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It Starts At A Young Age...


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Was just on Facebook, and one of my friends put up that she was buying her daughter a play kitchen as a birthday present for her third birthday. And it just hit me- these are the sorts of things we do, that ingrain little girls with these stupid concepts of what it means to be a woman. How many people would buy a little boy a kitchen as a birthday present? The kitchens are marketed at little girls, in appropriate "feminine" colours. Why do we do this to little girls? Why do we set them up for the role of being "a good wife" by buying them toys that entrench those gender stereotypes?

 

And dolls with completely out of shape figures, like Barbie, so completely out of proportion- what sort of message does that send a little girl? And what about us, ourselves, as women- how many women openly complain about their weight, and being on a diet, in front of their young daughters? What sort of message does behaviour like that send a little girl? That it's normal to be on a diet, even if unnecessary?

 

I might not have any daughters, but I think I'm just as responsible for my behaviour, as some little girl is always watching us. If we don't have healthy body image, we cannot expect young girls to have it. And if we give presents like Barbie dolls and kitchens to little girls, we must be aware of the messages we are sending these little ones. From now on, I will never, ever gift a child a present that will play into stereotypes. I will not have that on my conscience. I will never buy another Barbie doll again. And if I cannot achieve peace with my own body, I will at least ensure that no children or teenage girls are within hearing distance of any complaints I may make about my body. Building the self-esteem of children, and, for me, young girls in particular, as I am a woman, starts with me. It starts with all of us, being aware of how we are unconsciously impacting on the children around us.

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It is so true, and it is common worldwide. Although I will never have children, I would never have assumed that my child had to have gender specific interests.

 

I think people should actively break that cycle. If a girl wants a baseball bat, buy her one. She may become the most famoud female baseball player in the world because of it. Yet people always assume that she's gonna grow up to be a dyke. Not always tru. I knew a lot of butch straight girls growing up. And to this day none of them are lesbians.

 

Toys are an important part of childhood. But they should be used to develop the childs imagination, creativity, fun. Not to develop a socially repressive role that is sexist and outdated.

 

Every parent should teach kids that toys do not have a gender. That would break a lot of early trained sexism.

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It would start with the parents not buying the toys. But if there is money to be made, smart business men and women will try their hardest to get you, the consumer, to buy it. Even if it means targeting the kids with direct advertising through cartoon television stations and other shit of the sort.

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It is so true, and it is common worldwide. Although I will never have children, I would never have assumed that my child had to have gender specific interests.

 

I think people should actively break that cycle. If a girl wants a baseball bat, buy her one. She may become the most famoud female baseball player in the world because of it. Yet people always assume that she's gonna grow up to be a dyke. Not always tru. I knew a lot of butch straight girls growing up. And to this day none of them are lesbians.

 

Toys are an important part of childhood. But they should be used to develop the childs imagination, creativity, fun. Not to develop a socially repressive role that is sexist and outdated.

 

Every parent should teach kids that toys do not have a gender. That would break a lot of early trained sexism.

 

I totally agree. When I stopped and thought about it, it really began to disturb me. Why not just let children play with whatever they want to play with?

 

I knew a boy when I was a kid, and he wasn't allowed to have a doll to play with, even though he desperately wanted one. He is a straight guy, and a nurse now. He had an interest in playing with "patients", which was why he wanted a doll. His reasons for wanting a doll were innocent; why can't adults just accept that?

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I got my son a toy kitchen for Xmas when he was 2 & he said, "Yeah! Now I can cook just like Daddy."

 

Louis CK does a bit on this where he says the first toys for boys are cars and trucks & the first toys for girls are dolls. He says something like, look your a little baby here is another baby for you to take care of - it's hilarious even though I just butchered it.

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So true, isn't it! I was one of those weirdo girls who never could understand girls' interest in dolls. I never understood why I was supposed to like dolls and homemaking . I never knew what to do with them.

 

I spent most of my childhood playing cops and robbers and outdoor war games, building forts, caring for my farm animals, and riding my bike.

 

It's sad that many girls don't get the opportunity to be themselves and have a life outside of child-rearing in the pre-teen years!

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Both of my kids seem to have fallen into the gender stereotypes, and I can't say we consciously pushed them into it one way or another.

 

My son loves trucks and construction equipment. He has since he was old enough to pick them up. He has plenty of stuffed animals that he ignores most of the time. He also ignores my daughter's dolls, even though we have never told him not to play with them.

 

My daughter loves stuffed animals, dolls, and things that are pink. Note that she also has all of my son's toys to choose from, yet she still loves things that are typically associated with girls. We have never discouraged her from playing with my son's toy garbage trucks or cars.

 

There is some crossover with the toys some of the time, but overall they have just fallen into the expected preferences for their gender. Again, we never pushed them one way or another on this stuff, it's just how they are.

 

They both really liked the toy kitchen we got my daughter, but it's a gender-neutral one (it's not pink).

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Both of my kids seem to have fallen into the gender stereotypes, and I can't say we consciously pushed them into it one way or another.

~+~+~

My son loves trucks and construction equipment. He has since he was old enough to pick them up.

My BIL said the same thing. They have three daughters and one son (the youngest). My nephew has always been interested in soccer and trucks, despite my nieces doing all kinds of role-play with houses, kitchens, dolls and dress up. It makes you wonder how much of this is actually hardwired into kids. In my own situation, I was a born tomboy. I remember being clueless when I was given a doll for Christmas by an aunt who didn't know better. I liked building and playing cultural-pretend games, as well as cops and robbers (I made my own elastic firing guns). I liked wearing boys clothes and hated dresses with a passion. The conflict in my life came from my mom, who was convinced I was a girly-girl at heart Wendytwitch.gif . I was stuffed into crunchy dresses and she tried to make me into a happy homemaker Wendystop.gif . Epic fail. I can cook like nobody's business, but only once I determined I was doing it for the love of friends and food, and not as a "way to a man's heart".

 

Indeed, train up a child according to their inclinations and who they are, not who we want them to be.

 

To this day, I hate dresses, unless it's some kind of costume.

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I was tomboyish too. Playing with the boys was always more fun than playing with the girls and still is to some extent in the fact that I hate romances, and chick flicks with a passion. I'd rather spend my money on the metal music and sci-fi/fantasy books anyday. I own a few dresses but hardly ever wear them. Heels? you can forget it. Meh.

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Now now girls, if we do not train you up young, how ever are we gonna flatter you? Our playbook is not very thick and we only have a few catch lines and not all of them work.

 

Flowers, chocolates and fluffy toys is about it...

 

Its not like we have feathers like the peacock we can wow you with...

 

Really, all we want is sex, that relationship thing we have to learn. When we are young we are headstrong just not the head on our shoulders :D

 

You get boobs and we cannot stop looking at them, nature is a cruel master

 

Lucky for us, most girls are hard wired for this. Why I cannot tell Wendyshrug.gif

 

In the end, it kinda all balances out (when we finally grow up)

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Now now girls, if we do not train you up young, how ever are we gonna flatter you? Our playbook is not very thick and we only have a few catch lines and not all of them work.

 

Flowers, chocolates and fluffy toys is about it...

 

Its not like we have feathers like the peacock we can wow you with...

 

Really, all we want is sex, that relationship thing we have to learn. When we are young we are headstrong just not the head on our shoulders biggrin.png

 

You get boobs and we cannot stop looking at them, nature is a cruel master

 

Lucky for us, most girls are hard wired for this. Why I cannot tell Wendyshrug.gif

 

In the end, it kinda all balances out (when we finally grow up)

 

See I always thought my love for action, sci-fi, and fantasy movies would cancel some things out....

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Flowers, chocolates and fluffy toys is about it...

When my hubby and I were looking for wedding rings (I told him not to bother getting me an engagement ring) imagine the shock of the jeweler when I said, "I hate diamonds". eek.gif Don't like roses either. Eek! I'm a freak!

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Flowers, chocolates and fluffy toys is about it...

When my hubby and I were looking for wedding rings (I told him not to bother getting me an engagement ring) imagine the shock of the jeweler when I said, "I hate diamonds". eek.gif Don't like roses either. Eek! I'm a freak!

 

No not really. I promise! The only reason I had an engagement ring is b/c I thought I had to have one. I'd be happier with a simple silver band should I ever get married. People make a huge deal out of weddings these days. Also, as awesome as roses are...they are freakin' expensive!

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You girls sound like fun. TBH I was never into dainty women, I kinda like a bit of tomboy with enough femininity to still be turned on/attracted.

 

My wife picked out her own rings and the engagement and wedding band when together form a heart with a diamond cluster. These were hand made and hers is one of two sets.

 

I think I proposed to her while driving one day to the local dam, no rings, just popped the question. I was kinda surprised when she said yes.

 

We did the official engagement months later at her folks house, I role played and she accepted formerly, we had already been shacked up over a year anyway. With us friends with benefits evolved into romance, definitely not the traditional sweeping off the feet prince charming.

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Also, as awesome as roses are...they are freakin' expensive!

I prefer dandelions! LOL!

 

My lucky husband.

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...definitely not the traditional sweeping off the feet prince charming.

It's so interesting how there are so many cultural mores tied up in the relationship concept. And it's even more interesting how different individuals value different amounts of that tradition. Humans are fascinating!

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.........and then along comes high maintenance Margee with glitter, diamonds, pearls, lace, feathers, pink, bows, flowers, satin, ruffles and blue eye shadow!! lmao_99.gif

 

My sister never shaved her legs until she was 18!!!! Wendytwitch.gif I shaved the first hair!!! She wore jogging suits her whole life! Where did the major difference come in?

 

I don't think Mom promoted anything to be honest...... For christmas we got guitars, toboggans, dolls, coloring books, building blocks and playdoh. I think it's just who you are??? Maybe???

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I often wonder what if we were not so indoctrinated about being ashamed of our bodies, like say at a nudist camp, if we only wore clothes when absolutely necessary i.e. cold, raining etc. Would we perhaps have different mating and pairing rituals?

 

The apes do not seem to have an issue with their naturalism, granted they have fur. Somewhere way back we had it too.

 

Kids are allowed to swim and play naked and it does not seem to bother them, then comes puberty, and all the rules change.

 

When we are not ashamed of our bodies, there are specific roles in the reproductive process, would we not be less concerned with our natural sexuality and be concerned with each other as mere humans?

 

It is difficult to imagine this. image google nudist camp, and see that the majority pics where it is simply folk hanging out, the men folk are not walking around drooling or with boners. Even if a man got a boner, it should not raise an eyebrow as that too is natural. I am not a naturalist and the "shame" is pretty well entrenched.

 

Thoughts?

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The apes do not seem to have an issue with their naturalism, granted they have fur. Somewhere way back we had it too.

When we are not ashamed of our bodies, there are specific roles in the reproductive process, would we not be less concerned with our natural sexuality and be concerned with each other as mere humans?

 

 

Never naked LL! PageofCupsNono.gif I'm glad Adam and Eve sinned and had to cover up!!

 

 

This would be me as an ape LL...........with blue eyeshadow!!

Crystal+The+Monkey.jpg

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.........and then along comes high maintenance Margee with glitter, diamonds, pearls, lace, feathers, pink, bows, flowers, satin, ruffles and blue eye shadow!! lmao_99.gif

 

My sister never shaved her legs until she was 18!!!! Wendytwitch.gif I shaved the first hair!!! She wore jogging suits her whole life! Where did the major difference come in?

 

You are the kind of person I always wished I could be, then! I'm a neo-hippy; I wish I could be glitzy but I feel like I'm cross-dressing when I do that! LOL!

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Who would buy their son those kinds of toys? I guess that would be me. We bought our son not only a kitchen set but also rapunzel's tower from Tangled.

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We bought our son not only a kitchen set but also rapunzel's tower from Tangled.

 

Just you wait. He'll end up being some amazing chef or something. Good for you for busting the stereotype!

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Personally, I think everybody should know how to cook, even if it's just the basics. I don't see that as being something that one gender should be better at than another.

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Personally, I think everybody should know how to cook, even if it's just the basics. I don't see that as being something that one gender should be better at than another.

 

I agree. My husband's mother taught him how to cook so that he'd have life skills. My mother taught me how to cook so I could cook for my husband and children. I was not motivated by this.

 

On a side note, I seem to be way too obsessed with this thread. Either that's because as a child I was stuffed into crunchy dresses to the point of insanity, or because I am seriously procrastinating. I am going out of town tomorrow and I have a proposal to finish. Guess what's not getting written. Sigh. FML.

 

Must. Get. Off. Ex-C.

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You get boobs and we cannot stop looking at them, nature is a cruel master

 

 

 

hmmmm I didn't get mine til I was 30 - and my husband had to purchase them.

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