or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › dangerous book for boys
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

dangerous book for boys - Page 3

post #41 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestmom View Post
What do you think a starting age is for this book? My oldest is 4.5. Should I wait a couple of yrs?

I could really care less about the title. If my girls (or boys) ask why it is called that, we will talk about it. I personally would have thought it was even cooler that I was doing stuff out of a 'boys' book.

I'd personally wait a few years. My ds is 9 and I think its about the perfect age for it because he can read it independently. However we have had a great summer with it and all my kids 9, 6, 6 and 4 have gotten something out of it.
Karen
post #42 of 216
My son loved this book. I have long since given up the idea that gender has nothing to do with how kids are and what they like. I took all the women's studies courses in college and I was going to raise my kids gender neutral. Trucks and dolls for all, etc. And then God laughed and gave me a twin boy and girl for my first. And I tried all my gender neutral ideas out and still they ended up gender identified pretty quickly by age 2. My son made guns out of nothing and my daughter turned every stuffed animal into a baby and nursed it. I plan to get the girls book for my daughter and is she likes it great and if she doesn't, well we already have the boys book if she wants to read it.
post #43 of 216
these are fabulous books! no matter how you play it boys and girls ARE different. we even look physically different and no matter how hard i try...my sons always end up falling into the gender sterotyped role and my dd will NEVER be allowed to play hockey...i need someone in this house filled with boys to do girlie things!
post #44 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by BurgundyElephant View Post
It's NOT silly. I'm not going to buy them a GREAT book (because I agree that it sounds great) that is marketed to boys! What message does that pass - "Hey! Here's this great book with lots of cool stuff inside but just ignore that it says it's for boys on the cover." Even explaining that it's reminiscent of old-fashioned books isn't acceptable, why still the sexism today? I'm not going to support an author, or a publishing house, that pushes this agenda.

FWIW, Yes, I do have both genders in my house, I have two daughters and one son. My son doesn't play with gender specific things, nor do my girls.

I'm really not trying to be snarky about this...
I would have LOVED this book as a girl. LOVED IT. But I also would have been bothered, inside, by the title.

Because labelling all those cool, outdoors, in-touch-with-nature stuff, especially, as "boy" meant that in liking it, I was transgressing gender. I was the WRONG one -- and in a time when my media was still full of girls in skirts shrieking and being rescued by dashing heros, yet another way in which I was obviously WRONG would have been another blow.

I'm not asking anyone to limit their boys' appreciation of those things.

But how, anyway, would calling it "The Kids Book of Dangerous Fun" or something like that make boys not like it? Would they suddenly be completely uninterested in it, just because there wasn't a big BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY on the cover?
post #45 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by alima View Post
I don't have any problem with the gender thing. Having struggled to raise a boy (who's very much a boy's-boy, think Pig-Pen crossed with the Tasmanian Devil) in a post-feminist, very pc neighborhood, where "boy's stuff" is almost a dirty word, it's really nice to see something about boys world being celebrated.
:
Me too!!!!!

I am going to get the book for ds and dh for Christmas!!! Although I am a more "girly" girl ( I like braiding hair and make-up!) I am looking forward to the book also!
post #46 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
I was the WRONG one -- and in a time when my media was still full of girls in skirts shrieking and being rescued by dashing heros, yet another way in which I was obviously WRONG would have been another blow.
But this isn't how it is now. Now it's all about Girl Power. And my 6 and 9 year old boys often get the message that the things they like - adventure, 'danger', dirt and exploration are "wrong". They would get this even moreso if they were in school. The thing about this book is that it celebrates these activities in a format that affirms for them that there is nothing wrong with them as boys.


Quote:
Originally Posted by savithny View Post
But how, anyway, would calling it "The Kids Book of Dangerous Fun" or something like that make boys not like it? Would they suddenly be completely uninterested in it, just because there wasn't a big BOY BOY BOY BOY BOY on the cover?
But the author isn't laying claim to the activities in anyway. He's just put them into a book that he thinks boys will like. If girls like the activities too then that's great. There's no message that girls shouldn't do these things and I think it is way overstating the importance of one book to suggest that girls won't want to read about shakespeare or build a tree house because it's outlined in the dangerous book for boys.
post #47 of 216
See when I first saw this book and read the things in it I thought that it could be titled better. Then I started thinking that the title is really perfect. Some of those activities are dangerous for boys since boys tend to have less impulse control than girls. After all the girls will make the bow and arrow and probably not shoot their sister with it.

I don't see the title as exclusionary, more cautionary!

Seriously, why does the title matter? It is a good book written in a nostalgic format.
post #48 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakesuperiormom View Post
my dd will NEVER be allowed to play hockey
:

You should see my Ramona dressed up in her hockey gear. She reminds me of Mad Max. She's the world's tiniest hockey player! She looks adorable and, more importantly, she's a darn good little hockey player!

And she's the only girl on her team, something of which is is immensely proud.

dm
post #49 of 216
I celebrate my boys as boys and my girl as a girl. But more so I celebrate that they are all individuals and like things on both ends of the spectrum. And I think that this book is fabulous. I think this is litterally a book not to be judged by its cover.
post #50 of 216
I'd buy it for either of my kids. But I do think it's sad that we've turned to basically trying to make our sons feel wrong for being male. That's as bad as how girls/women were treated in the past.
post #51 of 216
The gender thing bothers me, too, but...I think I know what the publishers are trying to do. Go into a children's book store or a scholastic book fair and you will see that more than half of the merchandise is directed at girls. The idea is that boys don't like books as much as girls, although I think that's a self-fulfilling prophecy, since there's not that much for boys. Maybe the publishers are trying to attract boys by having a book just for them. It irks me, though. You don't have to be so gender specific. Boys and girls alike love Harry Potter.
post #52 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by homewithtwinsmama View Post
My son loved this book. I have long since given up the idea that gender has nothing to do with how kids are and what they like. I took all the women's studies courses in college and I was going to raise my kids gender neutral. Trucks and dolls for all, etc. And then God laughed and gave me a twin boy and girl for my first. And I tried all my gender neutral ideas out and still they ended up gender identified pretty quickly by age 2. My son made guns out of nothing and my daughter turned every stuffed animal into a baby and nursed it. I plan to get the girls book for my daughter and is she likes it great and if she doesn't, well we already have the boys book if she wants to read it.
My closest friend is a (self-described) lesbian feminist poet and academic. She's spent the last 13 years doing a Women's Studies degree, writing fem-centric poetry, attending conferences and protests, and being an extremely active women's activist. And in those 13 years she's managed to raise the girliest daughter possible . Her daughter loves glittery things, feather boas, tiaras, boys, broadway musicals, and really high heels, probably in that order , and is *very* vocal about how she feels about her mom's political activities (snore!!!!)

And during that same time, I somehow managed to raise the most conservative (except in his politics), meat and potatoes loving, football and car obsessed boy, in a (formerly) vegetarian household in the heart of the local Granola Belt.

My friend and I both have a good laugh over the irony of this. We also acknowledge that our kids have influenced us as much as, if not more, than we have them. My friend, who was a very bookish and serious girl, has embraced the girly-ness she never let herself enjoy before, and I've gotten to play in mud, break things, and yell loud, among other boy-friendly activities that have been big hits here over the years Part of the joy of parenting is getting to relive our childhoods and enjoy the bits we were left out of or ignored the first time around.
post #53 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by frogguruami View Post
See when I first saw this book and read the things in it I thought that it could be titled better. Then I started thinking that the title is really perfect. Some of those activities are dangerous for boys since boys tend to have less impulse control than girls. After all the girls will make the bow and arrow and probably not shoot their sister with it.

I don't see the title as exclusionary, more cautionary!

Seriously, why does the title matter? It is a good book written in a nostalgic format.
I was going to make this point, but thought I'd get skewered

When I first bought the book for ds (we're Canadian so got the British edition years ago), I explained to him that it's not The Dangerous Book for Boys, it's the Dangerous Book FOR Boys, because any boy like him would hurt himself pretty quickly with the knowledge therein, but girls would be too smart to do stupid things
post #54 of 216
[QUOTE=anniedare;9563197]
Quote:
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...
Um, Sleepy Hollow is a very stylized movie, I wouldn't look to it for historical accuracy. I've read the Declaration of Independence, but since I'm not American, it doesn't mean a whole lot of me. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms doesn't use "man" as an inclusive term.

Historical films are big hits around here, like Master and Commander, precisely because they show the ordinary boy experience of history, far more than in most books I have found for ds. History books (the old style) are about Great Men doing Great Things, and rarely have any details about boys lives any more than girls lives. They don't have boys doing silly, or stupid, or scary things, or just being boys. There's rarely anything more for ds to connect to on a personal scale than there is for me.


Quote:
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
.

Part of the problem with this for me is that I don't think that gender stereotyping is the same thing as gender roles, and I do think there are realistic gender roles (very fluid and not exclusive, but are there nonetheless.)

I come from a culture and background that is very different than mainstream America, and one thing I have noticed with regards to gender discussion in North America is the assumption that gender roles and meanings are the same all over the world, in every culture and every class, and this is just not true. In my culture (Irish Catholic, my parents immigrated to Canada just before I was born), boys and men are seen as silly and almost useless, their main purpose is to work and make money, and the rest of the time they have to be entertained and are basically infantilized. Women make all the decisions and do all the "real" work (my father, at the age of 66, has still never written a cheque. When my mom died, he didn't even know which bank held the mortgage to his house.) What is taken for granted here as "girly" (being silly, obsessed with personal appearance, clothes, boys, etc) was definitely not acceptable as girly behavior back in North Belfast. Any girl who had nothing better to do than her hair was seen as wasting her life and cheating her family from the work she should be doing.

So basically, don't assume that the assumptions being made by the author are the same ones you are making, or reflect your cultural understanding.
post #55 of 216
I got this book for my hubby and he loves it! (actually, we have all enjoyed it!)
post #56 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post
The gender thing bothers me, too, but...I think I know what the publishers are trying to do. Go into a children's book store or a scholastic book fair and you will see that more than half of the merchandise is directed at girls. The idea is that boys don't like books as much as girls, although I think that's a self-fulfilling prophecy, since there's not that much for boys. Maybe the publishers are trying to attract boys by having a book just for them. It irks me, though. You don't have to be so gender specific. Boys and girls alike love Harry Potter.
This has been my experience with ds. He spent one year in junior high, and the boys were treated as though they were barely literate, the "boy" literature was plot-driven, action-adventure drivel about survival or sports, and very carefully avoided any big words, on the assumption that boys would only be interested in books if they were dumbed down and full of violence or sports.

Ds couldn't stand any of these books. One of his all-time favorite childhood reads, however, was A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver, a book written by a woman, about a famous Queen. He was just as likely to read a book with a female protagonist as a male one, but the publishing industry doesn't seem to trust boys to do more than drool over pictures of cars and/or girls.

The authors did name the book, not the publishing house, though. They are brothers, one is a middle-school teacher, and they decided to write the book because they saw so many boys doing nothing other than playing video games, and wanted to put together a book about being a boy they way they were when they were boys. Maybe if they'd had a sister, the book would have a different title
post #57 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmamama View Post
:

You should see my Ramona dressed up in her hockey gear. She reminds me of Mad Max. She's the world's tiniest hockey player! She looks adorable and, more importantly, she's a darn good little hockey player!

And she's the only girl on her team, something of which is is immensely proud.

dm
i'm tonque-in-cheek with that one! we go to our outside rink and "us girls" shoot on the boys! my boys ds 7 and ds3 both play hockey and dd takes figure skating..she's quite talented.you should move here there are girls in all the leaques and all girl leaques!
post #58 of 216
Quote:
Originally Posted by Karenwith4 View Post
IMO I think it is far more disempowering to pass on to our children the message that the title of a book or the opinion of one person (in this case the author) is enough to influence how they define themselves or that they shouldn't have access to something simply because of what its called. It leads down the silly path of androgenizing everyone and everything.
First, I don't believe in censorship so I would never deny my DDs access to any book they wanted to read or own.

Second, if a girl is annoyed that certain things they like are labeled as being "for boys," the problem isn't they they are allowing others to define them, but just they opposite. They see others defining them and they are rejecting the definition.

Just to be clear, I'm not the knocking the book. It sounds lovely. I just think that my DDs wouldn't care for the title because sexism annoys them (which is fine by me!)
post #59 of 216
We bought this book for the whole family to share. At first the adult boys were captivated. I had a good laugh reading the advice about girls late one night after the kids were in bed. And then suddenly the book disappeared! Where was it? My 8 year old daughter had stolen it to read. When I suggested she put it back in the library for everyone else she said "Well, it's not JUST for boys, is it?" She's most certainly not willing to be left out of anything regardless of what the authors titled the book. It really is nnice to see a book for boys these days. So many great books are available for girls. It isn't fair to squash one gender to raise the other higher.
post #60 of 216
Sounds like a good b-day present.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › dangerous book for boys