Thursday, April 30, 2009

I'm Glad I'm a Boy! I'm Glad I'm a Girl!

This book, I'm Glad I'm a Boy! I'm Glad I'm a Girl!, is one of the most awesomely fucked up things I've ever seen.

I guess it's really hard to get a copy, but Emily over at My blahg was able to scan the whole book.

-Click on the link to view the book in its entirety.

Here are the one's I liked the most (in a totally ass backwards sort of way):

Holy shit!

I am so glad no one ever got me a book like this growing up. My mother would have probably hurt them. (I'm not even joking. My mom is scary.)

I thought this comment at Amazon, by Silly Sister, summed it up nicely:
I was thrilled to get my hands on a copy of this very rare book so I could show my daughter the sort of attitudes that were prevalent, not only when I was a girl in the fifties and sixties, but when she was born in 1979.

In the months before I graduated from high school, we were barraged with catalogs and pamphlets and flyers in our homeroom. The boys got enticements from colleges and universities, and recruiting literature from various branches of the military. The girls got unsolicited literature from the local furniture stores showing the many styles of hope chests available, and from jewelers selling engagement rings, china and silver. I kid you not.

When the subject comes up, and I try to tell women younger than 30 about all the obstacles the women of my generation had to hurdle - obstacles both real and perceived, both external and internal, both surmountable and not - I usually get a "so-what" sort of a reaction. They just don't have any idea what we were made to believe our limits were, what our goals should be, and what were the lines we shouldn't try to cross.

The only reason you've come a long way, baby, is because the generation of women, who are now probably looking a bit like the over-the-hill-gang to you, battled it out over attitudes like the ones immortalized in this book. I'll never give up my copy - it will forever remind me of just how far we've come!

Big shout out to feministing for pointing this out.


  1. Holy crap. I can't decide if we should collect all of those books and burn them, or collect them in order to motivate women even further into realizing that those are definitely NOT worthy goals for women to pursue...point them to the left hand pages instead! I grew up thru the 70s and graduated high school in '84. Thankfully my parents never, ever even once told me that I couldn't do anything I wanted to do. I never experienced sexism at home, even though my family was a model of sexism: dad supported us, mom stayed home. But to me, that was only one option. I knew I could be a doctor or astronaut or athlete or whatever I wanted to be because I refused to be told otherwise! I'm glad my daughter doesn't have to face those kinds of sexist obstacles, nor will my sons perpetuate them!

  2. "It was amazing" because it's amazing how much our society has changed this was originally published. Perfectly stereotypical gender roles in living black-and-white-with-a-dash-of-color for the enjoyment of our impressionable children, and nobody thought twice about it. Ah, life in the 50's! Me and Adam love it ;)


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