Semi-new action toys have come out, and they’re pink. The color pink has become controversial in its own right, but throwing weaponry into the mix brings up a whole new set of dialogue, “Why pink? Why weapons? Should girls and boys be playing out aggression? Are weapons bad? Are pink weapons bad? Is aggression good?…” Where I live, most parents are anti-fake weapon play. The mere pointing of a stick with the added “pow-pow” nearly brings parents to tears, likely fearing this role-play is somehow indicative of their parenting and the adult their kid will grow up to be. I am not apart of this mode of thinking. Kids role-play all sorts of things, they pretend to be a dog or a turtle, and yet we don’t fear children will grow up to have be “furries” or “plushies”. Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Exclusive Golden Edge Bow by Hasbro is being talked about simply because it’s pink. Toy weaponry is old hat. The focal point of the new weaponry toys is that they’re pink. Nerf guns have been around for years, in varying blues, oranges, greens and blacks, and while Nerf guns have suffered some criticism revolving around the presumed aggression, or warfare the gun may promote, I can assure you the criticism never once revolved around the color. So why now? Why does pink, and all things typically female create such cultural upheaval? We all know the argument against pink, I’ve written about it before, i.e., “pink is bad, it upholds gender stereotyping and women’s oppression.” Or something like this. First of all, a color cannot do these things, that’s just absurd. Second of all, we shouldn’t look at something that loosely represents an idea of “female”, and chastise it, we should embrace it and change whatever negative meaning it might have held. In order to progress, and continue equality among men we need to actually think that Women are equal, and not place blame on things like pink, makeup, tight clothes, etc., to each their own. And while I don’t wear pink or know how to properly apply make-up, I also don’t think that these things in anyway represent, or are cause for women’s oppression. I urge you to think about this topic. Consider what the color pink and weaponry play means to you, and why. Read the New York Times post I linked to about the new “girl” Nerf guns, written by Hilary Stout and Elizabeth A. Harris. I’d love to see some comments about this topic!
The New York Times published some excerpts from Ron Suskind’s “Life, Animated.” This is an amazing piece about Suskind’s son Owen, who suffers from autism and how Owen found language and emotional connection through Disney. Suskind gives a new outlook, and perspective on autism.
“When Owen was 3, his comprehension of spoken words collapsed. That’s clear from every test. But now it seems that as he watched each Disney movie again and again, he was collecting and logging sounds and rhythms, multitrack. Speech, of course, has its own subtle musicality; most of us, focusing on the words and their meanings, don’t hear it. But that’s all he heard for years, words as intonation and cadence, their meanings inscrutable. It was like someone memorizing an Akira Kurosawa movie without knowing Japanese. Then it seems he was slowly learning Japanese — or, rather, spoken English — by using the exaggerated facial expressions of the animated characters, the situations they were in, the way they interacted to help define all those mysterious sounds. That’s what we start to assume; after all, that’s the way babies learn to speak. But this is slightly different because of the way he committed these vast swaths of source material, dozens of Disney movies, to memory. These are stored sounds we can now help him contextualize, with jumping, twirling, sweating, joyous expression, as we just managed with “The Jungle Book.”
There’s a reason — a good-enough reason — that each autistic person has embraced a particular interest. Find that reason, and you will find them, hiding in there, and maybe get a glimpse of their underlying capacities. In our experience, we found that showing authentic interest will help them feel dignity and impel them to show you more, complete with maps and navigational tools that may help to guide their development, their growth. Revealed capability, in turn, may lead to a better understanding of what’s possible in the lives of many people who are challenged.”
Here is an interesting article from The New York Times by Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld about race, immigration and success. They identify three embedded-not innate traits which can lead to your child’s success.
“The fact that groups rise and fall this way punctures the whole idea of ‘model minorities’ or that groups succeed because of innate, biological differences. Rather there are cultural forces at work.
It turns out that for all their diversity, the strikingly successful groups in America today share three traits that, together, propel success. The first is a superiority complex– a deep-seated belief in their exceptionality. The second appears to be the opposite– insecurity, a feeling that you or what you’ve done is not enough. The third is impulse control.”
Success happens, not by instilling only one of the three traits, all three must be present– and in America, specifically well-off white families, falsely think they can drive their child to success by constant confirmation, such as, “You’re amazing. Mommy and Daddy never want you to worry about a thing” (NYT.) Rather, success is based not solely, but partially, on some possible threat of failure, or of failing to live up to some standard prerequisite.