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One of my kid brother Max's Christmas presents, courtesy of my ex, was The Dangerous Book for Boys. (I wholeheartedly approved this gift.) Max, reading about it, learned that there was a companion volume, The Daring Book for Girls.

"I should get that!" he said seriously. "Then I'd know what kind of skills girls have!"

The sounds of his sister quietly having hysterics and having to be supressed like the guinea pig in Alice in Wonderland were fortunately lost to posterity.

I have a very, very bad mind.

ETA: Further moments in sibling bonding...

I got Max the Lego Star Wars game for the PS2, which he has been playing enthusiastically (you get to hack stuff up with a lightsaber, but they fall into lego pieces, so it's apparently okay.) We get a blow-by-blow account, as one might expect. He was very upset to find himself playing Anakin.

"I don't want to be Anakin!"

"Don't worry," I said soothingly, "we know you're a much better actor..."

Later on, as I was writing, I got "Guess who I'm now--I'm--that one guy--you know! With the purple lightsaber!"

"Mace Windu," I said automatically, not looking up.


I became aware of the sudden loud silence behind me as my mother nobly refrained from laughing at my geekery. Tom didn't even try.

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I got The Dangerous Book for Boys for my daughter last year, and we both enjoyed it a lot (and have done some of the things in it, too). This Christmas, I had a look at The Daring Book for Girls and put it down in disgust. Makeup, sleepovers, cooking, fortune telling... Nah. Just Barbie twaddle, reinforcing the "precious princess" view of girls I've spent her whole upbringing trying to combat.

Girls should learn how to fish, and make camp in a forest, and how to build an electronic burglar alarm or radio reciever, and paddle a kayak, and handle a sword (well, I've taught her that) and a bow and arrow (that, too), and the rousing poems of heroics, and the ones about why blind obedience is stupid, and how to make fun things out of household chemicals, how to carve things, and...

The whole society is trying to make girls into pretty little princesses, or, failing that, sluts. Vapid creatures obsessed with looks and keeping boys happy.

I'm not going to get her anything that reinforces that.


er... sorry. Rant over.

I want her to be strong, and know lots of different things,

*grin* I don't think that's a rant you need to apologize for...

Wait the girl's version doesn't have weaponscrafting? Damn.
-okay.... I need the boy version.

Okay, I think sleepovers are fair game, because sleepovers are a GREAT kids' experience in general, and quite an important way for girls to socialize in particular, but the rest of it? UGH.

... What's "daring" about all that, anyway?

You mustn't have looked very closely! I just finished going through the Daring Book for Girls, and there is a hell of a lot of useful stuff in it, along with the girly stuff. It encourages girls to learn to climb trees and pitch tents, as well as telling them what *real* princesses there are and what they do. Lemon clocks are involved, as well.

I didn't notice any makeup.

But, dude, the girl's book also has 'how to build stinkbombs,' 'how to pitch a tent,' and... uh... other stuff.

Though I still like the boy's book better, the girl's one has its own merits.

I read that as 'how to make fun of household chemicals'.

I like when the icon ties in with the topic.

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