Proud Mom Praises Son’s Response to a “Sexist” School Question Regarding Titles

When her 8-year-old son came home from school with a surprising answer on his worksheet, Stephanie Parks Taylor realized that she’d raised her child right.

His response to a sexist question on a piece of schoolwork not only made his mother proud—it also went viral on social media. “Give this kid an A+” online users demanded.

Initially, Taylor (@StephptaylorCLT) shared an image of her son’s reply to the controversial question on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “My 8-year-old with the worksheet,” she captioned the picture. “Mic drop. #thekidsarealright.”

The controversial question required students to determine whether a woman should be addressed as ‘Ms.’, ‘Miss’, or ‘Mrs.’, based on their age and marital status. An illustration above featured three women, with one girl labeled as underage and the other two women described as either “unmarried or unknown marital status” or “married or divorced.”

“Is Lara a Miss, Ms., or Mrs.?” the worksheet asked.

The 8-year-old boy countered with a simple, straightforward alternative: “I think she is a Dr.” Mic drop, indeed.

Praised For Raising Her Son Right

As of this week, Taylor’s post has accumulated over 55.6 thousand likes and dozens—if not hundreds—of replies. Without a doubt, the general consensus was praise for the boy’s progressive answer to the question, as well as widespread approval of his parents’ child-rearing skills.

“I want to hug this kid and then hug her parents,” declared Melissa Church (@skserenity), who accidentally misgendered Taylor’s son in her tweet. When corrected, she stood by the original sentiment, “Ah, missed that, even better!”

Declared a Sexist and Archaic Question By Users of Social Media

Many users were baffled that modern-day schools would surrender any valuable time or resources to teaching kids these lessons: “OMG, is this a thing they waste time teaching kids? Give this kid an A+.”

“It drives me mad that women’s titles are defined by their marital status. We should be getting rid of this stuff, not teaching it,” Fleur Loveridge (@SubterraFleur) echoed. 

“The 50s called; they want their honorifics back,” another social media user quipped, pointing out how old-fashioned and outdated these styles of address might now seem to a younger generation.

The Titles Left Commenters Fuming

For Taylor’s son, who would have been born in the mid-2010s, the 1950s might feel like the distant past. Younger generations, like millennials and Gen Z have more progressive views on social issues. They are subsequently more familiar with using inclusive and gender-neutral language, shifting away from titles like ‘Miss’ and ‘Mrs.’

“Why are women defined by their relationship status in today’s world?” protested Elizabeth J Rowan (@ElizabethJRowan), a Food Technology teacher in the UK. “I know it dates back to when women were seen as a man’s belonging, but surely this needs to be addressed in today’s society. I am a person and a woman.”

Some would argue that the little boy’s amazing response can be attributed to the role model he has at home. Stephanie Parks Taylor, MD—the 8-year-old’s mother—is herself a ‘Dr.’, who currently serves as Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine at the University of Michigan. Dr. Taylor’s X bio indicates that she is grateful to be a first-generation college graduate.

Previously, Dr. Taylor worked as Professor of Internal Medicine at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. She is also credited as an author of 27 research publications. One can only assume that Taylor’s example made a decidedly positive impression on her young son.

READ NEXT: “Deeply Offensive”: School Told Native American To Cut Long Hair And Comply With Grooming Policy

Gender Stereotypes Continue to Prevail

Women in the comments of the post shared similar instances where children have subverted gender stereotypes. “Reminds me of the time my daughter told me only girls could be scientists,” shared one user. 

One particular woman (@snowypeebles27) revealed how she deliberately misuses titles to her advantage: “This winds me up so much! Buying a house last year, the agent insisted I had to specify. I said ‘Baroness’. I ALWAYS make up a title.”

“It’s 2022,” the user concluded. “Women shouldn’t be reduced to whether we have a husband or not.”

This article was produced and syndicated by TPR Teaching.

I'm an Irish tutor and founder of TPR Teaching. I started teaching in 2016 and have since taught in the UK, Spain, and online.

I love learning new things about the English language and how to teach it better. I'm always trying to improve my knowledge, so I can better meet the needs of others!

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