Irritating article in the Guardian . . .

(52 Posts)
Takver Sat 12-Jan-13 18:30:19

here. All these 'boys aren't at all like girls, they're just so different and physical etc etc' articles annoy the hell out of me. I just wonder WTAF these parents of boys think small girls actually are like.

Surely I'm not the only mother of a daughter who (a) likes dinosaurs (b) collects sticks (c) needs plenty of exercise every day otherwise causes utter havoc and (d) whittles swords for her playmobil children and dresses them in 'chainmail'. To be fair, some of these are starting to wear off now she's nearly 11 - she prefers dragons to dinosaurs, can exercise herself perfectly well, and makes bows & arrows rather than just collecting sticks.

Is it just me, or is it reasonable to think that this kind of attitude then leads on to the excuses for grown up men failing to do their fair share ('they just don't see it, they're different') and generally behaving in ways unsuitable for a civilised human being?

Takver Sat 12-Jan-13 18:35:56

I reckon her boys are going to end up like (some of) the men on this thread . . .

BeeBawBabbity Sun 13-Jan-13 09:40:17

I agree, it's annoying not because of the boys perfectly normal kid behaviour, but because of the spurious assumption that it must be because they are male. It says much more about what she thinks little girls must be like. And there's pleasure in the stereotyping that comes across too.

I'm sure it does feed into adult excuses, but it also indirectly pidgeonholes girls and women, which I find even more infuriating.

RubyrooUK Sun 13-Jan-13 11:05:46

I find this kind of thing annoying too -/ the mother of boys myself, this is why people think it's ok to say that my sensitive, lovely, affectionate and totally non-aggressive two year old boy should "man up", "take control" and "stand up for himself". You know, because then other children wouldn't take his toys or push him around. Then he wouldn't like talking or reading or being hugged, he'd like activities deemed more manly.

Plus I am my mother's exhausting, energetic, pushy, outgoing child, not my sweet natured, gentle brother. It's why everyone told her I was "too much", "too confident", "very naughty" and "didn't know how little girls should behave".

I know it is just one person giving themselves a label and then indulging in it, but personally I hate the stereotypes.

WidowWadman Sun 13-Jan-13 11:07:26

It seems that I'm a mother of boys, too, according to the stuff described in the article. Only my boys are daughters. Stupid stupid stupid claptrap.

EbbNFlow Sun 13-Jan-13 11:07:43

Its total bollocks. My boy would rather sit in front of a computer or book than go a-hunting and a-gathering, and my girl is the one who needs 'walking daily like a dog'. I abhor these lazy stereotypes.

edam Sun 13-Jan-13 11:16:00

Agree with everyone. It's very irritating to stereotype children in this way. My niece LOVES dinosaurs, while ds was marginally interested at one stage but isn't particularly bothered now. He likes reading, hates ball games esp. football, likes nerf guns but also likes cooking. He is one little boy who is an individual, my niece is one little girl who is an individual.

Schooldidi Sun 13-Jan-13 11:18:16

My dd2 appears to be a boy too according to that article hmm. Children are children, some are boistrous, some are quiet, gender doesn't make that much difference about what individual children are like. The stereotypes are only noticible when adults start getting involved and pushing them on children.

qumquat Sun 13-Jan-13 12:12:47

Omg takver, that thread has just sent my blood pressure through the roof! Another similar thing driving me nuts currently: a yogurt advert saying "we all want to be grown up like mummy, and strong like daddy"

Takver Sun 13-Jan-13 12:20:18

"He is one little boy who is an individual, my niece is one little girl who is an individual." That's exactly it.

I do feel sorry for parents of boys (as per the other thread on here) who know that their sons are people with differing personalities, various likes and dislikes, yet the wider world tries to put them into this 'box' of suitable male pursuits.

Its funny, I suspect that the author of that article would be horrified if she were automatically expected to be a cake-baking-pinny-wearing-knitting-hoovering-washing-1950s mother whilst her DH went to the football, had a few pints at the pub then came home & put his feet up expecting his tea. Yet she's happy to push her children straight back into those stereotypes.

Takver Sun 13-Jan-13 12:21:07

sorry qumquat - take a few deep breaths and stay safely here in Feminism grin

ithaka Sun 13-Jan-13 12:25:36

Wow - it turns out one of my daughters is a boy - who knew?

Sexist drivel like that article is all too prevalent, sadly, and limits life experiences for boys and girls.

grimbletart Sun 13-Jan-13 13:31:18

I was a boy too, as were both my daughters according to our characters and attitudes grin.

I got told off on another thread (apparently I'm a misogynist - not bad for someone who has been a feminist for 65 years) for calling a woman stupid because of her sexist attitude.

So here I go again - that writer is stupid.

ArtexMonkey Sun 13-Jan-13 13:36:31

Oh the guardian family section is constantly full of irritating wankery. All the articles are desperately looking for an angle, otherwise it's just boring people guffing on about their lives isn't it? We only read it to take the piss now.

KerryKetosis Sun 13-Jan-13 13:38:44

this shit fucks me right off.

As the owner of two boys and a baby girl <expert face> I know for a fact that yes, some boys are perfectly able to sit still and concentrate, thank you very much etc.

And the different way people talk about the baby girl. Big strong boy, lovely little girl etc. and all the pink crap she gets given. their roles are decided for them from the womb.

Actually I have a massive chip on my shoulder about this one grin

StephaniePowers Sun 13-Jan-13 13:42:01

That was one of the most cloying, twee, and ever so slightly pathetic things I have read about parenting.

edam Sun 13-Jan-13 14:04:11

It's particularly irritating because it's the Guardian, who you would like to think would give a toss about feminism and equality.

edam Sun 13-Jan-13 14:06:00

and I really hate the shit some people talk about how schools are horrible to boys because they expect children to sit down and concentrate. How come boys did perfectly well in the 50s and 60s, then, when classrooms were MUCH stricter? (Actually part of that is that the scores were fiddled - girls had to reach a higher mark in the 11+ than boys, because there were fewer places at girls' grammars. But still, plenty of boys did very well indeed.)

KerryKetosis Sun 13-Jan-13 14:08:09

<reads article>

<vomits>

BettySuarez Sun 13-Jan-13 14:11:39

I just knew that you would be talking about this.

DH and I sat and read it together over our pub lunch yesterday and laughed at the smugness of it all grin

LurcioLovesFrankie Sun 13-Jan-13 14:30:46

"It's particularly irritating because it's the Guardian, who you would like to think would give a toss about feminism and equality. "

Actually, pinko lefty that I am, I've had to stop reading the Guardian, because like much of the left, it has real feet of clay when it comes to feminism. The final straw for me was a series of articles on "women can't have it all, has traditional feminism sold them short by suggesting they could?", none of which paused to ask the basic question "why do we never see articles like this about men?"

But on the plus side I'm just back from a lovely trip out with my neighbour - her DD and my DS romped around in the mud, climbing on an old disused tractor and jumping in puddles, and sword fighting, and both ended up liberally coated with mud. I like to think that this should be a normal part of childhood.

StephaniePowers Sun 13-Jan-13 15:34:13

I think it's inevitable that is is in the Guardian because that's the demographic of a lot of their staff, though their reader profile is more varied. (Perhaps becoming less so?)

I also have a child who is energetic, always on the go while awake, needs loads of physical activity. He happens to be a boy. At the great age of three weeks old in the neonatal unit, when he was as usual attempting to climb the walls of his incubator, a nurse said fondly, "boys will be boys!"
"Hmm," I replied, "so what would you have said to me, since he has inherited his incapacity to be still from me and not from his dad?"
The only response was a blank look. But honestly, gender stereotyping a 3lb, minus-5-week-old baby??!

And I agree about the Guardian having feet of clay. Has anyone seen the forums online? The nastiest things get posted about women, but if anyone protests, the moderators accuse the protestor of being unable to engage in proper debate - although the same things posted about other demographics are deleted in an instant.

Trills Sun 13-Jan-13 16:00:29

If they said "not all children want to sit still, having lots of energy and wanting to be active can sometimes be mistaken for naughtiness, here's how to deal with it" then that could be an interesting and informative article.

But it wouldn't be an article that would get published.

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