Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Dangerous Book for Girls

Earlier today I saw a mother in Park Slope, on the sidewalk, teaching her daughter how to ride a bike. The girl had on a helmet... as well as elbow pads and shin guards. She was not the first child I've noticed recently with something between just a helmet and full body armor. This was classic, cliched Park Slope, the sort of parenting mocked on Gawker almost daily. It used to be helmets and no Lucky Charms; now it's pre-bike-ride mummification and organic shredded bran.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I entered a locksmith shop on Flatbush a few days ago and the "can I help you" came from a boy who could not have been older than nine. I thought he was joking around, but he meant business. He took the keys I needed copied, put on safety glasses, put on the machine, and voila, a new set of keys. There was a man behind the counter who was probably the boy's father. He seemed to approve.

There's a new book out, The Dangerous Book for Boys, that's being embraced by conservatives because it is (apparently; can't say I've read it) an affront to both the "nanny state" and the "war against boys." The book encourages boys to flaunt their boyishness, to play with matches, engage in rough-and-tumble athletics, explore an innate scientific curiosity, and otherwise show how very unlike girls they are. (If I were feeling more clever I'd make a Larry Summers reference here).

What information would be in The Dangerous Book for Girls?

-Latest techniques in bulimia.
-How to walk in stilettos.
-How to make creme brulee, with a torch, unsupervised.
-Advice on what reputation-shattering rumors to spread if you want to lead an exclusive 7th grade clique.
-Random household substances that can be used as hairdye when your parents unfairly refuse to let you go blonde.


A Google search reveals that I'm not the only one to consider what a female version of this book would look like.


Anonymous said...

I think that overall the book for boys has been written to give boys reasons to explore, learn, create, do and show interest in life, history, environment and themselves.

A book for girls should consist of the same general content only tailored to their gender. If it isn't written, I would encourage them to read the book for boys and explore life as well.

I'm 37 and grew up with only 3 channels of TV to watch, very few video games and books instead of the Internet. I hear way too much from kids these days "I'm bored" or "there's nothing to do".

With the Internet available (or in books), find something you have an interest in, learn about it, then try it for yourself. But don't tell me that you are bored or have nothing to do.

I think that the book for boys is a great idea. Hopefully a book for girls... that is serious and doesn't poke fun about the subject... comes along as well.

Miss Worldwide said...


Includes a chapter on "How to pick up your dog's poo with style"