Tag Archives: gender

That’s What I Meant

9 Oct

3 birthday parties for 5 children in 1 weekend = a lot of presents to purchase. To accomplish this feat I brought my trusty advisers with me to pick out some gifts for their buddies (not the best laid plan, but, not the focus of this post). So to the toy aisle of Target I went with Katie (3 ½ ) and Annie (5 ½ ), and here’s a little snippet from our conversations:

Me: So Katie, what do you think we should get for Eli and Brian?

Katie: Something boy-lish.

Annie: There’s no such thing as “boy-lish” Katie. ‘Cause boys can like girls’ toys and girls can like boys’ toys.

Me: OooRrr….toys are for everyone, and boys and girls should get to play with whatever they like.

Annie: Right. That’s what I meant.

image credit: ms office images

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Saw It, But Didn’t See It

25 Sep

A couple of weeks ago I raised a concern about a sign that hung in Nordstrom’s children’s department which read “Boys Stink.”  The support from readers of this blog was fantastic, and I want to thank you all for lending your voice to this matter. I have to say, though, that the amazing response from readers was matched by an equally amazing response from Nordstrom. The Manager of the Scottsdale store removed her store’s signs, contacted the corporate office and PR departments of other stores featuring the same layout and design to encourage them to do the same, AND personally called all the folks that contacted her directly to say the signs were down and apologized for the poor judgment. In addition to the local Manager’s efforts, the Director of Visual Merchandising sent personal emails of the same tone to all of the people who contacted corporate about the signs.

In a phone conversation with a friend of mine, the Manager expressed gratitude for having this issue brought to her attention. She acknowledged that there really was nothing cute about a sign reading “Boys Stink” and regretted that it had gone up in the first place. And then she said something that I think we can all relate to,

“I saw it, but I didn’t really see it. You know?”

Yeah, I do know.

image credit: “Vintage Illustrated Poem” on eBay
What Are Little Boys Made Of?

How many times have we recited nursery rhymes that imply the superiority of one sex over the other? How many times have we heard chants that suggest some battle between the sexes? How many times have we read logos on shirts or titles on books that involve the degradation of one sex by the other?

image credit: zazzle.com

*  In the words of my friend Melissa Wardy of Pigtail Pals and Ballcap Buddies, “You don’t raise girls up by breaking boys down.”  Is there really a winner when the advancement of one means the decline of the other? The battle of the sexes is a zero-sum game, but since the beginning of time we’ve pitted one sex against the other while all evidence points to the fact that this is indeed not helpful to anyone.

Don’t we want kids to get along and respect each other? Isn’t that what we expect them to do as adults? The “boys versus girls” messaging is so prevalent, it is easy to see how many of us have become desensitized to it.  Yet, if we open our eyes to it, it’s plain to see how it is eroding relationships between boys and girls/ men and women and we need to ask ourselves “Why?”

I never doubted that Nordstrom would remove the “Boys Stink” signs from their stores, but I think what happened was a bit more than a store responding to “offended” customers by taking down some plaques. I like to think we helped a big corporation to SEE something. And for this I thank you!

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

10 Jul

There’s a lot to be said about summertime in the desert, but one thing is certain–you’ve gotta get out-of-town if you can! Our plan for escaping the 110+ degree heat this July has been to bring the kids to my hometown where we will be staying with my parents for a few weeks. Alas, the best laid plans…..

Continue reading

Maybe she was listening after all….

26 Jun

Just when I think my words are falling on deaf ears…..

Annie: “Can Sasha and Aaron be friends?”
Me: “Of course. Why?”
Annie: “Because Morgan and Sarah said she couldn’t be friends with a boy, but I said she could. So I was right, right mom?”
Me: “Right.”
Annie: [Big Smile]

Isn’t it great to get it right?!  😉

He’s not my boyfriend, he’s my buddy.

12 Jun

There was a struggle at bedtime at my house the other night, but it didn’t involve the usual “one more story,” stalling or “can I have a glass of water?” Nope. The struggle went a little like this:

“Mommy, Lucy’s boyfriend Noah is going to Kindergarten with me. He doesn’t even know me, but I know who he is because she showed me a picture of him.”

“You know, there are no boyfriends in Kindergarten, right? Everyone gets to be buddies.” Continue reading

Messes and Messages

28 Feb

I will fully admit that I moved to Arizona kicking and screaming. I was not a trooper. I did not handle this relocation with ease nor with grace. But two kids and 7 ½ years later I have to say that living in the Valley of the Sun (especially in February) is pretty sweet. Continue reading

When you really wish they hadn’t heard that….

14 Feb

We do our fair share of TV watching in my house. I mean come on….a mom’s got to shower now and again, right? Now don’t get me wrong, my kids don’t veg-out in front of the television for hours on end. But, I’m not going to pretend I don’t let them watch TV because I do….. That being said I realize we are entering some troubled waters. My five year-old has begun requesting “big kid” TV shows, so I see that our days of mild, relatively commercial-free programming on Nick Jr. and PBS are inevitably numbered. Continue reading

10 Reasons Girls & Boys Should Play Together

18 Jan

The following statement is neither profound nor surprising, but here it is anyway: Boys and girls don’t spend a whole lot of time with each other.

There’s no doubt that same-gender peer groups are great, but here are ten reasons why boys and girls would also benefit from playing TOGETHER. Continue reading

Lego Friends Misses the Mark on Friendships

12 Jan

I hold my memories of working at Gray Elementary School very close to my heart. It was (and still is) a fabulous Chicago Public School, with passionate and innovative teachers and supportive and forward-thinking administrators. While the learning happening inside the school was quite progressive, the school structure itself dated back to 1911. Remodeling and updating took place over the years, but certain elements of the original facade were preserved – namely, the separate boys’ and girls’ entrances.

Set on opposite ends of the building with words etched in stone above, these doors had long since brought boys and girls into school separately. And the sight of this historical signage never elicited any type of negative feelings from me. In fact, I appreciated the history it represented. If anything, it was a reminder of how far we’ve come (in education and as a culture), and an incentive for continuing to push for change and improvement. Separate entrances for boys and girls – a thing of the past, ancient history, olden times, distant memories….  It’s 2012 now for goodness sakes. It’s a time of inclusion, progressive thinking, and ingenuity.

So could someone please explain to me why an industry that has the resources to be all of this and more has created the likes of Legos Friends? Continue reading

The Playdate

1 Dec

Why is it that “playdate” is not considered a compound word? My spelling skills happen to be atrocious (thank you spell-check for the assist with atrocious), so I typically don’t have a leg to stand on in these matters. But for some reason I feel strongly that playdate should be one word. This grammar/spelling conundrum is somewhat irrelevant, but I would like to share a tale about a playdate, and therefore am prefacing it by stating that I will henceforth intentionally ignore the annoying red squiggly lines. Continue reading

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