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Girls Doodle & Boys Doodle

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Boys Doodle / Girls Doodle

Recently, while perusing the book shelves at a local bookstore, I noticed the following 2 books: The Boys’ Doodle Book and The Girls’ Doodle Book. The books were featured next to each other in seemingly a made-for-Sociological-Images set up.

The Boys’ Doodle Book features the following images on its cover: triceratops, ogre, tiger, superman, rocket, skull & crossbones, octopus, boy w/slingshot, mouse, train, kite, dragon, knight, shark, excavator, dog and a cowboy.

The Girls’ Doodle Book in comparison has a different cover color and a variety of differing images than the Boys cover including: crown, pony, castle, sun, microphone, ice cream cone, frog/prince, purse/bag, rabbit, cupcake, starfish, unicorn, fish, cat, toothpaste, dragon, ballerina and a mermaid.

I’m surprised that the Girls’ Doodle Book didn’t have a pink colored cover given the overall stereotypical and gendered nature of the doodles on the cover. Boys like fire, machines, spikes and death, while Girls like food, animals typically associated with non-violence, dancing/arts and hygiene. I’m not saying that there is anything inherently wrong with any of the doodles. What I am saying is that gender-based stereotypes are being perpetuated in overt contrast with these two books.

If you switch the doodles on each book over to the other I wonder if they would still sell?

Written by Eric Stoller

May 20th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

  • Michelle

    SIGH. Just when a mom thinks she might be feeling okay about raising a daughter. Which bookstore was this? I want to call and complain. (PLEASE tell me it’s Borders and not Grass Roots or the Book Bin!)

  • http://ericstoller.com/blog/ Eric Stoller

    It was at Borders…

  • Sarah

    Borders also has (or at least used to have) signs in the kids’ department that said “books for boys” and “books for girls”. I switched them around once, heh heh heh…

    And, what? Toothpaste? What an odd thing to doodle.

    Are the books just blank inside? Did you look?

  • Pingback: Sociological Images » What Do Boys and Girls Draw?()

  • Fred Goodwin

    Instead of vandalizing the store, why not simply boycott it?

    No one is forcing you to buy from them. And if these books are so offensive, then don’t buy them — or better yet, write your own.

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