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Unformatted text preview: r- old trapped in a
shopping cart — as well as a bouquet of Disney Princess balloons bobbing ov er the checkout line.
T he repetition was ex cessiv e, ev en for a preschooler. What was it about my answers that
confounded her? What if, instead of realizing: Aha! Cinderella is a sy mbol of the patriarchal
oppression of all women, another ex ample of corporate mind control and power- to- the- people!
my 3- y ear- old was thinking, Mommy doesn’t want me to be a girl?
According to theories of gender constancy , until they ’re about 6 or 7, children don’t realize that
the sex they were born with is immutable. T hey believ e that they hav e a choice: they can grow
up to be either a mommy or a daddy . Some psy chologists say that until permanency sets in kids
embrace whatev er stereoty pes our culture presents, whether it’s piling on the most spangles or
attacking one another with light sabers. What better way to assure that they ’ll alway s remain
themselv es? I f that’s the case, score one for Mooney . By not buy ing the Princess Pull- Ups, I
may be inadv ertently communicating that being female (to the ex tent that my daughter is able
to understand it) is a bad thing.
Any way , y ou hav e to giv e girls some credit. I t’s true that, according to Mattel, one of the most
popular games y oung girls play is “bride,” but Disney found that a groom or prince is incidental
to that fantasy , a regrettable necessity at best. Although they keep him around for the climactic
kiss, he is otherwise relegated to the bottom of the toy box , which is why y ou don’t see him
prominently display ed in stores.
What’s more, just because they wear the tulle doesn’t mean they ’v e drunk the Kool- Aid. Plenty
of girls stray from the script, say , by play ing basketball in their finery , or casting themselv es as
the powerful ev il stepsister bossing around the sniv eling Cinderella. I recall a headline- grabbing
2005 British study that rev ealed that girls enjoy torturing, decapitating and microwav ing their
Barbies nearly as much as they like to dress them up for dates. T here is spice along with that
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This document was uploaded on 02/17/2014 for the course ENG 101 at Roosevelt.
- Spring '12