Cop’s Wife’s post about her son dressing up as Daphne is still generating about 5 comments per day, and one of the comments led me to Crystal Smith’s blog post about gendered language in TV toy ads. Smith has added a prologue to her post, in which she addresses its two main criticisms and acknowledges her observations were not part of a rigorously researched academic study. That said, it’s fascinating. A University Professor told me that the goal of ethnography is to make the familiar exotic and the exotic familiar. Smith has done just that. I don’t think any of you will be completely surprised by the distinct difference in the word clouds generated from an analysis of TV ads for boys’ and girls’ toys, but seeing it in print makes the implications more difficult to ignore. My quick review of a few blogs and articles about gender norms for children seem to offer more advice for parents of children who don’t conform than for children who do. And what’s an educated, liberal pacific northwesterner to do when her daughter LOVES princess crap?
Mom, R and I talked about this a bit during Mom’s recent visit. R and I have joked that we’ll probably wind up with a princess girl because we loathe all things pink and sparkly. Mom (with 33 years of parenting experience) advised that we can’t control what Bean likes or doesn’t like, and we will need to find a way to nurture her interests even when they are incongruous with ours. I don’t suppose this would count?