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When We Were Free to BeLooking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made$
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Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780807837238

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837559_rotskoff

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Genderfication Starts Here

Genderfication Starts Here

Dispatches from My Twins' First Year

(p.137) Genderfication Starts Here
When We Were Free to Be

Deborah Siegel

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows that, forty years after the gender-equitable child-rearing anthem Free to Be … You and Me unleashed its utopian vision, well-intentioned new parents are reproducing gender stereotypes as instinctively as newborns wail. At certain moments during the surreal first year of parenthood, the author will come to believe that the sons and daughters of feminism have grown convinced of children's innate gender sensibilities, even as they take pains to surround their boys with dolls and their girls with trucks. Three decades of media stories hawking the latest in neuroscience have emphasized the nature side of the nature–nurture debate, the side that their mothers' women's movement famously upstaged. All that noise about biological determinism has to have some effect on their psyches.

Keywords:   child-rearing anthem, utopian vision, new parents, gender stereotypes, parenthood

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