HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » How an 8-year-old girl go...

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 07:44 PM

How an 8-year-old girl got some sexist kids' books yanked from the bookstore

How my 8-year-old daughter got some sexist kids' books yanked from the bookstore
BY CONSTANCE COOPER
Our family was browsing in a bookstore when my daughter called out, “Mama, you have to look at this!” Usually this is a happy cry, but not this time.

She'd found a pair of books. One was Boys Only: How to Survive (Almost) Anything! Its cover showed a boy confronting a crocodile. The other book was the girls' version. Its cover had one girl fluffing her hair while wearing a rhinestone-studded miniskirt, and another riding on a zip line while talking on the phone.



It wasn't until my daughter compared the tables of contents, though, that she became irate to the point of tears. In case you might find this as morbidly fascinating as I do, I will reproduce the pages here:
For boys:

Warning!
How to Survive a Shark Attack
How to Survive in a Forest
How to Survive Frostbite
How to Survive a Plane Crash
How to Survive in a Desert
How to Avoid a Polar Bear Attack
How to Survive a Flash Flood
How to Treat a Broken Leg
How to Survive an Earthquake
How to Survive a Forest Fire
How to Survive in a Whiteout
How to Survive a Zombie Invasion
How to Survive a Snake Bite
How to Survive If Your Parachute Fails
How to Survive a Croc Attack
How to Survive a Lightning Strike
How to Survive a T-Rex
How to Survive Whitewater Rapids
How to Survive a Sinking Ship
How to Survive a Vampire Attack
How to Survive an Avalanche
How to Survive a Tornado
How to Survive Quicksand
How to Survive a Fall
How to Survive a Swarm of Bees
How to Survive in Space


For girls:

Warning!
How to Survive a BFF Fight
How to Survive Football Trials
How to Survive a Breakout
How to Show You're Sorry
How to Have the Best Sleepover Ever
How to Look Your Best for a Party
How to Survive Siblings
Scary Survival Dos and Don'ts
How to Handle Becoming Rich
How to Keep Stuff Secret
How to Survive Tests
How to Survive Shyness
How to Handle Sudden Stardom
More Stardom Survival Tips
How to Survive a Camping Trip
How to Survive a Fashion Disaster
How to Teach Your Cat to Sit
How to Turn a No into a Yes
Top Tips for Speech-making
How to Survive Embarrassment
How to Create a Diversion
How to Survive a Crush
Seaside Survival
How to Soothe Sunburn
How to Pick Perfect Sunglasses
Surviving a Zombie Attack
How to Spot a Frenemy
Brilliant Boredom Busters
How to Survive Truth or Dare
How to Beat Bullies
How to Be a Brilliant Baby-Sitter



,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


She insisted we had to tell the manager how unfair these books were, and a nearby employee heard her and asked if she could help. Kudos to Half Price Books: the employee was horrified. She agreed that the books were offensive, and although we hadn't requested it, she yanked all copies (boy and girl) from the shelf. She also gave my daughter a coupon, which she used on a YA fantasy novel.


links and more:
http://www.constancecooper.com/2013/10/how-my-8-year-old-daughter-got-some.html

90 replies, 5550 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 90 replies Author Time Post
Reply How an 8-year-old girl got some sexist kids' books yanked from the bookstore (Original post)
kpete Oct 2013 OP
pnwmom Oct 2013 #1
kpete Oct 2013 #4
cali Oct 2013 #2
Ian David Oct 2013 #3
petronius Oct 2013 #5
PoliticAverse Oct 2013 #8
Hayabusa Oct 2013 #67
kestrel91316 Oct 2013 #11
EX500rider Oct 2013 #19
TeeYiYi Oct 2013 #6
Scootaloo Oct 2013 #7
kcr Oct 2013 #12
TeeYiYi Oct 2013 #13
Scootaloo Oct 2013 #14
TeeYiYi Oct 2013 #15
seabeyond Oct 2013 #25
JBoy Oct 2013 #31
seabeyond Oct 2013 #33
seabeyond Oct 2013 #23
Orrex Oct 2013 #39
seabeyond Oct 2013 #40
Orrex Oct 2013 #56
Orrex Oct 2013 #49
quinnox Oct 2013 #9
Shrike47 Oct 2013 #10
nomorenomore08 Oct 2013 #16
joeglow3 Oct 2013 #30
nomorenomore08 Oct 2013 #62
Erose999 Oct 2013 #55
nomorenomore08 Oct 2013 #64
Logical Oct 2013 #78
nomorenomore08 Oct 2013 #79
LanternWaste Oct 2013 #47
rug Oct 2013 #17
whistler162 Oct 2013 #18
hardcover Oct 2013 #20
whopis01 Oct 2013 #21
joeglow3 Oct 2013 #38
whopis01 Oct 2013 #80
Throd Oct 2013 #51
cthulu2016 Oct 2013 #66
seabeyond Oct 2013 #22
Nuclear Unicorn Oct 2013 #85
seabeyond Oct 2013 #86
Nuclear Unicorn Oct 2013 #88
seabeyond Oct 2013 #89
Nye Bevan Oct 2013 #24
Silent3 Oct 2013 #26
Nye Bevan Oct 2013 #28
Silent3 Oct 2013 #43
Nye Bevan Oct 2013 #45
LanternWaste Oct 2013 #48
dembotoz Oct 2013 #27
Nye Bevan Oct 2013 #29
JBoy Oct 2013 #35
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Oct 2013 #36
Nye Bevan Oct 2013 #44
NYC_SKP Oct 2013 #32
Upton Oct 2013 #34
ProudToBeBlueInRhody Oct 2013 #37
noiretextatique Oct 2013 #41
NYC_SKP Oct 2013 #42
uppityperson Oct 2013 #68
Mariana Oct 2013 #82
cynatnite Oct 2013 #50
seabeyond Oct 2013 #52
Throd Oct 2013 #53
gollygee Oct 2013 #57
The Straight Story Oct 2013 #60
NYC_SKP Oct 2013 #46
Erose999 Oct 2013 #54
B Calm Oct 2013 #58
Silent3 Oct 2013 #61
Erose999 Oct 2013 #83
LineLineReply ^
cthulu2016 Oct 2013 #63
uppityperson Oct 2013 #69
Skip Intro Oct 2013 #70
nomorenomore08 Oct 2013 #71
Counterpoint PA Oct 2013 #59
uppityperson Oct 2013 #65
FrodosPet Oct 2013 #76
cthulu2016 Oct 2013 #72
Mojo Electro Oct 2013 #75
Mariana Oct 2013 #81
kcr Oct 2013 #87
Mariana Oct 2013 #90
Skip Intro Oct 2013 #73
LittleBlue Oct 2013 #74
Tommy_Carcetti Oct 2013 #77
lumberjack_jeff Oct 2013 #84

Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 07:46 PM

1. You're raising a great daughter! n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pnwmom (Reply #1)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 07:50 PM

4. not me

Constance Cooper is the author
and her daughter is an inspiration.


peace, kp

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 07:48 PM

2. cool kid. cool mom and cool bookstore employee

kudos all around

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 07:49 PM

3. Why is it sexist? Everyone knows bees and sharks only attack boys!



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 07:54 PM

5. "How to Teach Your Cat to Sit"? I'd like to read that chapter, actually

If only for the hopelessness...

But seriously, good job by your daughter (and you, by extension). Even though the boys' version is tongue in cheek and (I hope to god!) few boys will have to deal with that stuff, the stereotypes displayed there are hideous...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to petronius (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:18 PM

8. I once taught my cat to lay around the house and do nothing... n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to PoliticAverse (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 04:59 PM

67. Yeah, that's the easiest trick I taught my cat.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to petronius (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:41 PM

11. I used to have a cat I taught to sit. He had a habit of standing in front of my little B&W tv when

I had it on the dining table so he could watch basketball. I wanted to watch, too. So I made him sit down if he was gonna be right in front of it. He was really good about that.

Now I have one that I have taught to lay down on command so he doesn't pester me all night in bed. He gets it right about 3/4 of the time.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to petronius (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 09:12 PM

19. I am more interested in the how to survive parachute not opening..

Grow wings?
Pray?
?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 07:55 PM

6. I don't know how to feel about this...

Clearly it's sexist, but I dunno... Not sure it's any worse than the 'princess' or 'GI Joe' aisle of any given big.box.mart with a toy section.

I'm open to anyone who might be willing to spell it out for me.

TYY

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeeYiYi (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:11 PM

7. Small difference...

Toymakers do not label the products by gender. They're color-coded and yes, clearly targeted... but that clarity is really a product of a whole collection of cultural preconceptions we have already, that the toymakers just capitalize (literally) upon. Hasbro, Mattel, Lego, these companies may market by gender, but they will never label their product by gender, as doing so would pare away a potential market (a lesson that people like myself have been teaching Hasbro for three years now )

On the other hand, these books do expressly segregate by gender. One is "for boys," the other is "for girls." And unlike toys, where really anyone can pick it up and get the same functionality out of it, the content of these books is obviously very different. Like... grotesquely different.

That's the difference. Targeted marketing based on assumed divisions vs. directly segregated marketing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scootaloo (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:47 PM

12. I agree.

It's the fact that they are books that are expressing that certain ideas are only for boys while others are only for girls that makes this especially egregious. I'm not exactly thrilled about the marketing of toys, either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scootaloo (Reply #7)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:56 PM

13. Thank you, Scootaloo...

I think I see what you mean. The difference being that toy stores may or may not actually label their aisles specifically by gender; thereby defining an expected male/female outcome. (Any kid can buy from whichever aisle attracts them.)

So, marketing to genders in such an obviously sexist manner is not acceptable in 2013...especially in books.. or is that true?

What about books that are marketed by gender? (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys.) There are millions of them. That's how I see these comic books; one example of millions of other stereotypically gender based book marketing examples. Sexist without a doubt but there it is...

How do you pull these two comic books from the shelves without acknowledging the others? And what about sexism in video games, music, etc.

I guess my point is that sexism is rampant. I suppose pulling these two books could be conceived as a good start?... or is it really just a drop in the bucket?

TYY



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeeYiYi (Reply #13)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:58 PM

14. It's really just a drop in the bucket

The story here is more about the awareness of the eight year old girl, and the reinforcement of that awareness by the salesperson.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scootaloo (Reply #14)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 09:00 PM

15. Aah... Ok, thanks. :) ..nt

TYY

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TeeYiYi (Reply #13)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 08:17 AM

25. nancy drew and hardy boys may have specific genders but they are not overtly sexist. drew is

very active and accomplished in her stories. they are both treat as humans not gender. because they each represent a gender and reach out to a particular gender does not make them sexist nor unreadable for the other gender.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to seabeyond (Reply #25)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 09:41 AM

31. I used to read my sister's Nancy Drew's

After I'd finished my Hardy Boys'. The books were similar - a little more physical action in the Hardy Boys, but both series described adventure and showcased the resourcefulness of the protagonists.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JBoy (Reply #31)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 09:47 AM

33. i did the same. really enjoyed the drew books and really liked the hardys too.

especially when they brought the two together.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scootaloo (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 08:14 AM

23. in print, in words, side by side. there is no ambiguity in this one. a poster argued pink was

preferred by girls biologically and evo psych could tell us why. :vomit:

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to seabeyond (Reply #23)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 10:34 AM

39. It's not because of evolution. It's because girls like lipstick. Duh.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Orrex (Reply #39)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 10:38 AM

40. you got a cackle on that one. or all of society since the day of their birth tell them pink is what

they are.

but go figure.

cute

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to seabeyond (Reply #40)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 12:09 PM

56. Yeah, it starts early.

Our hospital was pretty good about it. Lots of pastels but mostly yellows and greens. Of course, family and friends tended toward blue baby clothes for our boys, so...

One thing that I recall from our older son's very early days is that we made a point of carting him down both the "boys" and "girls" aisles. He showed NO interest in "girls" toys but practically burst out of the seatbelt to get his hands on HotWheels.

I know that this doesn't mean that boys inherently prefer boys' toys, but we were really surprised by the stark difference. We repeated the experiment a bunch of times with the same result.

On the other hand, when his brother was born he wanted a doll to have a baby of his own, so we let him pick one out, and he took to carting it around in a stroller when we went for walks.


Kids! Who can figure them?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scootaloo (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 11:45 AM

49. I'm not sure that that's really a difference at all

In my entire life I have never seen a Barbie ad with a boy in it or a GI Joe ad with a girl in it. I'm not even sure that I've ever seen a HotWheels or Matchbox ad featuring a girl.

Although they seldom specifically say "for girls," these products are undeniably marketed along predictable gender lines, to the point that the distinction between "targeted" and "marketed" is trivial and academic. Even if the manufacturers don't target boys or girls specifically, the retail stores certainly do.


In short, the absence of an explicit "girls only" or "boys only" label is simply a technicality, in the same way that we might say that our society is race-neutral because we don't have "whites only" water fountains anymore.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink



Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 08:34 PM

10. Book banning kinda bothers me, inspite of the sexist content.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shrike47 (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 09:07 PM

16. If we were talking actual literature - as opposed to this silliness - then I'd agree with you.

Ditto if the books were aimed at adults and not young children.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #16)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 09:40 AM

30. Banning books "for the kids" is cool

 

Nice....

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeglow3 (Reply #30)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 04:55 PM

62. Generally speaking, no. And most parental complaints about library books can probably be considered

bullshit - e.g. complaining about 'Beloved' because the themes of racism and slavery are "uncomfortable."

But in this case it was the child herself who raised an objection, and an understandable one. And it's not as if this is a book that teaches kids about some ugly realities of the world they live in - rather, it promotes stereotyping and general ignorance, which is the opposite of what any good parent should want their child to learn.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #16)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 12:03 PM

55. Whose to say what "actual literature" is? I mean I read stuff like that when I was a young'un


and I went on to a BA in English and I plan on becoming a librarian.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Erose999 (Reply #55)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 04:58 PM

64. True, and there's nothing wrong with a little "light reading."

All I was saying, is that it's not as if some great classic was taken off the shelves here. So I'm not gonna whine about it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to nomorenomore08 (Reply #16)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 05:55 PM

78. LOL, so you get to decide "actual literature"? LOL! Missing the point I think! n-t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Logical (Reply #78)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 06:13 PM

79. I can hold whatever opinion I want. And so can you.

I have no power to "ban" any book, nor would I want to even if I did - I like books, and I think even bad ones have the right to exist. But the situation in the OP is hardly "book burning" or any such ridiculousness.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Shrike47 (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 11:29 AM

47. An item's position in a market place predicated in part on social awareness is not...

An item's position in a market place predicated in part on social awareness is not by any means "banning", it is simply your market place at work.

A company's own decisions to carry or not carry an item is also a wholly separate concept than banning.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 09:12 PM

17. My wife bought this book for my daughter.



When she brought it to school, the teacher yelled at her and took it away.

I told her she should let her daddy buy her books in the future.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 09:12 PM

18. Next on to Mark Twain!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Wed Oct 2, 2013, 10:15 PM

20. Banning books...

No matter how much we don't like those books, it's still banning books. Where do we draw the line on which books should be banned?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to hardcover (Reply #20)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 07:57 AM

21. It is not banning books

The retailer has a right to decide what books they will and won't stock. It is their bookshelf and they get to decide what books go on that shelf.

Choosing not to carry a product in a store is not the same as banning that product.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whopis01 (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 10:03 AM

38. Keep telling yourself that

 

Removing books from the forums one goes to in order to acquire books is cool, so long as it is not technically banning. All the better when it has the effect of banning, but we can claim we do not support "banning" books.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to joeglow3 (Reply #38)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 06:24 PM

80. So by that logic, would any book that a bookstore chose not to carry would be a banned book?

Does the retailer have no ability to choose what goes on the shelves?

What if they had a book that wasn't selling well? Just because it hasn't sold yet doesn't mean that someone isn't interested in reading it - so we better not "ban" that book by pulling it off the shelf, right?

If this were a public library, I would agree with you. But it is a private business. You simply can not force a business to carry a product which they don't want to carry. Or force them to drop a product which they wish to carry.

What you can do is shop there or shop elsewhere - and you can let them know exactly why you are making that choice.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whopis01 (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 11:50 AM

51. Or, you can choose not to purchase the book.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to whopis01 (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 04:59 PM

66. Read the headline again. It is a book banning fantasy

The OP is experiencing all the excitement of a good book-banning, and also exaggerating.

The fact that the facts don't match the tone and headline do not make the OP better. Just rotten in more directions.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kpete (Original post)

Thu Oct 3, 2013, 08:10 AM

22. it is insulting to every girl and to women. i do not get why people cannot recognize how fuckin

Last edited Thu Oct 3, 2013, 05:07 PM - Edit history (1)

insulting this is. your daughter was minding her own business. she was not out to find an issue. and there, in front of her face, we have a publication that was ALL about insulting your daughter and a whole gender.

hugz to this girl. she found her voice. and at a young age. she recognized a problem, and at a young age. now she will see it for the rest of her life. we cannot undue what we learn and how the world sees us. she lost that innocence.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink