Originally Posted by anniedare
Um, because that's included in every history book I've ever read? Have you seen Sleepy Hallow? Read the Declaration of Independence? Turned on cable? Watched a historical film? I'd be hard pressed to know that girls did anything other than linger on their fainting couches in all of human history if these books didn't exist. Of course, there are multiple feminist critiques of American Girl too, like the fact that all the slaves are always smiling as they toil away...
However, I'm concerned that so many people are apologists for labeling cool childhood adventures with gender and justifying that labeling by saying that we also did it in the past.
Gender typing them just labels the *kids* that are reading them as gender nonconformists (rather than just a label for the book). When that's not the truth at all, since many boys will like the boys book just as many boys will hate those types of activities. But darn it, those boys that don't *will* get the message that they're suspect as true boys. As they are.
We have a tomboy and a girly girl (so far) and we def love all books and don't censor around here, but we'd definitely use books like these to point out how the book use the words "boy" and "girl" to police them. And how that's not nice to do to kids.
Hmm - Have you even see the book you are railing against or are you judging it soley by its cover?
There's everything from growing sunflowers to appreciating Shakespeare to learning Latin phrases to making paper airplanes and playing chess and cricket in this book. I doubt there's a boy or girl alive who wouldn't find something in there that they connect with which leads me to believe it is far more affirming than divisive. (the whole common ground concept.) It will likely introduce readers (male and female) to topics and ideas they haven't been exposed to. It's an excellent book. And because of it, my son is clamouring for the girl's version - can't wait to see it. And my daughter who doesn't read yet has asked for both copies for Christmas.
Do you have a son? (i'm sorry I didn't check your sig before responding)
I think the messages boys receive these days are far more restrictive than the ones girls receive and the statistics bare that out. Boys are more likely to fail in school, be suspended, drop out, commit suicide, do drugs. They now are less likely to attend or graduate from post secondary education. Girls outnumber boys now in student government, law and medicine in university.
I hate that there are people who think my sons don't deserve things that affirm them as male because of the "sins of the father" didn't also affirm females in the same way historically. We have had a culture of affirming girls to the detriment of boys for a long time now. And I personally think it's great that this book is out there and that it is named the Dangerous Book for Boys if it leads even one boy to shut off the Nintendo and explore it's pages because it affirms so many ways to be a boy. I'm sure the girls version (assuming it is of the same quality) will be the same way.
I don't understand your comment about the name of a book being used to police children. You don't have to pass a DNA test before buying the book. If you want to pass it on to your girls then do so. And if you are truly worried about equality then work for ways to affirm boys as much as we as a society affirm girls. I think this book is a step in the right direction.