"Sports are for boys and manicures are for girls" sounds like something out of a bygone era, but summer camps in Richmond Hill, Ontario, seem to be running with that exact sentiment. And people are not pleased.
The city is offering two "general" summer camps — Boyz Rule and Girlz Rock and the differences are pretty stark.
The camps were pointed out by Twitter users Audra Williams, which prompted others to share their disappointment with @MyRichmondHill, the town's account.
Ottawa activist and writer Ariel Troster broke down why so many people are upset on her blog, Queer Feminist Mama.
There is nothing inherently wrong with activities that are generally coded as 'girl stuff,'" she wrote.
But the worst part of all of this is how these camps are training young girls to be perfect housewives. In 2016. You'll notice that basic food preparation is not included in any of the listed activities for boys. Because even today, boys are being socialized to be nurtured and served by women. It makes me want to projectile vomit all over the city recreation guide.
Troster also pointed out that this isn't unique to Richmond Hill. Ottawa's Dovercourt Recreation centre was also offering gendered activities for boys and girls age 10 to 13. The girls got healthy snacks, while the boys got video games.
After complaints, however, that section of Dovercourt's camp pamphlet now shows as "under reconstruction."
On Wednesday, Richmond Hill posted a statement on Twitter saying they've heard people's concerns and plan to review the programs.
UPDATE: On Thursday, Richmond Hill announced that after listening to feedback, they've changed the names of the camps. They are now "Extreme Sports" and "Kidz Rock" and open to both boys and girls.
Lauren Strapagiel is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Toronto, Canada.
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