My store got two books in today. Both survival guides. Both feature strong images on the front. Promising survival techniques for ‘boys only’ and ‘girls only’. Let’s look at the boys, shall we?
How to Survive Anything: Boys Only!
Featuring articles such as “How to Survive a Shark Attack”, “How to Survive if You’re in a Plane Crash”, “How to Survive a Flash Flood”, and many articles along that line. Some are silly, like surviving a t-rex attack, some are more helpful for a real life emergency, like a freak blizzard white out. Everything is action packed, life or death situations. High energy! Boys do dangerous things! Rawr! Go GO GO!
It’s mostly funny, but hey, some things, like surviving a snake bite might come in handy.
Now lets look at the girls, shall we?
How to Survive Anything: Girls Only!
Look at that girl on the cover! She is on the go! She is doing action packed stuff! She is rough and tumble! Let’s look at what she needs to learn to survive.
“How to Survive a BFF Fight”, “How to Take the Perfect School Photo”, “How to Handle Sudden Stardom”, “How to Turn a No into a Yes" (I guess I should be thankful that’s in the girls’ book, it’s just slightly less rapey if it were in the boys’ book). Of course there is such insight as "How to Survive a Crush" and "How to Survive a Fashion Disaster”.
Yes, just about everything in the girls’ book is about looking pretty, getting dates, looking pretty, looking pretty, and looking pretty.
The ONE and only ONE redeeming factor for the girls’ book was “How to Beat Bullies”. The advice there is pretty standard, but at least it is addressed.
The Lesson Here?
Boys are meant to have adventures, girls are meant to shut up and look pretty. The two shall never, ever meet.
Scholastic should hang their heads in some pretty weighty shame right now.