Thursday, March 31, 2011

Scholastic's Suffocating Stereotypes

From Scholastic's Firefly Book Club, for pre-k and kindergarten children:

If you can't read the small type, here it is:

For girls, it's the "Perfectly Pink! Pack: Little princesses will love these five enchanting stories -- filled with everything PINK!"

For the boys, it's the "Power Pack: Keep active kids reading with five power-packed books about rockets, bulldozers, and more."

I guess if I want my daughter to be a good consumer I better tell her to put down that toy truck, stop being so active, and focus on being a little, enchanting, pink princess. And remind her that, in Scholastic's world,  it's the boys that have the power.

These suffocating stereotypes aren't, of course, unique to the kiddie marketers at Scholastic.  (Here's a fantastic word cloud breaking down the words used in  toy commercials aimed at boys and girls.)   But what's different is that Scholastic is using tax-payer funded time to peddle this junk to a captive audience of schoolchildren.  Remind me, again, why we let them do that.


  1. Boooo. Yet another reason to shun TV and public school. Sigh.

  2. Yet another reason to keep non-commercial TV on the air and work to make public school a healthy choice for everyone! Even if your kids aren't in the public schools, your money is paying for them, and your future employees, coworkers, the people who run your nursing home (should you ever need one) are being educated there.

    Although I must admit that I've felt that way at times, Witch Mom.

  3. I hear you Alexa. I believe in the idea of public schools and have even taught in them. It's a huge uphill battle though- and I want to be sure my son gets a real education- and doesn't learn stereotypes like this in an official capacity.

  4. Not to mention that if a boy likes pink or being "enchanted" he'd better not tell anyone - EVER. At least girls who play with trucks are thought to be cute tomboys while boys who go near a pink anything feel the hammer come down from the least likely sources - no one is cool with a boy being feminine. And what exactly is so wrong with feminine?