Giving girls the gift of science… whether they like it or not

Today’s post, courtesy of Facebook, because I have time for little else, is brought to you by the Lego corporation.

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21 Comments

  1. anonymous
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Relevant.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CU040Hqbas

  2. anonymous
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    And, beware, there’s a price to raising a science literate daughter. Just ask Neil deGrasse Tyson.

    https://twitter.com/#!/neiltyson/status/149690636449222657

  3. Posted December 26, 2011 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I recently had the fun of buying Christmas presents for 40 kids. It really was fun! I am childfree by choice (DINKs, FTW!) so I never get over to the Meijer toy aisle. Let me tell you–I was shocked to see the gender stereotyping that still goes on (not to mention a huge dearth of black, Hispanic, anything other than Aryan looking dolls). Part of me wanted to mix it up and get the kids more gender neutral stuff, but some of these kids wouldn’t get much else and I wanted it to be exactly what they wanted. But Good God–there’s this thing called Baby Alive and, as I told my principal, it shits and pisses on you. WTF? You feed it mush and it shits and pisses! I never wanted dolls as a kid (go figure) and so I never had one like that but apparently, this thing is all the rage. Ugh.

    OTOH, I will say that Barbie is now coming along and all of the Barbie stuff I bought had to do with careers (architect, scientist). She still has crazy scary proportions, but at least she ain’t pissing and shitting on you.

  4. John Galt
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    If women were meant to pursue science, they’d have been born male.

  5. Edward
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I never bought Barbie as an astronaut. Does that make me sexist?

    http://images.businessweek.com/ss/06/07/barbie/image/3.jpg

    http://www.wired.com/geekdad/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/r4474astronaut1.jpg

  6. Christine M
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Not how to feel since I wanted my girls to get AG dolls. They love them too. They also love science to though.

  7. Posted December 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    I should add that I don’t necessarily have anything against American Girl dolls. In the whole scheme of things, they’re far better than Bratz dolls. (I do think they’re a bit cultish, though.)

    And I didn’t mean this to sound like an attack on folks who bought American Girl dolls for their kids. There are worse things you can give kids. For the money, though, I think, in most cases, science is a better choice than things that further push girls into gender roles which will limit their potential as adults. There’s enough of that in mass media. I’d rather not have it in the home as well.

    And did anyone read those Lego links? I think that kind of gets to the heart of it.

  8. John Jones
    Posted December 26, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    In order to break gender stereotypes for my daughter, I purchased a wide array of Barbies which I play with nonstop at the dinner table. Whenever she asks to play with one, I shout “NO! That’s for Daddy!” as my wife slides her a fully loaded cap pistol.

  9. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Children love real items, things that are not toy replicas… AG dolls are interesting, the baby doll is very authentic but $$$ and do avoid their Chicago store unless you have a dedicated credit credit for the trip. My daughter and I made a foray into toys r us for the 1st time in years to buy toys for my 3 granddaughters and one grandson. We were mostly disgusted with not only the blatant gender stereotyping but all the damn branding too. After literally checking out everything, we ended up buying those great cardboard blocks that you assemble and even small kids can build large structures with. I realize boys and girls have differences but girls need to know how things work and boys need to learn to nurture the young too. I am all for science toys:) and blocks!

  10. K2
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    There needs to be a “Barefoot and Pregnant” kit for little girls, with a strap-on belly, a few pots and pans, and instructions on how to remove your shoes. That shit would fly off the shelves if it were in a hot pink box.

  11. Heidi
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I agree with Riley!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-CU040Hqbas

  12. Heidi
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Whoops..teach me to read. Sorry for the double link post.

  13. Meta
    Posted December 27, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if this article from The Onion might be relevant.

    RENTON, WA—Local man Paul Campbell confirmed Saturday he was raising his daughter Emma on a variety of media carefully selected to help her cultivate an appreciation for artistic quality, a move that will reportedly put the 12-year-old girl hopelessly out of touch with her generation.

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/cool-dad-raising-daughter-on-media-that-will-put-h,26132/

  14. Dan
    Posted December 28, 2011 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    My daughter got legos for Christmas, the lighthouse and speedboat set.
    http://creator.lego.com/en-us/Products/Buildings/5770.aspx

    She spent all afternoon building it today.

    She wanted an AG doll as well so she saved for it, it took her six months – those things are expensive. I think the books are ok. However, it’s weird to hear the felicity book series mention in passing all of the slaves grandfather owns.

  15. Posted December 28, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I saw an American Girl movie once and liked it. It had to do with the Great Depression… something about hobo camps, and a girl reporter. Like I said, in the whole scheme of things, I don’t think it’s all that bad. I do think it’s weird, though, that kids fly into Chicago to visit the store and have tea with their dolls. It seems a bit excessive, and (like I said) cult-like. Then again, I am thinking of going to Toronto just because Degrassi Jr. High was shot there.

  16. Ale Roka
    Posted December 28, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

    I’m in no way justifying the weirdness or giving tacit approval to the brand, but it’s worth a pause of appreciation that we’re now concerned about the marketing of a doll that fairly accurately depicts actual history rather than plasticimplanted tits in a pale pink corvette.

    A pudgy history doll. Roll back the tape twenty years and think how absurdly revolutionary that would sound.

    On science kits … I don’t think they’ve progressed any further (or any less far). But aren’t most about violence (dinosaurs ate things with their big teeth … cool!) or just an extra sweet kaleidoscopes (my toenail fungus looks wonderfully awesome!).

    Sadly, kids will be kids.

  17. Posted December 29, 2011 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    I’ll give you that American Girl dolls represent a big step forward from plastic dolls with 84FF tits and 8″ waists, but I want more. I want female scientist role models for my daughter, instead of the women from The Jersey Shore. And we haven’t done toenail fungus yet, but we did look at mold from the shower, which was fun.

  18. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Science is not just about the kits toy manufacturer’s market…it is about having real tools, like microscopes, telescopes, scales, binoculars, and real experiences. Kids are naturally fascinated with science and math before we bore them to death about it in school. Hiking, biking, kayaking and camping are the ways we introduced our kids to the natural world. My youngest is away studying forestry now and tells me she learned so much about plants, trees and flowers from us while out there in the real world. And there is nothing sad about kids being kids…it is a gift.

  19. Brill
    Posted December 29, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I thought science was about tits.
    So it is not as cool as I thought it was.

  20. Kassandra
    Posted January 3, 2012 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    My twin brother got all the “cool” toys growing up. But the microscope? That was probably the coolest.

  21. John Galt
    Posted January 4, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    We all know what little girls really need — liposuction vouchers.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/04/sarah-burge-human-barbie-liposuction-voucher-poppy_n_1183510.html?1325705332

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