OK, people, you found me out–I think there are inherent differences between boys and girls. But that’s a discussion for another day.
I wonder if a lot of the debate about TDBFB can’t be divided down the lines of what sexes our children are. It seems those of us with boy children are thrilled to have something specifically for them. And, yes, my older son by now wouldn’t be interesed in something marketed to girls, and is waaaay more intrigued by something specifically for boys. (Let’s not forget that publishing is about marketing nowadays, first and foremost.) School and most social systems are geared for girls, and I love the idea that there’s a book that’s giving him permission to be a little wild, instead of telling him it’s wrong for him to want to do dangerous things.
People with girl children just want something cool and dangerous for them (including frequent commenter enu, who went to the same women’s college I did, which is how I know her). It seems to them that the title of the book is exclusionary, and they wish that their girls were being encouraged to do more dangerous things, too.
I don’t think that wanting your girls to be able to do more interesting things than sitting around playing with American Girls means there’s something wrong with having a book for boys. The problem is that the corresponding book for girls doesn’t sound like it’s going to be Dangerous. So, let’s be the change we want to see in the world. What would you put in The Dangerous Book For Girls? Here’s my list:
1. Changing a Tire
2. The Basic Etiquette of Introductions
3. Building a Solid Treehouse
4. Protecting Your Personal Space on the Subway
5. Breaking a Concrete Block with your Head
6. Spanish Phrases Every Girl Should Know
7. Driving a Manual Transmission Car
8. Walking Gracefully in High Heels
9. Maintaining Control of the Story During a Press Conference
10. Hustling Pool/Poker/Darts
11. The Basics of Digging to China in Your Backyard
12. Skateboard Jumps and Tricks
13. The Solar System
14. The Basics of Sewing and Seaming (including How to Pick Clothes that are Comfortable and Flatter Your Body Shape)
15. The US States and Canadian Provinces with Capitol Cities
16. Morse Code
17. How to Tell if a Boy is Interested in You and What to do About It
18. The Rules of Soccer
19. Baking a Flaky Piecrust
21. Defending Yourself Against Bullies of Both Sexes
22. First Aid
23. Basic IM/Text Etiquette
24. 20 Classic Books Every Girl Should Read
25. How to Solve a Mystery
Anyone else want to play?