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shocked and furious after seeing Usbornes new sticker books

(12 Posts)
Honning Tue 18-Dec-12 12:47:34

I'm so annoyed after having just seen the new sticker books from Usborne in our local WhSmith. They have several history sticker books that bizarrely have white washed women from history. 'The Romans', The First World War' and the 'Second World War' all feature zero women (save a nurse in the background in one of the war books).

I presume what they are trying to do is to make history appealing to boys (though there was no reference on the cover to the books being especially for boys)- but what about the girls? I find it deeply disturbing that a modern publisher is removing women from history like this and also in effect telling girls that history is not a subject that involves them or is for them. History was for so long the preserve of men - but i naively thought the battle had been won and women now are fully represented by and involved in the study of history - seems not!!

StephaniePowers Tue 18-Dec-12 12:49:27

Sounds just the thing for a Twitter campaign. <rubs hands>
They really are being a bit arseholey.

brainonastick Tue 18-Dec-12 12:50:10

That is pretty bloody awful. Have you written to them to complain?

(I don't disagree with you, but it would be more effective to complain to them than to us). A campaign like Pink Stinks might be interested in campaigning on this on your behalf as well.

DoctorAnge Tue 18-Dec-12 12:59:09

I totally agree!
There are NO Women in the books you mention. I noticed myself and didn't buy them for DD. Plenty of girl princess and fashion ones though hmm

comeonbishbosh Wed 19-Dec-12 23:13:08

Tis amazing that as a race we've survived so long with such limited chances for procreation! wink

Have to say, much as I like Usbourne in general, there does seem to be a fair bit of gender stereotyping in their book title which puts me off.

SavoirFaire Fri 28-Dec-12 23:32:40

If you want to start a bandwagon about this (and I think it might be worth doing), try contacting the Guiding Association. They seem to have quite an effective lobbying voice and are very vocal about the critical role of women and the importance of inspiring girls/young women.

In general I love Usborne, but yes, this would really really irritate me.

MuddlingMackem Fri 04-Jan-13 21:08:03

Are these the 'Sticker Dressing' range? In other words, dress up dolls aimed at boys?

DoctorAnge I'm guessing that the girl princess and fashion ones are in the Sticker Dolly Dressing range.

I know that I have some major problems with 'girls' and 'boys' in titles of books, and Usborne do it too and it makes me a bit 'grr', eg Drawing Colouring and Doodling for Girls and there is a boys' version too, but strangely I don't really have a problem with the sticker dressing ones. I'm obviously in a minority of one on this but I think it's quite cool that there's a traditionally girls' activity - dressing dolls - which is made more appealing and available to boys.

fuzzpig Fri 04-Jan-13 21:12:01

Wow. I really love usborne books normally and we have lots of different ones. That's such a shame.

Have to say I was reading your thread title thinking How on earth can you be outraged by a sticker book, but actually that is shocking.

fuzzpig Fri 04-Jan-13 21:18:48

I agree about the 'for girls' in titles too, MM.

I love the usborne doodle colouring books - got the Xmas one recently and coloured some of it myself which is fab but the ones that have 'for .....' in the title did not make it as far as my amazon wishlist.

In fact I did inwardly sigh when DD opened her Xmas present from my DSD - I knew it was a Disney story book but it turned out to be '365 stories FOR GIRLS'. However as DSD went and chose it and bought it for her little sister of course I wouldn't say anything. And I've made a point of reading it to DS as well.

DSD (14) is actually very vocal about sexism when she is aware of it (for example she shouted at the Asda Xmas advert - I was so proud grin) but I don't think she really noticed any implication of the book's title.

MuddlingMackem Fri 04-Jan-13 21:46:42

I've said on here before that much as I loathe the marketing of books for girls or boys, and it's has been going on for decades, I remember deliberately looking for story books with boys in the title as a child. Back in the 70s girls ones all seemed to be pony stories, which I loathed, and the boys tended to be exploring or war stories, which I loved. grin

I wish all of the publishers would dump the boys/girls divide and the pink/blue covers, but they're all competing with each other and unfortunately that kind of stuff sells. It doesn't help that my DD is the type of child to whom all the pink sells really well, despite my best brainwashing educating efforts! sad

As for your DSD, if your DD likes the princesses/fairies/other 'girly' stuff, then your DSD was probably just fairly certain she'd picked something her sister would really like. What was DD's reaction?

fuzzpig Fri 04-Jan-13 22:15:46

DD loves it - she noticed all the characters on it. I don't think she noticed it says 'for girls' on it! And to be fair the stories haven't all been princessy. It was certainly well chosen by DSD - just a shame it happens to say "for girls" on it. So not one I'd choose myself but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

DD is 5, and loves lots of pink princessy things, but also loves cars, trains, dinosaurs etc, so would've been just as happy with a non-gendered Disney story book (we love Disney movies - though mostly animal ones rather than princess ones). She would've been upset to receive a 'for boys' one even though she would enjoy stories in it (she loves buzz, Lightning McQueen etc) - unlike me. I would've been quite pleased as a child as I was a tomboy.

MuddlingMackem Fri 04-Jan-13 22:26:16

My DD is very girly but does like some boys things, eg she's always loved Thomas whereas DS has always been a bit Meh about it. grin

Funnily enough the only 'for boys' book I can remember her enjoying, and it was read to her, was an Usborne one. It was 'Pirate Stories for Little Boys', which I got out of the library for research when I first signed up as an Usborne organiser. [Much as I would love to just buy everything I really can't afford it. sad grin ]

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