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On being a girl - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
On being a girl
He (a coworker) was talking about taking his kids to Disney World.

"The Breakfast With The Princesses is really worth it. Even the boys like it. The food is good, and all the princesses come and visit the tables." He showed me a photo. "Look, the girls all get wands, and the boys all get swords."

I blinked. "What if a girl wants a sword?"

"Well I'm sure a girl can have a sword if she wants one...."


He (a friend) was at the party, appraising the ladies' footwear.

"Rennie, you definitely win the Cool Shoes award tonight."

"Great, thanks! Aren't these awesome? Unfortunately they're not very comfortable, but they look so cute."

"Ah yes, the never-ending struggle for women: look cute, or be comfortable?"


He (another friend) was watching me take my Cool Shoes off.

"I had to take off my toenail polish," I explained, "because it completely clashed with the shoes."

The shoes were a deep purple. A girlfriend frowned, "I see a speck you missed. It was orange-peach -- those are opposite ends of the color spectrum! They couldn't clash worse."

"I know, so as soon as I put the shoes on, I knew that the polish had to come off."

He sighed, "I'm so glad I'm not a girl."


She was 11, reading the signs in the hockey arena.

"Oh look, what if they had ice cheerleaders?! I could cheer on skates!"

"Wouldn't you rather play hockey, or another sport? Instead of cheering for somebody else who is playing?"

"But it would be ICE cheer-leading!"

"Okay I'll admit that does sound neat."

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Comments
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: September 25th, 2006 04:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Actually its boys who should want a wand, anyone who has played Dungeons and Dragons or read Harry Potter knows wizards kick ass compared to fighters.

ICE-cheerleading, I can see it now on ESPN2 the speed and the controlled mayhem.
greyyguy From: greyyguy Date: September 25th, 2006 01:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I don't know... I can't remember if it was Conan or Faferd that said something to the effect of "a knife in the back will crimp the style of any wizard" :)
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: September 25th, 2006 05:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes but most high level wizards can afford body guards.

Knife in the back also works against fighters. (;
aiela From: aiela Date: September 25th, 2006 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)
On our way down to Ohio we stopped at McDonalds, as is tradition. At the drive thru window, the order-taker says "Is that happy meal for a boy or a girl?"

I paused, took a deep breath, and said "What are the toy choices?"

She was taken aback, and rattled off a lego thing or some girly thing. I turned to Brittany, who picked the Lego thing.

We get up to the next window to get our food, and the kid passing out the food sees Brittany, does a double take, and was like "She wanted a (girl toy), right?"

I looked at him and said "No, my daughter would like a Bionicle." And stared at him. He quickly apologized and gave her the toy.

I think random McDonalds employees will be glad when Brittany starts eating enough to not need a kids meal, because I have to point out to them EVERY SINGLE TIME that no, actually, my DAUGHTER would prefer the "boy toy".
fredcritter From: fredcritter Date: September 25th, 2006 12:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yup. My daughter (now 13 and we haven't been to a McDonald's together in a while; I don't know if she'd still want a happy meal [Pinky: "...because if they called them 'sad meals' nobody'd want one."] or if she'd now prefer adult portions) always wanted the boy toy without even asking what they were. She said the boy toys are always much cooler. I rather tended to agree.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 25th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sheesh. I think the whole "boy toy/girl toy" thing is a terrible idea.
aiela From: aiela Date: September 25th, 2006 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
It used to just be Barbie and Hot Wheels, and about once a year. Now it seems to be almost constant, and it annoys the heck out of me.

She always ends up tossing the toys anyway, but it's actually -cheaper- than buying a hamburger, fries and drink seperately, so she keeps getting Happy Meals. But yeah, it's just ridiculous.
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: September 25th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the whole "boy toy/girl toy" thing is a terrible idea.

I suspect a lot of kids find it comforting. I think that children prefer a black and white world, with defined roles for everyone in it. (Thus the little girl at the roller rink eons ago who explained to me, "Boys don't have pony-tails." Which I did at the time.)

It sucks for kids who don't fit the mold, but, AFAICT, most of 'em do fit the mold.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 26th, 2006 12:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sure children prefer a black and white world, in fact most people do. It's a lot easier if you can predict things. "All boys have short hair. All Arabs are terrorists. Black people are stupid. Grownups don't get scared. Catholics are good."

But the world isn't black and white, which is why I am against generalities, stereotypes, and gender roles.
pi3832 From: pi3832 Date: September 25th, 2006 01:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
I blinked. "What if a girl wants a sword?"

Did you think to ask, "What if a boy wants a wand?"

I remember, when I read some speech about what UC was doing to increase the percentage of female students in the Engineering and Science progams, going to look at UC's program demographics.

The most gender-skewed programs were social work, nursing and eduation. Running, IIRC, about 70:30 ratios of women to men.

Yet UC had no programs or initiatives to encourage more men to enter those programs. Or, indeed, to address the skew toward women in overall college enrollment:
At the undergraduate level, the percentage of students who are male has dropped from 44 percent in 1995–96 to 42 percent in 2003–04. (link)
The male bias in the U.S. is eroding fast, but I don't think anyone is willing to re-evaluate their opinions/policies just yet.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: September 25th, 2006 03:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Very good point, and an interesting thing to think about.

Actually, I did think about that (not at the time, but afterward when writing up the story). But my thought was still, "Who'd want a wand, when they could have a sword?" Don't know if that's gender-bias, or if I'm just biased against magic....

On the other hand, I did give my nephew a doll a little while back.
jeffreyab From: jeffreyab Date: September 25th, 2006 05:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I know in Canada even in engineering while there are more women they clump in certain areas like chemical while mech and electrical are still male dominated.
elizilla From: elizilla Date: September 25th, 2006 06:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's my guess about the reason for the college enrollment discrepancy thing: I think teenage boys have a huge wage advantage over teenage girls, starting when they mow lawns instead of babysitting. You earn more sweeping up construction sites, than you do sweeping up at the hairdressers. You earn more as a mover than you do cleaning houses. The unskilled jobs that earn more than minimum wage, are skewed to the boys, with Hooters and the strip club as the lone exceptions. This wage differential mostly melts with education, but it's huge at the low skill levels.

If someone says: "Go to school for four more years, and take on a huge amount of student loan debt, and when you finish you will earn twice as much" it makes sense to go. But if they say "Go to school for four more years, and take on a huge amount of student loan debt, and you'll earn the same amount" why would you go? You'd have to be either stupid, or really excited about school. Not all kids are pragmatic enough to evaluate things this way, but enough of them are that it skews college enrollment to girls.
specialagentm From: specialagentm Date: September 25th, 2006 01:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hell, Breakfast With the Princesses sounds good to me. I've seen those Disney World girls ;-).

I'll skip the sword/wand jokes, but... you know. wink wink, nudge nudge. Say no more.
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