Well Then, What Now?
This is my first attempt at a foray into public blogging. My ‘real’ blog is my Livejournal; the control freak in me likes knowing who can come and go and comment and read and interact with me. But after a practice run into public blogging, I figured I’d close that out and start here with a proper go.
There is a problem, though… I don’t really know what to write about. I had told myself that if I ever did ‘real’ and ‘proper’ blogging, it would be thematic. That’s not looking like it’s going to be the case, outside of ‘random crap from my life’ and ‘ohai, this looks interesting’. I’m tempted to just select a bit out of the news daily and comment on it, but I guess we’ll see as I go. Per norm (for those that know me), my point is to elicit commentary and discussion so as to further myself as a person, and to try to make the world a better place.
Also hopefully, I can trick my family into actually following this one, since they tend to reject my harder-to-access options. *chuckles*
My thing of interest today is the concept of neurosexism. I came across this term early today after my friend Karinne linked to a piece on the tyranny of pink. I abhor the falsehood that the world can only exist in black and white (or blue and pink), and was enjoying reading some pieces about the psuedoscience that is used to continue to push the idea that male and female are so radically different. That girls like pink because it reminds them of babies and berries (a falsehood – the group tested had grown up being told that blue was for boys, and that pink was for girls). That boys like blue because the sky is blue, and it inspires their hunter ways. It upsets me that it’s used to make people less than what they can be – that men are supposedly bad at communication, and that girls are horrible at construction and maths and the like. But that’s the core of neurosexism – that we’re supposedly all wired in x or y (har har) way, and that because of that, we’re just screwed at being good at things. I can’t read a map because I’m a girl (bollocks), and my husband cannot articulate his feelings because he’s a boy (also bollocks – the only thing slowing him is a stutter).
And that’s not even getting into how gender binary is still used to this day to marginalize people because they don’t identify as the sex that they’re born. I’m slowly learning about this due to some of my dear dear friends, but I definitely have a lot more to learn about this.
Anyhoo, that is probably enough for a starter – welcome, and erm… stuff! 🙂
Welcome to the world of public blogging. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I think I might have to find out what set-up is most commonly used for public blogging, as I’m wondering whether to register my own domain. I already have the ability to host many types of app on my home LAN, and I have a multisite WordPress installation there, along with phpBB, Mediawiki and file & media sharing, so I might investigate whether to host my own stuff, too.
It’ll be an interesting experience, at least. *smiles* And domain registry is mega-cheap, so why not? Myself, I’ve got a handful of blogs, a wiki (though that’s coming down some day), and a FUDforum set – no phpbb for me!
I could go on for hours about how society loves to stress gender roles but I’ll save it and just say that I agree with you. A kid should be allowed to play with dolls or trucks or kitchen sets or trains without regard to what’s “appropriate” for their gender. All that matters is what they are interested in. Same with every other aspect of their lives.
Also, yay for blog. I need to figure out where to set one up for myself. I can use my LJ one but I also want something more public too. Gotta find a line between completely locked down and open for the world to see. Or just start keeping a few blogs. We shall see.
Obviously, I’m opting for several blogs. *chuckles* I still have your Blogger bookmarked in my feed, but didn’t feel particularly like advertising it until I knew what your writing intentions were. 🙂
Krin – exactly. I don’t remember there being a big push for me to be a boy or a girl as a child. In fact, the only jarring moment that sticks out to this day was, when playing a game, I’d decided whomever won would be Queen of the Day. My brother won, and this was the only time I ever saw my parents discomforted by our play. Granted, I ‘knew’ at that age (8 or 9 or so), that Queens were supposed to be girls, and Kings boys, but I didn’t want to discriminate against my brother by forcing him to be king.
And when you find the study information, I’d be happy to try to muck through it. 🙂
Glad you picked up on it. As that’s my sort of note file of articles of interest I didn’t really comment, this seems like a good place.
I’m likewise worried by the increasing return to the tendency to label things “boys thing” and “girls things” and what this then implies for the generation currently growing up.
My experience of growing up was that there were very few things that were gender specific and that as a girl I could anything just as well as any boy. Or more importantly: it didn’t matter!
I had just as much fun playing in the sandpit with my brother and his cars as he had sitting in the houses we created out of blankets and beach umbrellas and playing with dolls tea sets. I could often outswim and out long-distance run many of the boys in my class as well, even as a teen.
I took this attitude into adult life, and almost pity anyone I come across from any aspect of the gender spectrum who tries to be so essentialist about it. and absolutely hate the stereotypes. I can read maps without turning them, don’t ever try to tell me different! And some of my most thoughtful, and emotional discussions have been with male friends.
As usual I place most of the blame for this at the feet of marketers and big corporations trying to constantly increase sales and turnover. In particular recent research about child psychology relating to brand recognition which has been latched onto by some of the marketing industry, and used to ensure brand loyalty and thus increased sales from an early age. The pink/blue thing is a manifestation of this.
However, to throw the devil’s advocate argument in as well: 2 friends of mine had a boy and a girl within 3 months of each other. Despite generally equal and non-gendered raising of the two of them, they most definitely developed “boy” and “girl” personalities from an early age, including love of cars and wanting to wear pink. So there is something there, although I think it’s more “ways I define myself” rather than neurological (i.e. the manifestation of self-definitions are cultural and based on surroundings).
Finally, if you are interested in reading further on this, it might be worth tracking down a Swedish study on teachers attitudes to children. Swedes are generally deemed to be very gender egalitarian, but this study found that even there subtle gender distinctions were being made in the playground, mostly relating to messages around safety and bravery. (I’d give you the reference, but it’s in a book in a box on a ship at the moment)
Honestly I think that kids are superperceptive. My first three years were spent living in a log cabin with no running water or electricity (no tv or radio), and yet, somehow I discovered that girls were supposed to wear makeup… in an infamous episode of my early history I used black sharpie as makeup. There certainly weren’t many opportunities for me to get this message, but somehow it got in there.
Yeah, kids are a lot smarter and more perceptive than we give them credit to. I do my best to keep it in mind at these early stages. 🙂