Thank you for this thoughtful and well-presented comment. I've been fuming quietly about this, with occasional incoherent splutterings.
If I find more useful expression of my feelings on this I'll be back and let you know.
It's brilliant! I love it! (Had to go look, of course.)
My wife's Evil Step-Aunt was Not Pleased when our seven-year-old daughter told her in no uncertain terms that she is never getting her ears pierced, and no thank you, but I do not want to go to a Beauty Parlor with you--and then a few hours later that same little girl is squeeing because her Grandpa gave her her own set of wood clamps for Christmas, and a box of his old woodworking magazines, and another woodworking project kit!
So long as parents of little girls get crap because learning to use tools isn't "Girly" enough, we need Feminism or something like it.
Did you see the YouTube of the little girl in the toy store demanding to know why the only things for girls were princess stuff and pink stuff, and how come the boys got to have different colors?
When I was a kid, in the much-maligned (and rightly so, about some things) 1950s, basic toys (blocks, Lincoln Logs, etc.) were the same for both boys and girls. True, girls weren't "supposed" to want Erector sets or chemistry sets, but some girls did, and if they did they got the same ones boys did. We all got the same blocks, not a set of pink ones for girls and a set of blue ones for boys. (And by the way--women who used firearms back then--whether for plinking or hunting--did not use pink ones. Blech.)
Now there's this notion that girls' science kits have to be about fashion (the chemistry kit for girls is about makeup and perfume...I WAS a girl who wanted a chemistry set and I had zero interest in makeup or perfume. I had my eye on bigger things. Not allowed a chemistry set, I read Encyclopedia Britannica on how to preserve olives, made my own lye solution out of fireplace ashes (read about that in another book), and--not knowing that lye would eat the solder out of a tin can--created an ugly hole in my mother's prized wooden counter. My next bright idea in chemistry (also based on some articles in Encyclopedia Britannica plus information from some books in the school library) was stymied by STILL not having a chemistry set, but a guy I knew in class did. His parents let him have a lab in the back of their garage. Let me just say that I came up with one heckuva rocket fuel, but it was just a wee tad...touchy. As the back wall of his parents' garage could attest. For some reason my mother the engineer was not eager to give me dry cells, chemicals, or let me mess with the engine of her car. ("You don't follow directions" she said, after observing me with Tinker Toys. True. But the Tinker Toy directions didn't tell you how to hook the battery powered motor of a toy motorboat to some rubber bands and thence to the "water wheel" made with Tinker Toys. The directions were for simple stuff. If I could see how it would work from directions, what was the point of building it? Of course my machine flung water halfway across the room...but I could have fixed that if only the splashing water hadn't been heard...
Christmas one year was a) a new wagon, b) lumber for building sides for the new wagon, c) tools for building sides (saw, hammer, bolts, screwdriver, wrench, nuts, nails, and the use of my mother's hand drill. I was one happy kid. Although...since the directions were so simple...and the wagon quickly became a stage coach with the addition of a small table and a tablecloth...if I recall correctly only two sides of the original design were built and the rest of the lumber turned into other stuff I thought up. I still have the hammer; the saw suffered an evil fate in a hurricane while I was in college.
This is the kind of little girl I am raising, here. This.
(And by the way--women who used firearms back then--whether for plinking or hunting--did not use pink ones. Blech.)
PINK firearms? Please, please tell me you are joking.
Women back then, no. My mother did target shooting (which more women did than hunted) with a Colt Woodsman, a very special one I wish I'd inherited. A friend of hers whose father was a poacher (among other things decidedly not illegal) was a crack shot with just about anything and NONE of it was pink. I knew a few women hunters, more target shooters, and they used regular ordinary firearms. I will guarantee you that no one thought the women I knew in my childhood were any less female for wearing appropriate outdoor clothes when in the outdoors (nothing pink!) or using regular firearms. (There were women who wouldn't have touched a firearm--but it was still a rural area and lots of women did.)
I saw my first pink firearm at a gun show, a pink .22 rifle, maybe seven years ago. It was disgusting. That was supposed to be Daddy's little girl's first gun. Right. When I took the old rifle in to a really good gun shop for some work, they had a .22 rifle with its [expletive deleted] stock done in pink camo. Disgusting. Now you see pink stuff in the Bass catalog, including "action figures" of a family in the woods--the mother and daughter are of course wearing pink and lavender. The clothes for women are all designed to be attractive to guys ogling women, not useful for women actually hunting and fishing.
And probably not as durable, either. I once saw a demonstration where they took a micrometer to a pair of men's jeans and compared it to the thickness of the denim in women's jeans. If women are more tender and more vulnerable, it is because their clothing doesn't offer as much protection! My daughter is a case in point: every pair of "girly" jeans the in-laws have sent her now has ripped-out knees. I buy her boys' jeans so they will survive longer than a week.
As for the pink rifles, all I can say is, "Those who live by the sword shall die by the sword." If you ever decide to shoot the people responsible, use a pink sniper rifle: it's everything they deserve, and I can't think of another use for one.
That hammer must be quite the treasure.
You're a woman after my own heart. One of my best childhood days was when my uncle let me into his (dangerously disorganised, but well-endowed) garage, and told me not to come out bleeding.
Oh boy, the things I created.
I'm still designing and building today, and people pay me for it. :]
My MIL gave my almost-3-year-old a red toy guitar and a toy drill set for Christmas; they're still hot items. My 9-year-old loves her nesting hammer/screwdriver set. My dad taught me, at the same age, to change a tire, use a lawnmower and weedeater, and drive a nail. "Feminism" is alive and well at our house, I'm happy to say.
But don't you know Pippa Middleton conducted herself appropriately all day and everyone LOVED her dress?
Those lists are a (very unfunny) joke.
yes, dear old Aunty BBC makes a mess of Persons of the Year yet again. The list for Sports Personality of the Year was also women-free.
Bloody idiotic stuck-in-the-50s-nitwits! Why do I pay my licence fee when the men in charge ignore women achievers??!
At least there are posts like this to tell the fools at BBC that they're wrong. I suspect things won't change until we all tell dear old Aunty what a total prat she is by ignoring the achievements of women. Let's keep pushing on for recognition of amazing women's achievements!
Thank you for bringing this to our attention. As a woman who had a very non-traditional job in a male dominated field, I have great interest in beating back all forms of subtle misogyny.
I'm still working on the non-subtle ones, but yeah. My mother, trained as an engineer, could get work as an engineer only during WWII (liaison engineer for the Army Air Corps at an aircraft factory.) I don't know her pay scale during the war, but postwar, she was always paid less than men doing equivalent work. She shrugged some of it off as "the way things are, no use fighting it" and given that she was a single mother raising a kid on her own, I doubt she had the time or energy to spend on anything but survival.
But. It's about damn time the media--including the BBC--got over the notion that women are noteworthy mostly in connection with men, crime, or sex.
correction: I doubt she had the time or energy to spend on anything but survival, and raising a damn fine person out of that kid.