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Phil referenced an article recently where all the girls wanted to be princesses. It reminded me of the time Charlie was in a community theatre project. He was about 6, as I recall. There were maybe 15 kids who participated, of whom only two were boys. The guy who ran it had done this sort of thing before and when we saw the performance, I was amazed, because he really let them drive the story. It wasn't a particularly interesting story, because it was just snippets of all the stories that kids are exposed to in our society, but it was fascinating to see what the kids would come up with. The girls were all princesses, except for one who was a queen and another who was an empress. Charlie was a cowboy and the other boy was a pirate. The pirate tried to capture the ship that was carrying all of the royal girls and they were defended by Charlie and eventually the pirate recognized the error of his ways and they were all friends. The kids essentially didn't say anything: they just acted out while the guy narrated for them. But the story had clearly emerged by the guy giving them free rein to be what they wanted to be. Everyone wants to be a princess? OK! Everyone can be a princess! What's wrong with that?

Over the past 10 years, there has been a huge attention to girls in the media: Miyazaki's stories all show powerful girls, Lilo & Stitch, Mulan, Kim Possible, etc, etc, etc. At times I've been a bit disappointed that girls have so much interesting new media available for them whereas there are few that show boys going much beyond traditional roles.

Moreover, they don't address the key aspect of misogyny, not against girls themselves, but against girlish behavior. People get angry when girls want traditional roles for themselves to the point where being feminine is portrayed as bad and weak. This is especially true for boys: I read a book called Whipping Girl that talks about this at great length: Almost everything about being a girl is portrayed as bad in our society. God forbid you should throw "like a girl" -- Even if you *are* a girl, but especially if you're a boy. We're closing off a whole side of human behavior and devaluing it. It's a book well worth reading.