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Starting Early

I’ve been searching for holiday presents for the children in my life, but the stereotypes are really getting me down.

Shall we start with The Dangerous Book for Boys and The Daring Book for Girls ? No, well there is the FAO Schwarz Catalog. Forget it, I’m not giving you a link. If you want to see boys with dinosaurs, wild animals, trucks and cars and the girls with baby dolls, tutus and hundred dollar plus Barbies, you will have to find them yourself. Oh well at least they show a girl using a telescope.

We could start with helping children learn “How To Be The Best At Everything”? Of course we will need to chose from the Boys’ Version where you learn how to: "fight off a crocodile, rip a phonebook in half, escape quicksand, read minds and speak in code" and the Girls’ Version where you learn how to: "keep a secret diary, dance like a pro, deal with bullies, make a friendship bracelet and win a staring contest."

As much as I love buying things on the web, this year I’m going to my local toy store . At least their catalog shows girls and boys playing together and apart with lots of different toys.


I bought the Dangerous book for boys and you have to remember that it is dated! It was written in the 40s I think...I bought it for my son to find some new and creative ways to play. I am sorely tempted to buy the Daring book for Girls since it is not limited to girl stuff - how to build a fort and make a catapult are included. While the boys book is stereotyped, I am glad that the girls book is not!
But watching ads on TV is the most depressing for me - only boys play with trucks/action toys and only girls play with the dolls/crafts...even the one crossover that has girls playing with cars is called "race to the MALL"!! BLECH!!
I think I too wills tick to the small independent toy store - the chains categorize too much too.

It's the Tonka ads that really get me. At least the catalogs I've seen (admittedly very few) use words like "child" (instead of "boy" and "girl) in the description. The Tonka ads don't even bother with that. Boys only play with their dads and their slogan is "Built for Boys."


You've got to check out the CNN article
Toy kitchens for boys?

Their "story highlights":
* Toy kitchens for boys seen as OK
* More men starring in TV cooking shows
* More boys watch their fathers cooking dinner

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