Lydia Houck, a nine-year-old girl in Windsor, Nova Scotia, was told (link is here) last week that she wouldn’t be allowed to attend a municipality-sponsored one-day fishing, hiking and golfing event for 5-to-12 year olds. Why? Because it was exclusively for boys, and the town wasn’t willing to make an exception. Instead, she was told that she could attend the municipality-sponsored one-day event for 5-to-12 year old girls: the Glamorous Girls Camp, where she could get a manicure, pedicure or other spa treatment.
When the Houck family complained, the municipal warden told them that the Windsor program was modeled after similar sex-segregated programs throughout Nova Scotia, and that they would simply have to accept the fact that Lydia’s brother could attend the fishing/hiking/golf camp, but that Lydia could not.
So many objections to this program and the way it was handled by the town of Windsor come to mind, but I think Lydia’s mother summed it up nicely: “It’s really quite sad at this age to be stereotyped like that,” Ms. Houck said. “We’re teaching them there’s boy things and girl things. In 2007, it’s kind of hard to believe.”