother of a Haoertong Student, “my child has been in this program for a year, and he has started to learn to take care of me. When we travels he always volunteers to carry my bag. He will let girls go first, and give a seat to those in need, I never taught him that, but what he learned or experienced in the kindergarden has affected him positively.”
It seems that in Shanghai at least chivalry is not dead, it just requires a little extra schooling.
By Lauren Holdcroft