Not sure if I’ll be able to write a post I’ve got brewing in my head immediately, with all the various things that need doing this weekend, so I’ll put this up for now. Actually, I have two posts in mind, but both of them will take some doing to set to e-paper.
I’m sure this is a book you’ll all rush out to buy immediately. Doug Giles has apparently written a book on how to raise boys who are Manly Men cut from the Manly Mold without any of that pussification that comes from caring about other human beings’ autonomy or self-direction. But what I like best about this video is Giles’ amazing oral skills.
This guy is just grand. “A rouged and giddy American Idol hopeful”? “Feministas” (paging Paula Kirby, someone’s an inch away from biting your style!)? “Leading this country back to God and greatness”? And all the gratuitous Clint Eastwood and Sean Penn movie clips of yesteryear are icing.
But wait, you can download a Kindle? Interesting! Maybe it’s a 3D printer file so you can home-fabricate your own Kindle? Or maybe the guy doesn’t have the first sweet clue about technology, public speaking, or really anything but raising kids exactly the same way that our modern society has always raised kids — with rigid gender roles and a disdain for difference.
A while back, someone on Twitter pointed me to this GoldieBlox Kickstarter project, excited that finally, someone was doing something to get young girls interested in engineering. In amongst the glut of male-targeted building toys like K’nex and Erector Sets and LEGO, there’s hardly any such thing for girls. None of these toys are inherently boy-oriented (so long as you omit the obvious pun), but all of them are always always ALWAYS advertised for boys with special playsets to build things that boys are enculturated to like, like cars and helicopters and space ships.
There’s often a girls version that is pink, because girls simply aren’t picking up those “boys’ toys”. This offering involves princesses and ponies and none of the things boys “like”. Look at K’nex’ Tinkertoy offering for girls, with its uniquely colored blocks and princess figurines. Or LEGO’s foray which makes the minifigs “pretty” and all the blocks pastel and designed so you can make a French cafe.
These attempts at girlifying this class of toys — let’s call them engineering toys — are often quite maddening in the face of this culture, that has since the turn of the last century wholly entrenched rigid gender roles from the Victorian era. In this culture, where once we looked like we were actually coming out of the woods when LEGO produced ads for their unisex product that were absolutely wonderful and starred little girls as often as little boys, all doing the same things — but have evidently since backslid to an enormous degree. In this culture, where even three year olds can grok the transparent gendered marketing.
So I can totally see why some might lash out at yet another example of pinkification to try to get girls interested in engineering.
But in the case of GoldieBlox, I can live with it.
Continue reading “Some pinkification I can live with… for now”