learning about gender roles in kindergarten

Last week one of my son’s classmates informed him that girls like princesses because they are gentle, while boys like superheroes because they are tough. And gentle is better than tough, therefore princesses are better than superheroes.

My son has concluded that this girl is “only interested in girl topics.” She never even wants to talk about “true topics” (nonfiction) such as animals.

Contrast this with the girl on the playground who asked him if he wanted to play ninjas. Today he played ninjas and then “bugs” with two girls who “like boy topics – they never talk about girl things.”

I took the opportunity to explain that girls could be interested in a wide variety of things – as could boys – and reminded him that back in the day, I used to prefer playing with tractors rather than dolls. However, I think the terms “boy topics” and “girl topics” may be around for a while. Perhaps I’ll ask him what he thinks the woman on the construction crew on our street would consider “girl topics.” She’s the one we’ve been watching operate the front end loader for the past few weeks.

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