Saturday, May 6, 2017

Boys and Girls

The other day, on the Saturday before Easter, to be precise, and this matters, I was driving around finishing the last shopping for the holiday, or rather "Holy Day".  As I used to do often, I was listening to the CBC talk radio.

However, judging by the radio programming, there was no such thing as a holy week, or holy day.  A beautiful, warm, practiced, professional baritone read out an article highlighting the evils of toys that are pink or blue.

The whole experience was somewhat jarring, except we are now getting used to this sort of propaganda and lecturing at all corners.  Some of us still remember having home-made toys from various brown-colored things, such as thread spools, wood, hay, straw, and so on.  We had puppets that had clothes of all colors:  kings, queens, devils, crocodiles, jester... things that belonged into any stock puppet play.  Perhaps, it was inappropriate that the devil was red, and the queen had a red gown, made by my grand-mother, that the princess was pretty and the jester looked crazy. Whatever.

According to the article read out so beautifully, professionally, during the 50's and 60's, or when-ever, in America, or where-ever, with commercialization the boy's toys became blue and the girl's toys became pink.  Perhaps, our set was lucky to escape this sort of commercialization somehow.  The evil involved with this, however, was that girls were somehow conditioned to become domesticated.

Aha, here we have it. From experience, I must say that I have worked in childcare settings and in pre-school settings, and I have noticed that the little girls like to play house in the kitchen set no matter what color it is.  They imitate their parents, if not their mothers.  These days, they perform all plastic kitchen set duties with a pretend plastic phone squeezed between their ears and shoulder.  They are already learning that women must multi-task rather than really attend to the baby. Maybe that is the really sad part.

Anyways, as I am driving around and listening to the sanctimony from the CBC radio, I wow again to give up listening to the CBC, as they are not increasing my Easter devotion, (which is something it could have attempted to do and used to do through music selections, and such).  (These days, I only take in the six o'clock world radio news over the dinner housework, in order avoid all the transgender stories, such as "a man who is transgender is a pianist and he/she--I forget--hates the shape of his/her hands, as they don't match his/her image of himself/herself.  There is way too much of that sort of thing, endlessly.  I hope CBC reads this, as I was always a loyal listener and deeply appreciative of its services.)

Nevertheless, I did make a discovery the other day at the second hand store.  I donate and sometimes pick up little things, there, like books or toys.  Lo and Behold, within 5 min., on one shelf, the whole Boy and Girl thing displayed itself before me quite vividly and tangibly:  1.  a little wooden treasure chest from the Grand Canyon for "boys", a book of prayers for "boys", and a book of stories for "girls".

Well, well, well.  For some reason, I was completely spared this sort of phenomenon.  How is it possible?  Was it the non-commercialized childhood I enjoyed?  We had a children's Bible with a brown linen cover and hardly any pictures, and they were not in color.  We had a similar thick tome of Grimm's Fairy Tales, unabridged and uncensored with hardly any pictures, but in color.  We played outside and did our own thing. Our Mom's tended the kitchen, and since they had children, the Dad's helped. We had a Lego train set and we all played with with.  And so on.

The first time I ever  felt excluded from an activity as a girl was when we visited Canada and my uncle would not take me on the boat saying that fishing was not for girls.  It struck me as rather insulting, at the time and hurt me an awful lot.

 But in the end he was right.  Fishing is not for me.  (But I know many women who love fishing.)

Just to reiterate, in my childhood, I had never seen such a pink monstrosity.

No comments: