Thursday, June 11

Of Snips and Snails, and Puppy-Dogs' Tails

I'm often taken aback by other people's ideas about what little boys and girls should be or have, just based on whether they are little boys or little girls.

The most startling example occurred several months ago, during story time at the local branch of the public library. At one point, the performer leading that day's activities asked for a male volunteer to be sheriff and a female volunteer to be deputy sheriff. Yes, indeed: she specified a gender for each role. So, evidently we are up to teaching preschoolers that it's okay for females to take leadership positions—just so long as a boy still gets the top job. The Critter and I don't go to story time anymore. (Okay, not because of this occurrence—the performer that day was actually a substitute—but because story time usually involves singing the Barney song, and I just can't do it. Never, never again.)

Other examples are less offensive, but just plain baffling. I've been shopping for outfits for the Critter to wear to his uncles' upcoming weddings. At Daffy's, another shopper moved a pale, greenish-blue, lacy, sweater-ish thing from the girls' section to the boys', stating that it clearly was meant for a boy. Why? Because it was blue. (Barely, but whatever.) Then, at home, looking online for shoes for the Critter, I found that Target considers these Jack and Lily "trainers" to be for both boys and girls, whereas these nearly identical ones are for boys. Because, you know, they're blue. Seriously?

1 comment:

Russell Kahn said...

That story about the sheriff/deputy sheriff is insane. What are people thinking?

On the other end of the spectrum is the story of Pop, a 2-year-old Swedish child whose sex is not revealed by the parents at all: