Sexisms and Old Fuddy-Duddies

So I’m sitting there watching TV yesterday, and there’s a commercial for a baby alive, or baby born or something, and its a doll, that PEES and POOPS! Really, who needs a baby when you can get a doll that pretty much does everything your newborn would do????

Obviously there were two little girls in the commercial playing with the dolls. The VERY NEXT commercial was for a car-track-mountain-racer-thing, and had two little BOYS playing with it.

Fast forward 20 years, and each boy is wondering why the girls want to have babies so badly and the girls are wondering why all the boys care about is their cars. Problem solved! Just let boys play with dolls that pee and poo and girls play with race cars.

On a serious note, you have to wonder if the associations aren’t somewhat of a factor in the way that boys and girls turn out. Those dolls are probably great for any kid who is about to become an older sibling. Why do things have to be so gender-oriented ? My son absolutely loves a toy kitchen one of his little girl friends has. So I went looking for one for him for Christmas. I found one at Target, but they only had it in bright pink! I’ve since seen another one at Toys R Us so we are going tomorrow to have a look at it.

I’m not sure how I’d feel if my son was interested in playing with dolls. I don’t think I’d care. The fact is, he’s not that overly keen on toys anyway, so when he likes something and it occupies him for more than 30 seconds, I say its a winner!

In a similar theme, but a little bit scarier, I was reading an op-ed column today about whether or not our kids are growing up too quickly today. My initial response is a resounding “HELL YES THEY ARE!” But then I think, “This is what our parents, and their parents thought, too.” So how young is too young? The article I read mentioned a crop-top style of bra for TODDLERS. Yes, you read that right, a BRA FOR TODDLERS! I mean, I try to keep this blog G-rated, but seriously, WHAT. THE. FUCK.

I can understand why Elvis was so shocking to my grandmother’s generation. That kind of gyrating was a bit OTT for the public. But what of today’s music lyrics, music videos, movies, the internet, magazines…everywhere kids turn there is SEX or sexualised themes. Girls don’t want to grow up to be Prime Minister or President, they want to grow up to live in the Playboy Mansion. Makes me think of Pink’s “Stupid Girls” song. Yes, I’m generalising, and not every girl out there wants to be some dumb ho when they grow up. But I’d hazard a guess as to say that MOST girls are self-conscious, have body-image issues, and are only made to feel worse about themselves from bullying and teasing at school if they don’t want to kiss a boy, or heaven forbid to more than kiss him! I think its hard enough to go through the pressures of that as a teenager, without having to start worrying about it at SIX YEARS OLD.

Who is going to stop this? Who is going to stand up and say “Enough is enough”? Is it not our responsibility as parents to let our kids be kids for as long as possible? I’m not saying keep them sheltered and let them grow up in a naiive environment. But we need to be the ones to protect them, and to encourage them to be the absolute best they can be, and to raise them to be the young men and women we want to see the next generation become. But can’t we let them have a childhood, first?

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