Going with The Flow
Katha Pollitt is a well-known writer and is most known for being a liberal essayist for The Nation. In 1985, she wrote an article titled “Why Boys Don’t Play with Dolls”. Pollitt mentions that parents find it a lot easier to go along with those preconceived notions of boys and girls that society has set than it is to go against the norm. Society has set its own criteria for how we should raise children. Genders and gender-roles play a large part in molding a child to fit into society. Parents tend to lead their children by what society sees as the norm. In examining Pollitt’s essay one finds that children are influenced by their parents, society, and even the toys they play with each and everyday.
When parents look at their children they often see themselves when they were younger. Parents want their children to be just like them, so they provide their children with the tools that are necessary to help mold the child. Toys are just smaller version of what adults use everyday, for example, a medicine kit or a workshop kit. Toys are used to help the child develop into roles, or jobs, they might fulfill as adults one day.
Parents want to instill their children with the values that society feels is the social norm, and parents believe this is the way children are supposed to be raised. Parents see nothing wrong with using toys to help develop their children into the roles they are expected to fulfill as an adult. It is also popular belief that the source of children’s preferences lies in “prenatal, hormonal influences, brain chemistry, and genes” and these factors help them to fit into the social norm (Pollitt).
Within each gender there are stereotypes. These stereotypes are formed throughout a child’s development. Due to the set stereotypes, and roles, set by society one often finds “people aspire to what is possible, and conform to what is necessary” (Pollitt). Society is learning, however, that these stereotypes can be...
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