13 February 2009

We don't need your education

I'm not a breeder; I'm the "cool aunt." Well, I think I'm cool - I still roughhouse with the nieces & nephews, I'm tattooed, and I'm the one who got first-born nephew, at age two, to say, "Piss off, mommy!" His mommy, referred to here as "Sister Christian" has four boys and one girl, ranging from 1 to 17 years. My other sis', "Sister Hippy" has a pre-teen daughter, Hippy Jr. This brief background to explain how I learned of "All Things Girl," a workbook series for "tweens" and their moms, written by some probably very nice Catholic ladies who are into fashion, media, and indoctrinating the next generation. They also have a companion book for boys, "All Things Guy." Sister Christian tho't Hippy Jr. would like "All Things Girl," and Sister Hippy forwarded the link to me.

There are so many things I could point to and laugh in the series, it would take me longer than I want to spend on this, plus I'm typing on the non-ergo keyboard, don't have the wrists or patience to do a complete examination. But I did take screen shots to aid in the "Girls" vs "Guys" comparison.

The titles in the "All Things Girls" series include "Friends, Boys and Getting Along", "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, What is Beauty After All?" "Girls Rock", "Mind Your Manners", and "Modern and Modest." The single boys' title they have so far is "All Things Guy, A Guide to Becoming a Man that Matters". Do you see where I might be going with this?

The good stuff is in the book descriptions. Each book in the girls' series has (from the website):
  • An Introduction to the Dignity of the Person
  • A Media Chapter by Catholic Author and Media Specialist, Teresa Tomeo
  • A Virtue Expanded and Explained with Practical tips on how to Live it
  • A Plan of Life to help Girls Incorporate Prayer into their Daily Lives
  • An Examination of Conscience unique to the Virtue in the book
  • A Saint Story called “A Girl Like Me”
  • Quizzes, Games, Recipes, Crafts
The "Girls" description:

Beauty, prayer, craft projects, virtue. That's what little girls are made of. Oh, and learning not to be mean to your friends.

And for boys:

This "talks to boys in their own language" about the body, prayer, and even "Boys in the Kitchen" - can't tell if that's encouraging them to cook or to clean up after the girls (recipes are featured in the girls' books). As the title says, theirs is a guide to becoming a "man that matters." But "Basic Combat Training" - where does that come into a pre-teen boys life, outside X-box games? How come the girls don't get that? Although I suspect that if they had included such a section for girls, it would have been called "self-defense for virtue maintenance."

So the girls are learning to be beautiful, virtuous, modest, mannerly and faithful... girls. The boys are learning to be MEN, men that MATTER. And possibly cook. AND they get to kick ass.

My parents raised five kids: three girls and two boys; I'm the oldest. As adults, we run the spectrum from atheist (me), to Catholic anarcho-pacifist/anti-nuke activist (middle brother/oldest boy) to S.C. the baby sister. Besides a devout Catholic upbringing, my parents did teach us to be thoughtful, to have and act on our convictions. That foundation led me to conclude their [all] religion was a bunch of crap, while S.C. became a fundamentalist Catholic. Go figure.

Wonder S.C.'s five kids are gonna turn out like. They are really good kids, so far. We'll see what happens when the oldest goes off to college next year. To a "faithful" Catholic school, of course - Notre Dame's not Catholic enough. She's given them the same religious structure we were brought up with, and then some - they're all getting home schooled, whereas we just attended parochial school up to high school.

I have an idea - at least I'm hoping - that S.C.'s only girl will not be all holy sugar-spice niceness. Born smack in the middle of four brothers, she's a toughie in a pink dress and stands up to the boys. She may be a sweet little Catholic girl who loves her girlie clothes and toys, but she can already KICK ASS.

Oh, and in case you're curious about Sister Hippy's reception of this crazy link, I'll quote her:
Think I should write back and say thanks, but no thanks since I just gave the kid a planned parenthood platinum card? ;-)

I love Sister Hippy - she funny, funny, girl.

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