silhouette of boy reading a book outsideHere is a strange and, when you think about it, disturbing fact about our culture: Girls are more often, and more openly, encouraged to do “boy things” than boys are to do “girl things.”

Can it be a good thing—for our personal relationships and for society—for females to grow up with an awareness of and appreciation for males, without the reverse occurring?

A few weeks ago, I was gift shopping for a boy in kindergarten and his younger sister. I bought three books with male protagonists, thinking that both of them could read and enjoy the books. I shied away from the books with female protagonists, thinking that only one of them would appreciate those.

And then I read the Washington Post article What are we teaching boys when we discourage them from reading books about girls? This article says it perfectly. It is one of the most profoundly important articles I have read this year. It’s not a long article, but every sentence is a gem. I urge you to read it.

How wrong I was in that bookstore! And I consider myself an open-minded person! Ach! I am upset with myself, but the situation is easy to rectify: I’m going to go back and buy the kids three more books—with girl protagonists.

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