Monday, January 08, 2007

It's a Boy

I'm trying to get better about writing up books that I've read. Steve asked me how many books I read in 2006, and I had no idea. He, of course, has a tidy little list, and that's part of what I intended this to be. So, without further ado...

I recently finished It's a Boy: Women Writers on Raising Sons. As you can guess from the title it is essays written by women who are, um, raising sons. There have been many times when I've watched Jack run around the house like a maniac yelling, "RAAARRR!" when I have wondered if things might be different around here if we had a girl. It's not like I encouraged him to run around roaring rather than sitting quietly. Well, the women who contributed to this book tend to be liberal women like me who don't want any gender stereotypes anywhere near our kids. If our boys want to play with dolls or wear pink feather boas in dress up, that's fine and we'll support them. But despite these open-minded attitudes, many of the women found that their boys were... boys. Instead of being accepting of their sons' desire to play with dolls, they had to accept their desire to not play with dolls.

Makes you wonder if the differences between boys and girls aren't all gender typing by society, but if there are some inherent differences. Sure, the fact that it is nearly impossible to buy an outfit for a baby boy that is not blue and does not have trucks, sports equipment, or tools on it contributes in part to this, but I think if we raised these kids in the wild, away from the influence of Carter's, there would still be behavior on the spectrum that we expect.

The essays were funny, sad, heartbreaking, and just plain interesting. I'd recommend this to all of my fellow Mothers of Boys.

1 comment:

K said...

You forgot dogs. I swear no boy outfit comes without a dog on it. Cats and butterflies are for girls apparently.