Monday, June 8, 2015

It's Time to Stop Categorizing Books by Gender!

I love reading lists.  I have a whole board on pintrest devoted to them, and I follow bloggers who frequently post them.  Reading lists are great!  However, there is one thing that absolutely drives me nuts about book lists.  Especially the ones for kids.  So often they are grouped in to "Books for Boys"and "Books for Girls." Why do people feel like they have to categorize literature by gender?  We shouldn't limit our kids like that.  They should be able to read whatever they damn well please without worrying about whether it's a girl book or a boy book.

Here is an example of what I mean.  Often times lists will look something like this.

Books for kids in Kindergarten and Under

Fancy Nancy
Angelina Ballerina
Ladybug Girl
Amelia Bedelia
The Paper Bag Princess

No David!
Cars, Trucks, and Things that Go!
Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site.
Freight Train
How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight

Chapter Books for Young Kids

The Secret Garden
Little House on the Prairie
American Girl Books
Ramona Books
Ella Enchanted

The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Tale of Despereaux
Call it Courage
Encyclopedia Brown

GAH!!!  It's so infuriating!  I don't want to have to defend myself for checking out books like Fancy Nancy and Ella the Elephant for my son.  I don't want him to feel judged for reading A Little Princess in elementary school.  I want him to live in a world where he can proudly read Anne of Green Gables, Little Women, or Jane Eyre without fear of being called a sissy.

There is no such thing as "Girl Books" and "Boy Books."  There are only books. If we raise our kids to think likewise a whole new world of possibilities opens up, and the world will be a better place.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this!! This stereotypical categorization of books really rubs me the wrong way as well. My girls love reading about princesses and baby animals, but they're equally passionate about dinosaurs and slimy bugs. In my opinion the greatest children's books are those that appeal to children regardless of gender, just look at Astrid Lindgren's books, for example.