Holiday Gift Abuses

I just posted a link to Jonathan Liu’s phenomenal list of the best toys of all time that included a stick, a box, string, and dirt.

Then someone on that Twitter thing showed me this and I was undone.

Seems these days girls don’t have to get their science in the kitchen. Science for girls is now…in the bathroom. Baking is so 1950s. In 2012 we exfoliate.

How long will it take before girls get their science in the lab, like the so-called boys’ science kits offer?

Science kits are great gifts, even though almost all science can be done with regular household ingredients and a grownup who can read. But apparently girls can’t be interested in science unless it’s Barbied. And they can’t forget what’s important: being “pretty.” Ugh. Read Peggy Orenstein’s post on these horrifying “spa science” and mani/pedi appeals to girls that seek to either trick them into doing that abhorrent-and-boyish-activity known as science or dumb it down enough that “even girls” can find it fun.

Yuck. Hope any child in your life interested in science gets the chemistry and physics set, not the one branded for their early objectification.

6 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Abuses

  1. Yeah, the rat bastard toy companies make shit for girls in pink, and shit for boys in blue… except that the pink shit breaks in two seconds flat, while the blue shit is INDESTRUCTIBLE for the boys that will be boys. As a woman scientist, I’ve had the same problems with my own sciency equipment. It doesn’t fit my hands because it was never intended for use by a GASP… woman! I need 2 hands (= 1 man hand) to operate most gear. Don’t even get me started…

    I went to the toy aisle last week to buy something for a 5 yo boy. I couldn’t find ANYTHING NOT MADE IN CHINA. I was hoping to find a chemistry kit. Nope. I went to the Nature Center to find something cool. No dice. So, he’s getting a fishing pole. I got him a butterfly kit last year. I refuse to buy him crap.

    In 2012, we exfoliate, and we walk away from research because we are SICK AND FED UP OF THE SEXIST SHIT IN SCIENCE!!!111!11!11!1111!!!!1!1!! Hey, my skin looks good! That’s gotta mean sumfin! IBTP.

  2. Preach, unicorn.
    Amen, Hallelujiah, Praise Anyone Not Bringing Us Down.
    One of my friends who’s a rockstar engineer was constantly asked by professors in her honors classes at UCLA “Are you in the right class?”
    Swing Low, Sweet Chariot; Run Over the Sexist and the Willfully Ignorant!

  3. On the other side of the coin: some gal on Pinterest went on a rather impressive rant on someone else’s pin because the pin was labeled: fun activities for boys. The pin linked to a science website–for kids. Uh . . . call me an @$$h0/e, but (as a mom of boys) I’m thinkin’ the gal who pinned the pin m i g h t just accidentally have sons. ; )

    • Stephane, I think it’s reasonable for a mother of boys to call something gender neutral “for boys.” I also don’t think it’s the job of a parent of sons to assume that girls might like something, since they might not know. BUT, I think it’s offensive for a company to label products as appropriate for one gender or the other. Heck, I get pissed when a shirt with a truck on it is “for boys.” I loved trucks as a small person. And it angers me that such branding makes some moms of girls think a certain way, and more terribly, makes some girls think there are things not appropriate for them.

  4. NW, No arguments from me! I loved climbing trees (trees in Alaska suck for climbing btw), building forts and playing cowboys and indians. : ) Just meant to share something I saw which hopped the fence a bit and made me giggle, too.

Comments are closed.