Friday, May 1, 2009

Teach Your Children

I'm a big fan of the DIY crafting movement that has become mainstreamed recently, just in time for this nice recession of ours (more on that later). It has so many good things about it: it values creativity, it's anti-corporate, there is a nice strain of eco-friendliness to it, and it injects new value into many skills that were previously relegated to the feminine domestic sphere.

But then we get things like "Crafting for Boys."

Okay, I get it. In some crafting circles it's hard to find projects for men, and many attempts to fill that niche have been incredibly disappointing (really, Debbie? A stripper scarf?). But, sweater patterns for adult men, which often require different sizing and shape, are far different than projects for children. Until you hit puberty, a sweater is pretty much a sweater. It just takes a color change and some embellishment to gender it up.

But, when it comes to play, why do we continue to count tents and capes for dress up as something only in the boy realm? Even the author admits that many of these projects are for girls, too. And she even talks about using some of them as a child herself. So, obviously this early indoctrination of gender isn't a given, though some people would like us to think that it is.

So, okay, you have sons and we want to make sure all our kids feel special, but is reinforcing gender roles really how to make them feel that way? And besides, its a pretty short and slippery slope until we get to this nonsense.

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more. I LOVE the latest DIY movement and all that it entails. There are so many values in DIY that I hope to pass down to the crazy Corbin bunch. You hit the cape problem on the head. Surprisingly I found myself falling into this trap (can you believe it??). James found some pastel scarves in the play room and tied one around his neck to make a cape. Little Sister Layla saw this and grabbed the pink scarf (James had the "robin egg blue") and grunted for me to make her a cape as well. Capes can be for girls too! In fact, that's on the list of sewing projects: capes with J and L on them.


be nice.


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