I’ve written before about the lack of women artists and what I think about it. What has made me think about it yet again is an excellent post from More Compassion: How to drive me crazy: Write another trite article about how boys are so rambunctious. MoreCompassion debunks the whole stereotype that boys are active and girls are creative. This ridiculous generalization has nothing to do with nature and everything to do with status.
MoreCompassion is annoyed. She writes:
I’m talking about those sayings you hear at every family gathering like “Oh but boys are just so wild, “Lisa just sits so nice and colors her picture,” “My gosh you’d think Randy had been watching wrestling videos since the day he was born,” or “We never tried to impress the princess thing on Kayla; girls just love stuff like that.” Puke, puke, puke.
So happy to see this post!
Parents, what are your expectations for your sons versus your daughters? Do you allow your sons to be wild but expect your daughters to have good manners, sit quietly, read a book, and not bother anyone too much? Are these expectations because girls are “artsy” and “creative” or is it because kids are difficult to manage? That we’re more willing to control girls but we let “boys be boys?”
More compassion posts:
A lifetime of perpetuating stereotypes that tells girls to be docile and boys to be rambunctious has myriad consequences. A new study that made the PR rounds last week discussed how all kids are losing out on outdoor play time, but girls are suffering the most. They are 16 percent less likely to be taken outdoors by a caregiver. Who can argue conclusively that boys have more energy and girls are bookworms? If girls are clearly being denied the many opportunities to run around like hooligans, swing wildly from the monkey bars, and tackle one another … of course they will think that’s unacceptable play and want to conform to the more demure image that seems to please their parents.
When we take our children to Toys R us and they’re confronted with obvious, stark, color-coded disparities in the aisles, they notice. Boys have army figures, super heroes, cars that crash, loud guns, and camping sets. Girls have pink hair brushes, Hello Kitty stickers, and a Disney princess kitchen. We don’t want to send the message that boys are active, doers, thrill-seekers, trouble makers, whereas girls are homemakers, hair stylists, fashion obsessed, and budding Marth Stewart pepto-pink crafters. We should encourage our children to be anything they want to be. We should work extra hard to subvert the gendered juggernaut of advertising. We should put our young girls in tennis shoes and chase them around the house, let them climb up the trees, and let them take bold, risky jumps from the top of the swings.
Read the rest here.
Update: I changed the title of this post. It used to read: Why are all the artists male? Obviously, all artists are not male. There are many great women artists, though not nearly enough throughout history and today.