A reader writes:
The Swedish toy catalog is a silly example, I agree, and Sommers mentions it as an example of a certain attitude than anything else. But how do you respond to schools banning certain forms of play altogether, or banning toy trucks from classrooms because boys acribe them a higher status? The point of the article isn't that these efforts will stop boys from being boys, but rather that their stereotypical "boy" behavior will be stigmatized – which is unfair and weird. Much better to focus on removing the stigma from non-conforming children as opposed to placing a new stigma on conforming children.
The thought of your grandmother saying to your mom, "Well at least you have one normal son" just about broke my heart. My son likes to wear his sisters' pink hand-me-down shirts and he's quiet and smart and sweet. He is not what most people accept as a stereotypical boy. He is who he is and he is wonderful.
(Illustration by Peter Harrison)