Saturday, December 13, 2014

I'm a Bookish Feminist.

You all know that I'm bookish. 

You may know that I'm a raging feminist. 

So when I take the two, it doesn't take much to get me annoyed.


Let me start with some context for you.

When I was between the ages of about 9-10, I had a set of books. I first found "The Girls' Book of Secrets" in a charity shop; then I asked for "The Girls' Book: How to Be the Best At Everything" (1 and 2) that Christmas. My nan also bought me "The Girls' Book of Glamour" (Which I wasn't so keen on; but I still liked it a lot).

I adored these books. I don't think I ever did anything from any of them; but I read them over and over again before I sent them to the bookish heaven in the sky (aka the charity shop when I got bored of them).

It never crossed my mind that, perhaps, they could be considered sexist; and even since then I had forgotten about them.

Now; last month it was my brother's birthday. My mum's friend got him a couple of presents a bit late which he received today. One of these was "The Boys' Book: How to Be the Best at Everything".

Tyler was really happy with this, and he instantly loved it. Which I thought was awesome, because he has recently decided that "reading is boring".

And... then I looked through the contents.

 I don't remember much about the Girls' Books, so it's hard to properly compare, but there was some stuff that I remember being the same (yay!). Then there is stuff that definitely wasn't.

Boys get: How to be awesome at football (several different pages on different tricks.
Girls get: How to make perfume.

Which is gender stereotyping; but hey, normal. Not fine, but normal.

Then you get: (Side note, I just went down two flights of stairs and then back up again to get the book, so you better appreciate this.)

How to treat stings. How to read a compass. How to tie three easy knots.

Three things that I would have loved to have in the Girls' Book, because I'm a Scout. A GIRL. SCOUT.

Oh, and my personal favourite, How to take the best photos. WHICH AS AN ASPIRING PHOTOGRAPHER, I also would have loved.

 Now these books are also amazing, because they can teach you stuff, and I'm sure there are things in each that are only fully appreciated by one gender. But... there is so much stuff in both of them that both genders should be able to learn and love.

Obviously no one has said that the kids couldn't pick up the other sides' book. But it probably never crosses their mind. I was a tomboy, and it never crossed my mind.
  So, thank you, Buster Books (as each has a different author), but a decade ago called, and they want their gender stereotyping back.

DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT SAYING DO NOT READ/BUY THESE BOOKS. I'm just disappointed in them and wanted to consider the difference between me seeing them then, and me seeing them now. This was sparked by Tyler showing it to me, and me saying "see, I loved these back then. But now, as a 14 year old feminist, I'm not so sure". 

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