Saturday, June 09, 2007

Just by chance

I picked up a second-hand copy of 'The War Against Boys' by Christina Hoff Sommers. I've heard a lot about it, so I thought it might be worth reading.

So almost immediately, I come across this story from the Times, partially reprinted in the Citizen.
The best-known toymaker in France is seeking to counter the spread of video games by encouraging boys to play with dolls.
If you thought that they might be promoting a French version of GI Joe (Foreign Legion François?), think again.

Corolle has launched a campaign to persuade les filles to return to a product that they are abandoning and les garçons to join them.

The company says that it hopes to prepare toddlers for an adult life as New Men — caring, sharing and looking after babies.

Mathilde Gailly, marketing director at Corolle, said: “Today fathers spend a lot of time taking care of their babies, so there is no reason why boys should not start with dolls.
Except that it sucks, and everyone knows it.
An initial workshop was organised yesterday to prepare for the campaign. “We have noticed that boys under 3 behave just like girls and place themselves in the role of the mother, giving bottles and changing nappies,” said a spokeswoman for Corolle.

“After 3 they start identifying with the father, and the way they play with their dolls changes. They put them on toy trains and send them down slides.”
The little buggers will keep trying to act all, you know, male (ugh). So we'll just stamp that out right from the beginning:
Mrs Gailly said that boys were happy to play with baby dolls, although not with Barbie-style toys.

“They like giving bottles and changing nappies but not brushing hair and doing make-up.” Although dolls have been in existence for the more than 4,000 years, the company says that the modern child, female and male, needs help in understanding them. So it is setting up workshops in Paris this autumn where two nursery nurses, a man and a woman, will offer advice on how to feed, clothe and bathe them.
And if that doesn't work, make 'em watch Teletubbies.
Edwige Antier, a leading child psychiatrist, said that boys who played with dolls would have no trouble establishing their sexual identity in later life.

“It’s not toys that influence sexual orientation,” she told Le Figaro. “But a boy will not manipulate a doll in the same way as his sister.” She added: “Fathers carry their babies around, why shouldn’t young boys push prams?”

Sometimes I'm actually GLAD my sons are autistic. They're completely impervious to this sort of manipulative propaganda. They are purely natural, and they can't be molded or pressured into becoming something they're not. And better yet, nobody even tries.

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