Why was I never taught “princess manners”?

Posted in gender stereotypes, kids, What the what? on August 25th, 2010 by steph – Comments Off on Why was I never taught “princess manners”?

I’m not going to beat around the bush here; I am not even slightly cool with this . Just watching those videos made me cringe and groan. Everything about them, right down to the music, is like a shitstorm of gender-stereotype reinforcement.

If a girl choose princesses, or a boy choose warriors, then ok. But do you think they get a choice? I wouldn’t bet on it. What if a girl doesn’t want to be a princess, or a boy a warrior; there are no other choices, and they will most likely end up shunted into the ‘appropriate’ one (through pressure from parents or friends, or to avoid being the one who is left out; and I don’t think ‘neither of them’ would be seen as a valid choice). This kind of thing is based on stupid, narrow conceptualizations of what is ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ behaviour and roles, and what ‘real’ girls and boys are like. And not only is it founded upon shitty stereotypes, it serves to reinforce them (and normalize them too!). So it’s a twofer, really. Plus, you get lots of extra play time hammering home those messages while the children’s brains are nice and impressionable, and while they might not be getting any other message to provide alternative perspectives. Brainwashing all around.