Female Pirates and Male Princesses

>> 1.28.2010

Yet another fascinating Women's Studies class today.  I seriously, whole heartedly recommend this class to anyone who enjoys thinking.  Hopefully its the same people who like to read my blog.

Today we read a bunch of children's books, and discussed the role of gender.  There were books where boys were the main character, were girls were the same character, where animals were the same character.  While all of the books had different ways of portraying and communicating the roles of the gender, there were definitely some that made me think more than others.  But regardless of that, I am beginning to develop an incredibly interesting theory (or so I think).  There were plenty of books where parents would read them to a boy or a girl, when the main character was a boy.  When we took those same exact books and switched the male to a female, it quickly crossed off one of the genders the parents were going to read to.

I'm beginning to think that the male gender actually suffers more oppression than females overall in society.  Yes, there are problems like women being bitches even though they are leaders, or the fact that there is unequal pay in the work place.  BUT! There has been much further advance for females than males.  Think about this.  Have you ever read a book where there was a girl pirate? Absolutely! Beyond Pirates of the Caribbean, there have been many noted female pirates.  How about how many male princesses? Doubt it.  The closest we've come to this is maybe having the Rock star in Tooth Fairy- but even then he is still ripped, and busting out of his tooth fairy costume.  They don't create a costume that makes it look comfortable for a man to be a fairy.  Women are encouraged (and accepted by society) when they play sports, when they work in corporations.  Men are mocked when they want to learn how to sew, love cooking, or would rather be a stay at home dad instead of working and being the bread winner.  Fascinating, right?  I could be entirely wrong, off base, or ill educated on the subject, but it has undoubtedly made me think.  What was your favorite book as a child?  Was there any sort of gender influences in the book?  I wonder if my sister (author of http://missdbookblog.blogspot.com/ ) has thought about the influence of gender in children's books.


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