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Monday, February 20, 2006

Question of the Week: Gender Trouble in MotherGooseLand

A modern Mother Goose rhyme goes something like this;

Sugar and spice and everything nice
That's what little BOYS are made of

Snips and snails and puppy dog's tails
That's what little GIRLS are made of

The question of the week is: are gender based stereotypes valid for society? And if so, how do you feel about the reversal of traditional gender roles as taught in the modern Mother Goose, for example?


At 8:19 AM, Blogger Melissa O. Markham said...


I don't believe any stereotypes are good or valid. And I haven't read modern Mother Goose (not sure I want to if they change the rhymes around).

Anyway...while I don't believe gender stereotyping is valid, I do believe that the 'sexes' have natural tendencies regardless of what we do. My son, for example, loved playing with balls and cars when he was little, but could care less about stuffed animals. My daughter however loved stuffed animlas when she was little and prefers sparkly pink and purple items to all others. However, they have also rubbed off on each other. My son now plays stuffed animal games with his sister and my daughter loves having a big car smash derbie with her brother.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger Jeff said...

I have never rasied my kids with gender roles. My girls loved Barbie.(I think they still do actually) and my sons liked "boy stuff"

However, the girls are just as rough and tough as my sons and the boys are very sensitive and in touch with their emotions.

I raised them to basically reject the ideas that "traditional" society has placed on them. Oldest son wants to be a teacher...oldest daughter is looking at going career Navy...youngest daughter is looking to study meterology...not to be a weather girl either. She wants to be a research meteorologist at the Nat'l Severe Storms Laboratory out in Norman OK...right in tornado alley.

On a side note she watched the tornado footage posted by Bob and thinks those two fellows were "wussies" LOL

Oh and I don't much care for modernizing Mother Goose, the rhyme you quoted, while probably thoroughly modern, is backwards to what the original version said.

To wit:

What are little boys made of?
Snips and snails,
And puppy dog tails,
That's what little boys are made of.

What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice,
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.

Sometimes we change things too much by trying to be PC

At 2:49 PM, Blogger B O B said...

Putting things in stereotypes are like sorting things and putting them in a box. Oddly you will find some pieces that don't fit.

If we sort humans by classifying them as one thing or another like white, Hispanic, and black. We start to draw conclusions based on race. The same holds true if you classify people by gender bias. All females should act this sort of way. All males should act differently.

Generalizations are usually always bad. If you think that your chances of getting robbed are greater from a black person. You may never allow yourself to know many of the people, who just happen to be black, who have quantities and morals superior to yours.

By the way Jeff hope your daughter enjoyed the torado clip. Is she red head I hear red heads are stormy.

At 6:46 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

LOL, She did enjoy it, though like I said, she thought the guys were wussies...LOL. And no, she has almost jet black hair.


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