Occasional Notes: The Most Genderful Time of the Year

Jason Kuznicki

Jason Kuznicki is a research fellow at the Cato Institute and contributor of Cato Unbound. He's on twitter as JasonKuznicki. His interests include political theory and history.

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22 Responses

  1. Matty says:

    The restroom sign is perfectly clear, the free restroom at The Gender has been closed for painting, presumably patrons will have to pay for entry to other restrooms in the establishment.Report

  2. Rufus F. says:

    In response to that Dispatches from the Culture Wars post, that ‘sheep’ and ‘shepherd’ stuff just sounds like lifestyle S&M to me. I’ve known a few people who lived like that. It was just the terminology was a bit different. So if it makes them happy, it doesn’t bother me. Now, it might be hard in the military because, after all, your commander is your commander- not your husband. So it could interfere with the chain of command.Report

  3. E.C. Gach says:

    I was in a Toys”R”Us over the weekend with my two friends, the first of which was shopping for his nephew, while the other shopped for his niece.

    Guns are marketed to boys (Nerf, toy replicas, Star Wars blasters, etc.) as are cars (minus the barbie related ones).

    Toy kitchen sets, tea sets, and easy bake ovens for the girls (as well as princess related things and general craft sets).

    The aisles for girls toys are actually pink. As if the parents couldn’t make up their own minds about what toys to get their children, or how to try and control the kid’s gender destinies, the toy store did them the favor of color coating the choices.

    Not having children, or any nieces/nephews of my own, I hadn’t faced this before. Just graduated from my liberal bastion of a university, I found it hysterical.

    Of course, maybe gender guidance serves many important societal functions.

    What are the pros to my friend making sure to buy his 2 year old niece pink outfits with leopard print leggings?Report

    • Jason Kuznicki in reply to E.C. Gach says:

      Honestly? If she grows up to be a lesbian, you can tell everyone you know that it wasn’t your fault.Report

    • Boegiboe in reply to E.C. Gach says:

      I once saw a baby product–it was something to do with eating, like a tray or seat or something–that had boy and girl versions. The packages had labels with babies pictured on them using the product, but they were otherwise partially clear, so you could see the product clearly. There was absolutely no difference between the boy and girl versions, not even in coloring (the products were white, IIRC). The only difference between them was that one had the baby in the picture dressed in blue, and the other had the baby dressed in pink. I picked up the packages and looked reeeeeal closely. The baby was the same baby. They had altered the clothing color digitally. I guess it was just a trick to get the stores to stock twice as much product.Report

  4. Rufus F. says:

    It seems like when I was a child there was an emphasis on gender neutral toys. But we lived in the woods and it was just my sister and I, so we sort of played with the stuffed animals and dolls as well as pretending we were ninja/soldier/commandos. Also I remember taking both dance classes and karate classes.Report

  5. Alan Scott says:

    They used to have polly pockets for boys–I remember having some Star Trek ones when I was little–sure, it probably wasn’t called “polly pocket”, but it was the same damn thing. Some of the coolest non-lego toys I can remember.Report

  6. Kolohe says:

    The most genius thing someone in the Don Draper generation at Hasbro did was predicting that if you called dolls “action figures”, you can sell twice as many dolls (if not many times more)Report

  7. Thurman Hart says:

    I get all sorts of upset when my in-laws say that one of my twin sons is “all boy.” I often ask, “What percentage of the other boy is actually not boy?” They then say, “You know what I mean!” And I say, “No. I don’t. Please explain.” There’s a reason why I spend less and less time around them.

    What’s hilarious is that the one they call “all boy” is the one who, at Sunday School, sits in a rocking chair and feeds a little baby doll.

    And my wife gets mad at me for calling his teddy bear his “doll baby.”

    The one boy wanted to be Tinkerbell for Halloween. It’s cool with me, but I didn’t want the neighborhood to mark him for life. So we went for Handy Manny (because it’s okay for a blond haired blue eyed kid to want to be Hispanic).

    Oh yeah – the “all boy” kid? His god-father is a gay man who helped found a local ACT UP chapter.

    People are so stupid.Report

    • Will H. in reply to Thurman Hart says:

      My in-laws used that same expression. Always grated on me.
      But then, being a rather loathsome people, such a thing was entirely appropriate to their character.Report

    • Matty in reply to Thurman Hart says:

      The one boy wanted to be Tinkerbell for Halloween. It’s cool with me, but I didn’t want the neighborhood to mark him for life. So we went for Handy Manny

      Maybe I misunderstand what Halloween is, but my first thought was that neither of those things is scary.Report

  8. My sister got my one-year-old daughter a set of big legos that are “girl colors” like pink, purple, and light blue. I’m fine with this I guess. But does this mean that red, blue, green, and yellow are “boy colors” then?Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    This is how societies collapse.

    For boys, play is a sublimation of (and, sometimes, preparation for) war.
    For girls, play is practice for repressing the violent natures of boys.

    When we try to interfere with the natural order of things, we’ll end up with a group of boys who won’t know how to make war against the boys who aren’t repressed by women.

    This is how every single civilization has collapsed.Report