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Dear Amazon America: Boys and Girls are Different
Wait for it...
Wait for it...
BOYS AND GIRLS ARE DIFFERENT!
Shocking, I know. I'll give you a minute to recover as the ramifications of this revelation really sink in.
Amazon.com, however, is seemingly confused about this simple fact. The online superpower has become "gender neutral," removing the "boy" and "girl" search filter options from its toy department.
I thought we'd figured this out a long time ago. I mean, you're born with a DNA and God-given anatomical parts that clearly denote your gender. No child's ever emerged from the womb and the doctor announced, "I don't know what it is!" Doesn't happen. "It's a boy!" Or, "It's a girl!" That's how it goes. We send out announcements, we hang up banners, we wrap our new little bundle of (screaming) joy in pink or blue, as the case may be.
Yet, our culture has reached a point where it's - for some unknown reason - no longer okay for boys to be boys and girls to be girls. "We need to be gender "neutral" so kids don't get confused!" Huh?
A boy picks up a stick and turns it into a gun, and we tell him violence isn't the answer. A girl wants a toy oven, and we tell her she needs to dream bigger. Why? Little boys are wired to protect, to defend, to be the hero. That's how they learn to be men! Give him a doll, and he's most likely going to rip her head off and use her body as some kind of weapon. And that's okay! Little girls on the other hand, are wired to nurture, to care, to be the princess. That's how they learn to be ladies! Give her a Captain America action figure, and he's most likely going to be hosting a tea party and marrying Barbie. And that's also okay! And yes, there's a reason why boys are three times more likely than girls to be labeled "ADHD" - because they're not wired to sit still at a desk for 6-8 hours a day!
But then there's the flip side of the equation. What do we DO with the little boy who doesn't like catching frogs? What do we DO with the little girl who just wants to climb trees? News flash. If a girl likes the color blue, it doesn't mean she's a boy trapped in a girl's body. It means she's a girl who likes the color blue. If a boy likes to help mom in the kitchen, it doesn't mean he's a girl trapped in a boy's body. It means he's a boy who likes to help mom in the kitchen. If a girl's favorite movie is Batman, it doesn't mean she wishes she were a boy. It means she's a girl who likes Batman. (And probably has a crush on him, too. Another reason why Clooney's portrayal was a failure of epic proportions.) If a boy doesn't like watching football, it doesn't mean he wishes he were a girl. It means he's a boy who doesn't like football.
Are you catching on? It's okay for girls to like "boy" stuff and boys to like "girl" stuff. It doesn't mean they're confused about their gender or that we should stop "assigning" genders to children at birth - they come out with that life factor predetermined and clearly evident via that little, slimy naked body. It's also 100% okay for girls to be girly and boys to be manly. For real.
And yes, it's okay to have search filters distinguishing "boys" and "girls" toys - because we're different. And we always will be.
Let girls be girls. Let boys be boys. Why are we trying to eliminate our children's differences when they should be celebrated?