Originally Posted by eilonwy
That said, a boy who does the things which "bossy" girls do is called a "bully," which is probably why you've rarely (if ever) heard of a "bossy little boy."
My cousin's little boy is bossy.
Truly, he is. He tries to boss Ina around all the time. She's three years younger than him. He hasn't figured out how to "lead" her yet and she is independent enough she's not going to follow if he doesn't give her a good reason. Especially if it's her house, her toys.
I was the one who posted asking peoples' thoughts on the Dangerous Book for Boys a few months ago (I think?) in the Books forum .... I have enjoyed reading this whole thread.
I had flipped through the book in a book store and the *content* looked great to me, and much fun -- the title seemed sexist and that made me uncomfortable, and I wondered what peoples' thoughts about the entire book were.
I've been debating purchasing the book for my 3 BILs for Christmas. BIL1 has two dds, 1 ds. BIL2 has dd, ds; BIL3 has dd and a ? on the way. My family is pretty egalitarian/anti-gender roles in philosophy, although BIL2 is very strongly gendered and my sister is buying all the "boys will be boys" phraseologies.... BIL1 is pretty gendered too but he helped his dd1 build an engine for her 4-H project. I guess, in sum, it seems that my sisters and their dh's tend towards "girls should be able to do anything boys can do," but still are a bit "boys are different" in their expectations for their sons.
I can buy that yes, boys are different. But BIL1's ds (their youngest) is the most instinctively nurturing child I've seen in a long time .... I think that there is some "nurture" at play in the expectations that they have of him in terms of being a tough boy.
So I'm totally conflicted. I like the projects I saw in the book - I like the idea of my BILs using the books (with dd's and ds's) to do projects together; I think for all 3 BILs that is much the way they related to others (physical projects together), so that could be a great way for them to connect to their dds as much as to their ds's.
BUT, the "For BOYS" part of the title bothers me. The fact that there's a chapter about girls bothers me (what does it say?)? I wish it were the Dangerous Book (tack on KIDS if you want) and then I wouldn't be in this gender-concerned maelstrom of doubt right now.
I think I could explain to my dd and nieces that I don't see any reason that this book is "about boys," in fact I was thinking I'd put a note in the books saying that I'm sure that dds would have as much or more fun as a boy with the book ..... Is that enough? Are the projects in there worth the potential, "If you enjoy this book you're not a 'real' girl" message?
Is there a better book out there which accomplishes the same interactive fun childhood projects without gender-fying them?
[I should note, I think a lot of the differences between boys and girls are culturally built; while I know that biology does come into play, I think nurture does too. And yes, I only have dd's, and only have sisters myself; and yes, my dds play "like boys" based on the descriptions I've read, most of the time - and no, I didn't 'teach' them to play that way.
I think that the 'girls' aisles at toy stores STINK. They're loaded with pink plastic junk, most of which is entirely involved with either dolls, or housework, or decorating themselves. I'd loathe that if it were happening in a boy's aisle too. We're teaching girls that they need their own separate little area which is 'their' domain, and teaching boys that girls' stuff (it's so hideously girlishly pink) is NOT. ick]
Also, in terms of girls being told they can do anything/be anything - I agree that at least lipservice is given to this (although quite a few girls figure out that they're *actually* supposed to be decorative
). The problem is, I think that this is even worse for girls .... because the fact of the matter is, there still IS a glass ceiling. The boys who supposedly are struggling along, are not going to get "mommytracked" for having children, and these little girls are likely to face abysmal maternity leaves, lack of support for their decision to parent vs./in addition to working, etc. It stinks that they're being told that there aren't any barriers, when in fact unfortunately there ARE.
Boys may be being told they need to be "more like girls," but in the end, they're getting handed the keys to the kingdom and women are still being shuttled off to the kitchen. Or being told that they can't have the keys to the kingdom AND children (and men sure don't hear that, do they? They hear that they ought to find a good wife TOO).