I've been thinking a lot about gender stereotypes lately. I dropped Liam off at his Lego camp on Monday and it was ALL boys. We're talking midtown Manhattan here, people - yes, the camp is called "Jedi Engineering" which probably accounts for some of the bias, but really, not a single girl in the whole of Manhattan or the five boroughs? As a girl who loved Legos (and Star Wars) growing up and who went on to become an architect, this makes me angry and sad.
I polled the parents in the Ask Moxie Facebook group and many chimed in to say their girls love Legos and Star Wars too so I know I am not imagining things. I realize that Lego is not for everyone but I hate to think that girls are still getting stereotyped this way, and so are boys. I would hate for my boys to think that Legos and engineering are only for boys. It is 2014! I am so disappointed.
Yes, I have two boys, and they enjoy a lot of stereotypical "boy" things. I am also told that boys are more rambunctious and loud and constantly in motion than girls. Certainly I have seen girls who sit and play quietly for way longer than my boys typically do, but we also have girls over for play dates who absolutely match the energy and craziness of my boys!
My boys have older girl cousins who love Star Wars and Lego but they have also inherited pink "girly" toys from them that they love. The pink stroller and pink electric guitar are hot items in our house and both boys love the color purple.
I'm not saying that boys and girls are the same or that they're different. Everyone is different. My hope is that my kids grow up in an environment where every child is encouraged to pursue their own interests and build on their own strengths regardless of what gender or other stereotypes dictate.
PS I did get many encouraging responses in the Ask Moxie Facebook group about what sounds like more equal gender participation in Lego robotics camps and classes at a slightly older age. Maybe as kids get older they are making less stereotyped choices about extracurricular activities for themselves? My husband is an engineer and he said over half their summer interns this year are women.