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December 26, 2006

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I'm glad I didnt have a boy, because he'd only get treated like an anonymous sperm donor by girls today. If i do have a boy, I'd send him to Iran, where men still have rights.

Help! I just found out yesterday that I'm having a girl. I am NOT a girlie-girl and haven't been since I was 3 or 4 years old.
I rode horses in rodeos and helped my Dad and Great-Grandfather out in my G-Grandfather's shop. I worked on cars.
Don't get me wrong, I wear dresses and do my hair and makeup, but I am not a girlie girl.
I ahbor pink. I think girls toys are demeaning and, frankly, boring. I've had a boy for seven years now and find shopping for him a breeze; however, in setting up my registry for my new girl, I'm appalled at the over-abundance of pink clothing and those stupid brain squeezer things people put on little girls' heads. The clothes past infanthood look kind of skanky, too.
How can I handle a girlie girl - if she becomes one. Better yet, how I can I raise a tom-boy who's still in touch with her feminine side?

I know ... I fought it for years, but I think there is something to the hard-wired theory. Barbie and the 12 Dancing Princesses? Sign her up, but I can't do the Bratz dolls. Fortunately, R. is also a girl who is interested in all things car and wants to know how planes work, so there is some hope!

No worries. My three and 1/2 yr old and 17 month old BOYS love their kitchen set. Otherwise, the love dinosaurs, dirt, bugs vacuum and bug/frog habitat from santa, but grandma's gift from last year (the kitchen) is still a favorite. It just took a little coaxing to get my husband to let it in the house. But it has a grill on it that won him over.

Both my daughers went through this girly-girl stage at age 2. Then got into tools & dinos & so on a bit later on. They hit a hapy medium around age 5, enjoying both, & the 17-y-o is a lovely teen who is more capable with tools & cars than her brother (who has no interest in either), but still plays dolls with her 6-y-o sis. So give your cutie a little time!

The little angel got a Barbie, too. From her paternal grandparents. I hid it in the playroom under some stuffed animals. She also got the Little Tykes kitchen, and I've been too busy playing with it myself to let her in edgewise. And I let her take a full semester of ballet. And I totally expect her to kick the shit out of any man who can't take it.

I just wrote something like this from the "thankful to be the mother of boys" perspective. I don't know what I'd do with a girly-girl.

I wasn't permitted to have Barbies, but I had quite a dollhouse collection. That may be the only thing I miss because I don't have a girl. My brother played with the dollhouse too. We just pretended that one of the families owned a construction company.

Ah, well - at least she will be able to take over the cooking and cleaning tasks one day.

I prayed to not have a girly-girl. It must have worked. Because while at times I see glimpses of a girl, I have a self-proclaimed tom-boy on my hands. Jeans and tennis shoes please. Skirts and dresses are so uncomfortable. Burping and farting? Yes please! Ballet? What's that? Basketball and soccer are on our agenda. Every now and then I wish for the princess, but not too often.

My daughter loves dressing up, playing with Barbies, and the color pink. I do nothing to discourage it. I'd like to think that her preference for gender-specific toys will be balanced by seeing her lawyer mom going to work every day in a suit. You can be a feminist and a girly-girl at the same time. Modern women can write their own rules. Although, I will say I can't stand those darn Bratz dolls and forbid them in my house! There is a difference between being "girly" and being "sexualized."

I can relate. The site of my daughter's new 12 Dancing Princesses Carriage is almost more than I can bear. I wanted dungarees and tennis shoes, instead it's tutus and mukuluks. As much as I hate the commercialism and saccharine girly-girlness of it all, the hand-me-down wearing, Barbie deprived little girl in me loves seeing that my daughter gets to have the shiny, new stuff she sees in the commercials. Now if I could just silence the Dora Dance mat...

What a cutie! My daughter wasn't interested in anything girly until after she turned two and a half. Before that she wanted to go down the Thomas aisle at Target or see the cars and trucks. She was particularly fond of "tractors" which was anything that had to do with construction.

Then one day it just clicked. I came home from work and she said, "Mommy, I want a mermaid dress." After that she makes a beeline down the girly aisles and oohs and aahs over everything frilly and fluffy.
She's a big fan of the princesses and especially the Barbie dancing princesses.

She does know, however, that Bratz are not allowed. I have ingrained in her that "we don't like Bratz." She knows and she'll say that as we pass their section in the toy store.

Oh, and I am going to get her a pair of those ballet slippers. Very cute!

We adopted our daughter at age 5 this past summer. She had never had any special gender based toys or many toys at all, for that matter. All the pictures we have of her, from age toddler up until her adoption, she's wearing interchangeable clothing with the boys in her orphanage. The minute we got her home, she wanted twirly dresses, she begged for the Disney princess dress for Halloween and she constantly imitates a ballerina, twirling and leaping.

So yeah, I lean more on the hard-wired side.

My older daughter is not a twirly dress girl at all, although she had her share of toys from the 'pepto pink' aisle when she was smaller.

How freakin cute is that?

My son asked for a kitchen set and then decided that he would rather have a dinosaur instead. If you ask him his favorite color, he will tell you pink. If you ask him his second favorite color, he will tell you magenta.

He is four and I love him just the way he is. I am interested to see what kind of young man he grows up to become! I just love everything about him!

She's such a doll, K.

As I've said before, I think the real-life examples set by parents and teachers and other primary figures in a child's life are far more influential than the toys they own. But like you, certain toys will never darken my doorstep and others will be highly encouraged.

That's an adorable picture!

My 4-1/2 year old daughter is a girly girl too. I just love that she stands out from the Disney princess crowd and prefers Rapunzel, and no, she has never seen the Barbie Rapunzel movie. She just loves that fairy tale. In fact, she told her Daddy that he has to build her a pink tower to live in when she grows up.

Her brother on the other hand at 22 months is mostly boy. Loves dinosaurs and toy trucks. However, he also loves his sister's jewelry and is very sweet to her dolls. I just love seeing what comes natural.

But a kitchen is a tool set- it just contains tools that are traditionally used by women but tools nonetheless.

I'd rather just consider it all gender neutral - we're the ones that ascribe the value to it, not them.

Being a feminista doesn't mean that you're afraid of your feminine side!

By golly, if your daughter wants to be a ballerina or a cook or "just" a stay at home mom, that's fine. She has a CHOICE about it and that is the point of being a feminist. (Hopefully, our sons will have similar choices and won't be "stuck" with traditionally male roles.) I think the key is letting our kids be as exposed to as many experiences as possible and letting them decide what works for them.

My hubby is the stay at home dad, so I'm fortunate that my son sees a male doing traditionally female activities. When my 2 yr old son pretends to feed his baby sister's dolly, I think its adorable. But, 3 seconds later, he's kicking the doll to the side so he can build towers and knock them over. My daughter's favorite book is about trucks, but she then hugs her stuffed animals as tight as she can and giggles (something my son never did).

I think we can overthink the issue. As long as we give them positive options, they'll turn out to be whatever fits their soul. We'll love them just as much no matter what that is.

Awww, she's so cute!!!!

It's funny but sometimes I think they are pre-programmed for stuff. My oldest son has been clutching a matcbox toy in his hand since he was a baby. As for me, I was a total tomboy when I was a kid, so I wouldn't touch Barbie with a ten-foot pole. So it's probably good I never gave birth to any girls.

And good for you condemning the Bratz girls - are they purposefully trying to encourage girls to dress like sluts or what??I don't know what's up with that whole craze.

What a beautiful picture! And you know what? As most have said, I do think it's hard wired, or genetics. I have two boys and two girls. While the girls, on occasion, love to play with trucks and stuff, the boys have NEVER wanted to touch girl stuff. I painted my daughters room yellow. I buy her green, blue, yellow and purple clothes, but Lord help me, pink is her favorite color and she is THREE! Not a think you can do, but make them happy.

What I've observed with my older 3, who have had all kinds of toys since birth is that a lot of it is hard wired. Trout plays with the Thomas trains by building friendships and developing lives for each, and Little Man builds the layouts, fixes the trains, crashes them and cleans them up. They have both played with the play kitchen, which is in gender neutral colors, but usually in different ways, though not always. Little Man will take the Barbies (I have strict requirements on them - Trout loves them - I won't allow the "My Scene" ones that look like Barbie versions of Bratz (which are NEVER allowed) - but princess Barbies and those that are modestly dressed (we have a pediatrician Barbie) are okay - but Little Man takes them and ties them up and uses his rescue heroes to rescue them, or his bad guys to shoot them up (without real toy guns, as we don't allow them). That said, his favorite dress up item for a while when he was 2 was pink sequins pumps belonging to his sister, and his favorite toy for a long time was a vacuum, so much so that we bought him his own real vacuum, and now my 5 year old keeps the family room clean. Good training for the future.

Q looks absolutely adorable in her ballet outfit. And if she's anything like my super girly girl, she'll enjoy ballet classes just as much as she enjoys hiking, playing in the dirt, and science club.

Your little "girly-girl" is adorable in her pink outfit. I too, have a girly girl,...but she hates pink now that she's an adult. It will get better. Keep the doll house, get rid of ALL Bratz..they are evil!...it'll get better, promise.

And I LOVE, love love reading about your in-laws!! Did they ever get over losing their favorite pot? Any more bras hanging around the house? ;)

I have let my daughter and, now, son guide me when it comes to their toys. As much as a 10 month old can tell you what he wants. We did get my children a train table this year for Christmas. My daughter loves to play with them when she sees them in the stores. I have to admit that I liked putting the train tracks together. My son is glued to the play kitchen, too. I think these toys serve to teach certain lessons to each sex. Dont ask me what they are, but I keep hearing that children learn through play.

I do draw the line, like with Bratz and when my daughter wanted to dress my 10 month old son in a fairy costume. I really didnt want my little boy covered in glitter. However, I dont mind him playing with the baby dolls.

I think some of these things are predisposed and you cant fight it. However, I dont agree with telling my children that certain things are off limits to them. I think there is room for all the toys.

Amber got a Barbie for Christmas, too, and I was surprised to find that she had smaller boobs and wider hips. Barbie must have had too much for Christmas dinner, because her clothes were rather snug. This one didnt come with a mini skirt, but the high heels were all there. I think Barbie is much better than the lingere wearing, baby bottle toting, hooker in training Bratz.

Having more choices allows us to become more fully who we really are. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. I want Hailey to want tu-tu's and dollhouses but this Christmas? It was all trainsets and tigers at her request.

I think they're just hard wired. No one taught my oldest son to take his "guys" and beat them against each, or crash his trucks into each other and everything around him, he just did it. Of course, no one taught my youngest son to love the color purple or to cry because he "is just feeling sad today." He just does that too.

That picture is precious!! I don't think you are doing any harma at all in allowing the girly-girl things. My daughter (almost 8) is not allowed to have anything Bratz, but has some Barbies. Her and her younger brother play them (he's 4), and he plays with anything that has wheels, or else pretends it has wheels even when it doesn't. There has to be SOMETHING ingrained in their brains that makes them favour what we see as "stereotypes". I think it's playing a balance between allowing equal access, without pushing, or denying. It is easier to do this with a child of each sex; they have access to each others' toys.

There is a great article about princess toys & feminism in this week's New York Times magazine.

My son got the exact same kitchen from Santa. He loves it! Sadly, I had more than one friend tell me that they would've loved to get a kitchen for their boys, but their husbands "wouldn't allow it." UGH.

We held off on the kitchen and obvious female-specific toys this year for the same reasons. Too gender specific? I don't know. I do know that if I see one go on super sale I'm going to snatch it up for her birthday 'cause I know my daughter would love it. Stereotypes be damned!

My son got a Little Tikes kitchen for the Christmas the year he was 2. LOVED it. Played with it non stop until he went to school. Really. Daughter who likes to eat-not interested in it for more than about 6 months. Youngest daughter-mere suggestion that she play with it and you would have thought I was chaining her to the stove instead. She hated it. My middle daughter-she was the girliest girl EVER until about age 5. I swear, we went into the toy store to get diapers and she was drawn by the row of pink Barbie boxes. Now at 11 (and really for a few years now), she disdains anything and everything Barbie, never really liked them...she and her younger sister cackle over the mean things they did to Barbies.

I have almost the EXACT same picture of Katie in her ballet "uniform" on Christmas Eve...seperated at birth?

As for the gender neutrality? I tried diligently with my first (a boy) to provide an unmasculine, gender neutral environment, got him a doll of his own, a play kitchen and lots of unisex toys and he still preferred to rev his cars and crash his dinos into eachother above all else! I am convinced that through the experiments on my 3 kids, there is nothing you can do. They are wired that way. Sorry! All you can do is not propel the stereotypes...hang in there, as long as it's not ALL pink with Q, you'll be fine.

I need girlie girl stuff. Acutally I crave it. Having 3 boys, my husband and dog(he'e a boy too) I'm sadly out of the girl loop for myself. Can I borrow Q for a day or two, at least just take her shopping or do her hair. How cute is that outfit. Oh and I'd love to see you do some ballet moves right now pregnant and all.

Heck, I'd get my son a whole kitchen set if we had space for it (he did get the fold-down stove from Alex Toys, and is enjoying it), as well as the ballet outfit, dollhouses, etc. if he showed interest in them, but he's just not a baby doll kid. So I don't think it's unfeminist to let your daughter to have the things she wants to play with; I think that's realistic parenting.

How freaking cute is that picture??

I'm 31 and still like pink stuff. Of course, my liking of the color probably has less to do with nature/nurture and more to do with Gap/Old Navy.

I still wonder about the whole Nature/Nurture thing.

You know? I have begun to believe that Nature and Nurture play equal roles. My boys can be given a baby doll or a small kitchen set and within minutes will have the baby doll stripped from its jammies, wearing a hard hat and holding a wrench... the kitchen set has open microwave and oven doors and those appliances are being used for garages.

I think you're doing great. She's gorgeous, just like mummy.

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