My son has two of the Trucktown books... So I threw out one of these books yesterday... I mean put it in the recycle bin because I don't want another child to see it. It's Who's That Truck, which introduces readers to some of the trucks in Trucktown. Unsurprisingly most of the trucks are male. Fine. But then, the last truck to be introduced in Gabriella Garbage Truck. Pink -- fine. But she's described as "chatty" & a "motormouth"! The other trucks, by the way are described as liking jokes, going fast & loving to dig... you know, average truck stuff.
I'm just kind of shocked by this... I mean, it's one thing to have the books geared toward boys but it's another thing to have these books introduce to young boys (and girls) these stereotypes of women.
I went to the Trucktown website & it's even worse (they introduce visitors to all the trucks). The male trucks are described as liking dumping & puzzles & speed & jokes & dirt & being a bully (!) & noise & messes & playing (things you’d expect trucks — & boys? — to like doing, with one exception being a sort of whimpy truck who likes to worry). But the female trucks like art & being good & ice cream & rescuing … Except Wrecker Rosie who loves wrecking & dislikes “having nothing to wreck”… Rosie sounds like she might be a home-wrecker, too! (OK, that’s a stretch… but, come on! … men are never called “wreckers!” & that term has such an established nuance in our language/culture).
I find this sort of stuff appalling. No one else seems to... I did a search & there is nothing but glowing reviews for this cr@#! I've even found schools using this series!
Am I crazy?
Mama to my little busy bee.
Haven't seen the series, but I find it interesting that both "girl" trucks are garbage and wrecker. Really? I don't think I would care for it much either.
ETA: Just visited the site and it doesn't seem so bad. I can't find anyone who likes to bully. I did find someone who disliked bullies. I also realized that there are more girl trucks -- Ice cream truck, grader, hook & ladder, and a rescue truck. I found the site annoying, but not especially sexist. Yes, the art lover is a girl and could have been a boy. It may have been nicer if they would have tried a bit more to balance that. Why can't two trucks like art? Who knows. It seemed like they tried to tie in the likes/dislikes with the vehicle moreso than the gender. I don't think it was intentional. I think it was kinda lame.
I'm not saying the other aspects of the series or website aren't good or fun. We actually are holding onto the other book -- It's simply playful & fun. And maybe I'm just reacting strongly to this because I've really been thinking about feminist parenting these days...
I guess I just don't see any reason why today we can't have a "boy truck" who likes art or chatting or a "girl truck" who likes speed or puzzles... In my mind it just doesn't make any sense to perpetuate these sorts of stereotypes & in fact is only doing harm. I can't wrap my head around why someone, planning these characters, would think so simplisticly or decide that it's OK to attribute these stereotypical characteristics to them without mixing it up at least a little bit.
And just to note, there definitely is a character (named Big Rig?) who likes "being a bully". Though I'm sure he's the "bad apple" of the group.
... Stepping off of soap box now...
Mama to my little busy bee.