This post will mostly consist of thought spew. Doesn’t that sound appetizing?
The stores and commercials on television are already all about Christmas and as tedious as it might seem to some of you Christmas fanatics to hear yet another Grinch complain about this – it really is disgusting. It disgusts me and it depresses me. I’m not a big shopper in the first place but obviously I am repulsed by Black Friday which has now become Black Thursday, a day I used to know as Thanksgiving.
I’m hearing a number of women on my facebook stream complaining about targeted marketing to girls – specifically with regards to color. This reminds me of the brilliant bit Elle Degeneres did on the “Bic for Her” campaign. Some women seem to think that if manufacturers didn’t make girls’ toys in pink and purple that girls wouldn’t like it – that girls are being essentially brainwashed into liking pink. I personally think that gives too much credit to manufacturers power to tell us what we like and too little credit to girls being able to decide for themselves what colors they like. I grew up in a sea of pink toys and yet I’ve never liked pink and managed not to have very much of it in my life. And it’s not like I didn’t like conventional girl toys either. I did. I was UBER-GIRLY in my love for Barbie dolls and playing dress up. But my Barbies, who were packaged liberally in sparkly pink boxes, rarely wore pink once in my hands. I believe that manufacturers make what they think girls want and if girls keep choosing pink they’ll keep piling the shelves with pink.
Mostly I think it’s a waste of time to obsess over gender targeted toy and color choices. As a parent you can offer your children more choices in toys and colors available to them and if your girl wants dolls and pink – let go. If your girl wants to wear black and play with trucks – that’s great. I gave my boy a baby doll when he was little and he banged its head against the wall for fun so I took it away. He liked weapons and trucks and trains. So what? He had a choice, he chose, and it’s okay. It doesn’t mean I’m training him up to be a chauvinist. A neighbor boy of his same age had a choice too and nurtured and loved his dolls. Totally cool.
What I’m saying is – I find it offensive to suggest that the only reason girls like pink is that they’re being brainwashed to like it. Also – while I don’t love pink – what the fuck is wrong with girls liking it?
This book came to my attention yesterday: To Train Up a Child by Michael and Debi Pearl. I’m not going to link to the book because it’s evil, instead I’m linking to the article that led me to it. Michael and Debi Pearl should be jailed for encouraging people to criminally abuse their children. Manson is in jail for getting other people to commit murders. This couple is responsible for inciting parents to whip and starve children into submission. This is an example of religion causing people to do evil instead of good. It makes me sick to my stomach.
It’s raining today and I LOVE IT. Max is loving it too. We don’t miss much about living in Oregon (besides missing our friends there) but the weather – oh man, I really miss the weather!
Max’s birthday is tomorrow and he’s turning 13. Jesus! He’s a real teen now.
Yesterday he mentioned his directed studies class (for kids with IEPs) in which they were working on making a coupon book of potential treats they could have for good behavior. Max couldn’t really think of anything and when the teacher suggested things like “How about you get to go out to eat and you get to choose the restaurant you go to?” and Max explained that he always gets to choose where we go. After a few more suggestions which Max explained weren’t treats because he already gets pretty much everything he wants he said the teacher made a comment about him maybe being spoiled. This makes us look like such bad parents.
But the truth is, we’re not a conventional family in any way. Max gets to choose where we go out as a family because there are only a few places where there’s anything he likes to eat. Going out to eat as a family should be enjoyable to all of us. So he gets to choose which of the three places that have things he’ll eat we go to. There’s something for Philip and I at each of them so we don’t really care. We’re not sacrificing anything by letting him choose. When Philip and I go out alone we go places that Max won’t go. Everything is a kind of negotiation in our family between all of our particular “special needs”.
He doesn’t get whatever he wants whenever he wants it but he doesn’t really ask for a lot of stuff. So if we can afford what he wants it’s often okay. And when we can’t afford things he’s pretty understanding. There is a lot of harmony in our family and our child is treated as an equal in many ways. When it’s important that he do as I say or that he cooperate – I don’t have to work very hard to get it because he feels respected and loved and safe in this house and he knows I don’t ask a lot of him.
But we really do look like bad parents most of the time. That’s okay. I prefer the harmony in my little family over the incredible discord and fighting that I grew up with.
Now I’m going to warn you who are still following my blog that I’m going to be flogging you with my book. I’m going to include a link to buy my book in every post at the bottom. I’m going to ask you to tell others about it and if you can think of any way I can promote it – please share your ideas. I have, in the past, completely sucked at marketing my products. But here’s the deal: I want to make a living as a novelist and I’ve got a lot of things going against me (being an unknown author and being self published are two of the biggest factors I have to overcome) so if I want to succeed I’m going to have to get good at this marketing thing. Even if it makes me exquisitely uncomfortable. This is the most important thing I’ve ever done and there is nothing I want more than making a living writing novels. So I have to really go for it. And that means I’m going to ask for your help and I’m going to plaster links to my book everywhere I possibly can. Okay?
I’m going to succeed at this.