Okay. So, Dr. Janice McCabe, a sociologist at Florida State University, announced a startling and universe-shattering discovery this week: Children’s books are sexist, by which she means against girls. (And, I must say that the bozo who wrote the news article about the kiddie-lit sexism should have to hand over his job to me immediately because he wrote, “Dr. Janice McCabe… examined nearly 6,000 children’s books between 1900 and 2000…,” by which he didn’t mean to insinuate that the doctoral-degree-holder is old AF. He meant that she read 6,000 books that were written between 1900 and 2000. Dumbass! Our language is in the toilet, people.)
So. Where was I? Oh. Yeah. Tomes for tots are heavy on the male characters and male/unspecified gender animals. For example, in A. A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh, everyone’s male except for Kanga. Girls are representin’ in only a third of the selected yarns for youngsters. McCabe claims that children learn in their tender years about gender from the books, cartoons, and movies to which they’re exposed—and that even in coloring books, even in 2011—males are the featured creature.
What can this revelation mean?! What if Christopher Robin had had a stash of Barbies to go with his boy toys? What if MacDonald had been an old lady? What if Thomas the Train and Bob the Builder had female co-workers? You know what? Chris would be considered homosexual, Old MacDonald’s farm would’ve had its taxes raised by the nasty carpetbaggers until the rent on Tara was so high…sorry. Wrong story, but same point. And the women in Thomas the Train and Bob the Builder would get paid half of what Thomas and Bob make for the same damned job.
Why should we expect children’s literature to reflect anything other than the real world? Shit. Even Hilary-who-I-still-think-is-Satan-in-a-super-fugly-mask was erased this week from a current newspaper photo of the Situation Room during the bin-Laden-liquidation because a not-tiny part of the fricking world still believes a woman has no business in a government leadership position.
We currently teach our children that a certain fashion doll can be an astronaut, but she better have really big rockets. I read Woman’s World magazine each week because I need at least one, good, solid belly laugh every seven days. You’d think there would be a female CEO or at least some estrogen on the five-member board. You’d be wrong. The reality is that men rule the world, and anyone who doesn’t believe it has obviously never read any damned children’s books. But I’m not sure that adding some extra girl-goats and she-bears to bedtime stories is going tip the scales in vay-jay-jay favor. And really, wouldn’t it be too freaking creepy if Pat the Bunny featured a female? Ewwww.