Mouse rant blog vent mouse.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

MSN reminding you not to forget your stereotypes

Yesterday, there wasn't a good gender-enforcing article on the MSN home page. AIDS coverage took the top spot in articles aimed directly at women, which is actually a pretty good thing.
But we're back in the saddle today with an article reminding moms that boys and girls really are different. It's the same tedious retreads--boys are fun-loving and rowdy, girls talk too much and are catty. And it's all inborn, so there's nothing you can do about it. After reading this article, it's hard to imagine anyone who would want a daughter at all. I mean, who would want a crying, sniping, catty kid over one who occasionally knocks over a vase?
Even though the writer does use quotes from other people who insist that not everything about kids is directly caused by the boy/girl dichotomy, it's clear where the author stands on this--girls are a pain in the ass, they're catty, and there's not much you can do to change that, because it's biological. Hell, female traits even irritate other women, you see?

I wonder, too, since so many of the mothers I spoke to seem to find boys easier, whether many of us see in our daughters the gender-based traits we dislike in ourselves and therefore tend to react more negatively.

It's not as socially acceptable anymore to blatantly wish for sons instead of daughters. Instead, we just say that daughters are harder than sons. But in this switch, we've managed to retain justifications for our sexism--if girls are harder, blame biology, not society. If they are catty and vain, surely it's the estrogen and not a society that teaches them from an early age that they are in constant competition with other women and the winner is determined mostly by looks. If boys are more easygoing and self-assured, well, it must be that wonderful testosterone and not that they are praised, admired and indulged more by parents and teachers.
Really, it almost makes me a teeny bit nostaglic for the older reasons that sons were preferred, because at least they were straightforward. Well, not really, but I do wish that people would see how this stereotyping is harmful to the very girls that they are trying to raise.

31 Comments:

Blogger BlondeSense Liz said...

I so wanted a girl when I was pregnant. When I found out it was a boy I was disappointed. Seriously. But once he was born I fell in love with him anyway.

A bunch of my girlfriends had daughters. I hate to say this.. but I am so glad I had a son. whew.

But maybe my girlfriends were just bad moms. Maybe I would have been a good mom to a daughter and we wouldn't have had any problems. I'll never know. I was only able to get pregnant once. Now I'm too old to do it again. I am really happy I had my son though. My girlfriends daughters are whiney little bitches. LOL

7/14/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

I've always said that if I had kids, I would rather have sons. But not because I think girls are harder or worse or anything, but because I know that parents of daughters just suffer fear for them more, because girls are just so much more vulnerable to a whole host of problems.
Of course, boys are more likely to get themselves killed or arrested, so it's a draw in alot of ways.

7/14/2004

 
Blogger Eric V said...

Gee whiz , it's hard to keep track of what this week's stereotype should be . Before it used to be the opposite , boys were impossible to raise , they can't sit still , can't pay attention
, all that testosterone clouds their brain and turns them into
little Rambos. I guess the only good thing to do with them is
to ship them off to Iraq.
/ end sarcasm.

But seriously , I don't think Blondsense's friends may be such that bad mothers but rather ,I believe that our society does
not teach our daughters how to compete. That's what the
emphasis on team sports in boy's life is about , learning
how to compete within a set of boundaries , how to accept
criticism and defeat and how to set the goals of the team
first. Of course the idolization of individual star players
as well as the incredible sums of $$$ thrown at them has a
tendency to undo the good that experience of team sports
brings. I'm sure if boys were not raised that way many would
be whiny , bitchy , etc... ; basically the reason they are
not is that we do not let them be that way.

Disclosure : I have 2 boys , one is 2yrs and the other 4 mo. At this point I think my wife and I would prefer a girl if there is a next one.

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