Sunday, October 15, 2006

Reflections on Blum's article by Richard Lin

YE4A 1094100028 Richard Lin
Reading assignment

The phrases “gender neutrality” which Blum used in the article means that boys and girls are treated equally. That is, they are not viewed as traditional boys or girls. They are allowed to choose what they like or want to do without any blame from their parents. They are also free from the pressure caused by the notion of political correctness that children are born blank slates to be manipulated. On the contrary, the phrase “gender inappropriate” is the belief that there are fundamental character differences between boys and girls. I remember a book titled “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” With just few words, the author vividly described the diametrically opposite character of boys and girls. It is the stereotypes resulting from cultural effect that makes us to believe the differences between boys and girls instead of biological reasons. In my point of view, I believe boys and girl are born biological different. Still, parents should not train boys and girls to become masculine and feminine to conform to social expectation. Children had better develop naturally without any restrictions from their parents or they will grow psychologically or mentally unhealthy. Thus, I think the phrase “gender neutrality” is worth promoting in our modern society.

“The Barbie versus Godzilla effect” explains how parent buy the “gender appropriate” toys to help their own children to understand or recognize his or her sex. The parents believe that they can make it easier for children to gain personality or find social identity by doing so. Furthermore, parents seem to influence the children’s behaviors through teaching them to assert him or her. Actually, I don’t exactly agree to the ideas “the Barbie versus Godzilla” because I think the children play the toys simply just for fun. The toys won’t have such magical power that fine-tunes children for gender roles. For example, if the boys have preference for painting or drawing, it doesn’t mean that the boys are different from those who like playing basketball. The boys just want to do something he is really interested in and then make it as a hobby.

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