Actual Headline

Boys will be boys, girls will be girls from birth.

And the actual opening line? "As a good postfeminist-era mom, I certainly didn't push my son toward trucks and my daughter toward tutus."

Call me crazy, but I don't really think that Parenting and CNN ought to be publishing articles written by someone who actually admits: "Even though I'm a psychologist who specializes in early education, it took having kids to make me realize that sex differences aren't just the stuff of Brady Bunch reruns."

And, by the way, I love how this:

There is some evidence that boys tend to be more easily agitated than girls and have a harder time self-soothing. According to one study, even when 6-month-old boys appeared as calm as the girls in the face of frustration, measures of heart rate and breathing suggested that they were actually experiencing greater distress.
—is snuck into an article essentially designed to confirm gender assumptions, as if it's not a massive contradiction to the stereotypes we have about men's and women's emotionality.

That girls are more emotional and easily distressed than boys is one of the most intractable "boys will boys and girls will be girls" narratives in our culture, routinely serving as the basis for discrimination against women, marginalization, silencing, and ridicule. From jokes about a woman having her finger on the button to caricatures of the swooning dilettante and hysterical feminist, the notion that it's girls who "tend to be more easily agitated…and have a harder time self-soothing" is used against girls and women their entire fucking lives.

I have no idea what the unnamed "one study" being cited here is or whether it's worth a damn, so I'm not endorsing the veracity of its findings. My point is just to illustrate how totally absurd this piece of shit article is, in that its author invokes a substantial subversion of a gendered stereotype only to treat it like no big deal, just to fit a predetermined narrative.

And none of the people who saw fit to print it noticed (or cared) that right there, smack dab in the middle of the article, is a passage which suggests the very thing our culture compulsively uses against women is totally fucking wrong.

Boys will be boys and girls will be girls blah blah too hard to think makes brain hurt. Wankers.

[H/T to Shaker AbracaDeborah.]

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus