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Gender Trouble Week

This week I'll be sharing reviews of books that deal with the gender of our children and our parenting.

I am the mother of a six-year-old girl and as long time readers know, I keep on eye out on how girls and their toys are sexualized. As an advocate for education equity, I keep tabs on the changed that our sons and daughters are making n the classroom.

As a feminist I get told that we're post-feminist, the battle of the sexes is over and it's our boys who need a revolution.

To that I say hell no and hell yes!

Women may be the majority of workers but we still are paid only 78% to a man's dollar (even less so for women of color), tracked into low prestige and low wage careers and we still carry the burden of caregiving for our families. The feminist revolution is far from over.

The next stage will be to free our brothers from the claustrophobic gender role box. If you read media depictions of why boys are falling behind you see feminists being blamed, but also painting boys as lazy and unwilling to learn. The boy revolution will free them from the testosterone ball and chain.

The books I will review this week include:

So Sexy So Soon: The New Sexualized Childhood, and What Parents Can Do to Protect Their Kids by Diane E. Levin and Jean Kilbourne, The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do by Peg Tyre and Pink Brain, Blue Brain: how small differences grow into troublesome gaps--and what we can do about it by Lise Eliot.

As an introduction to this week's reviews, I want to emphasize that while I went into the books very biased, I learned a lot from each one, especially Tyre's The Trouble with Boys. That book gave me such a brain cramp that it's taken me a year to write a review because I've been processing it and trying to figure out how to say what I want to say. Things are changing and we need to change with it.

I do believe that in some sense the battle of the sexes are over -- And I mean that as we need to stop pitting our girls and our boys against each other, especially in terms of education equity because there should be enough education to go around.


Dominique said…
I am psyched to read these reviews. All of these books have caught my eye (particularly because I have a much younger brother still in the education system), but I've not got around to looking at them yet!
Shannon Drury said…
Yes, yes, tell us about what to do with our boys! Mine is nine years old, and his mama needs all the help she can get.

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