Thursday, October 15, 2009

But Girls Just Like Pink!

You'll remember our sweet Con Iggulden, he of The Dangerous Book For Boys, who insisted, along with half the (conservative)(and home-schooling) world that he was not a misogynistic sexist, that little boys were just different from girls, that was all, and in his vast experience as a teacher he had come to realize that modern day schooling and childrearing was destroying boys, trying to turning hearty tough little boys into girls, just because the feminists and nasty teachers liked it that way, and so on, et cetera, you've heard this song before.

I open one of the catalogs I used to buy Hanukkah presents for the kid from, because it had cool toys, puzzles and kits and art supplies, and what do I find?  Yes, indeed.  On one page, The Dangerous Chemistry Set For Boys.

On the opposing page?  Spa Science, for girls.

Because, see, boys want to do chemistry, and be scientists.  Girls want to make perfume and facials and bubble bath.

I swear, this country was more evolved in 1910 than it is now.  Go read Dear Enemy and tell me I'm wrong.


DNAPL said...

The Spa one even reports "We all know research indicates girls become less interested in math and science at puberty" WTF? Here I have just been bitching because I can't find good, non-pink clothing for my little girl. What a wonderful thing to look forward to as she grows up - total insanity on the part of society.

Anonymous said...

So, I just spent the last ten minutes trying to figure out where I found the link to your blog. I think I've been on the internet too much today, because I can't remember. Oh, well.

In any case, I just wanted to sympathize with you re: boys vs. girls kits and books.

I work at a Barnes & Noble as the bookseller in charge of my store's kids' department. And it very much annoys me how we have a permanent display of 'girly' things: all pink and having to do with fashion and fingernails and hair and spas and other such stuff. There is no such similar display for 'boy' things, which I find somewhat sexist. The bigger annoyance is, of course, that all the books and kits that are in any way based on science are, for the most part, clearly geared towards boys. I love science and sharing it with people - hence, the biology degree that I'm not currently using - and there's a deplorable lack of focus on science in the kids' departments of pretty much any book store I've been in.

As for The Dangerous Book for Boys, I really liked it - for myself. When I was young (and even now), I liked the bugs and microscopes and rock collections and chemistry sets. I was decidedly not into fashion or painting my nails. I still don't like the color pink, but I have discovered the fun of painting my nails in odd colors and patterns.

delagar said...

Oh, I have no quarrel with the (most) of content of what Igguldon wants to print in his book/s. Kids ought to know how to pay marbles and build campfires and tie knots. Battle plans are cool things to read about. It's his notion that somehow having girls in the same camp, or reading the same book, will destroy his sacred boys, that I find -- what's the word I'm look for? -- idiotic.

Most men outgrow the notion of girl cooties by age 11. Not Mr. Igguldon, apparently.

Anonymous said...

For those who don't mind reading books on a computer, I found a link to "Dear Enemy." It is a scanned image of the actual book, on Google Books. It is in the public domain and can be downloaded into a PDF file.