Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1973


I am currently working as an assistant in developing a reading program for Charles E. Merrill Publishing Company. As might be expected, I am encountering some difficulty in getting the publisher to represent girls and women in the materials to be selected for the program. I hope you can give me some suggestions, support, pressure—whatever. Briefly the situation is this. The publisher is responsible for choosing selections to go into 4th-6th grade reader anthologies. Their art department has minority quotas (20 percent black, 10 percent Spanish-descended, etc.) but none for girls and women. Although the project editor seems to be aware of the need for representation in this area, there are other considerations that allow her to put off or minimize finding selections that are intelligently representative (i.e., non-sexist). Since, further, the two men I am working with here (two professors hired by Merrill to develop the program) are more-or-less unsympathetic to the problems of sexism in reading programs, I can exert no pressure through them. One of the professors, in fact, is pushing the inclusion of boy-relevant materials in order to get boy performance up to girl performance at the elementary level. There is little care to consider the long-run socialization process by which boys come to outperform girls.



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