Monday, December 3, 2012

Boys and their Toys

While making dinner the other night, my son was at the table playing with his latest toy obsession - Lego Ninjago.  After a quick battle, he turns and says "It's a shame you aren't a boy Mom so you could play with Legos like me."  Needless to say, after I picked up my dropped jaw I responded with "What makes you think that I can't play with Legos because I'm a girl?"  His reply "Well, there aren't any girl Ninjagos."


Later that night, my husband listened to my "rant" as I wondered what it would be like if "girl" shows had more fight scenes in it and superheroines were not only a side note to the popular superheroes.  I love anime, even though I am well aware of their distorted images of male and female bodies, and I find that women are not seen as inferior to men when fighting in anime and it is not uncommon to see a male fight a female, even though the Japanese culture is extremely patriarchal.  What if the content of "boy" shows was replaced with the content of "girl" shows how differently socialized those kids would become?  What if instead of resorting to fighting, the boys talked to each other to work out their problems and if girls were told to combat problems with physical strength?  Since the female body is often portrayed as weaker than a male body, what would the impact on girls be to see buffed female bodies that were confrontational?  Would men still be the main perpetrators of violence?  I wonder....

1 comment:

whitney scott said...

Jennifer,
I have heard similar stories where young boys believe trucks are for boys and dolls are for girls. Growing up I can remember experiencing the same things as my brothers wouldn't let me play with their action figures because I was a girl.
Whitney Scott