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Katha Pollitt's Essay on Why Don't Boys Play with Dolls; a Study of Gender Inclinations of Children

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Katha Pollitt's Essay on Why Don't Boys Play with Dolls; a Study of Gender Inclinations of Children essay

In Katha Pollitt’s essay, “ Why Don’t Boys Play with Dolls”, she responds to the scientific research on boys and girls distinct preferences by explaining how children are constantly filled with messages on their gender role. She directs her work to all educators and parents to help them understand the impact they have on their children’s gender inclinations.

Pollitt begins her essay by stating how we are told gender preferences are derived by genes, not societal factors, and how feminism has not completely changed sex roles among children.. She counteracts these two statements by explaining how we do not need science to understand the differences between both sexes and how feminism has only helped to an extent. Additionally, she explains how the way adults treat their children serves as proof to how incomplete the feminist revolution really is.

The author recalls a birthday party where a mother apologizes to the birthday girl’s mother for giving her daughter a Barbie doll as gift. She explains the importance of this apology by linking it to women’s concern for their physical appearance. The looks of a woman matter a lot in society and the Barbie doll represents an unreal depiction of the female body. The essay then introduces the idea that feminist mothers depict comical lack of interest for their son’s sport activities,yet never discourage them from participating. Pollitt explains how feminist mothers do not go against their own morals and associate sports as to be masculine characteristic in males.

The narrator adds to how culture never blames parents for any misstep on behalf of their child. Pollitt introduces the paradox of the world of hierarchical sex roles is passing away and the following of stereotypical gender norms are coming to an end. The author explains how the average amount of applicants to nursing school is now about balanced between both genders. Pollitt declares how for every kid following a stereotype, there’s another breaking it or one doing both. The essay concludes by stating how adults in general, unconsciously or consciously, implement their own “agenda”on their children by frequently delivering messages on masculinity or femininity.

All throughout the article, the Politt implements the use of rhetorical devices to help deliver her argument. The author uses ethos when she introduces her experience with the Barbie gift at a party. This personal anecdote establishes credibility to support her argument on the overwhelming gender messages children constantly receive. The author reminiscing on this event is used to convince the reader by a first hand experience. Pollitt uses this recollection to also appeal to our emotions by expanding on the apology the mom gives the birthday girl’s mother. She uses pathos to emphasize how the mother is apologizing for the Barbie doll, which follows the gender norms set by society. This causes the intended audience to feel guilty for giving sexist gifts and understand the implications they have on children. The implementation of these two rhetorical devices play a key role in unveiling and supporting the author’s main claim.

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Katha Pollitt’s Essay On Why Don’t Boys Play With Dolls; A Study Of Gender Inclinations Of Children. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/katha-pollitts-essay-on-why-dont-boys-play-with-dolls-a-study-of-gender-inclinations-of-children/
“Katha Pollitt’s Essay On Why Don’t Boys Play With Dolls; A Study Of Gender Inclinations Of Children.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/katha-pollitts-essay-on-why-dont-boys-play-with-dolls-a-study-of-gender-inclinations-of-children/
Katha Pollitt’s Essay On Why Don’t Boys Play With Dolls; A Study Of Gender Inclinations Of Children. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/katha-pollitts-essay-on-why-dont-boys-play-with-dolls-a-study-of-gender-inclinations-of-children/> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
Katha Pollitt’s Essay On Why Don’t Boys Play With Dolls; A Study Of Gender Inclinations Of Children [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2019 Mar 12 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/katha-pollitts-essay-on-why-dont-boys-play-with-dolls-a-study-of-gender-inclinations-of-children/
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