Why Boys Don T Play With Dolls By Katha Pollitt

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The essay “Why Boys Don’t Play With Dolls” by Katha Pollitt, uses examples from scientific studies and hypothetical anecdotes in order to craft her primary argument. This argument appears to be that no matter what the case, parents will send messages to their children, and that they should simply pay attention to the messages that they send. Pollitt frequents broad statements regarding gender roles throughout the piece, that may be used as an attempt to relay to the reader what they may already know about gender stereotypes. Pollitt appears to be addressing future or current parents based on the examples she uses to support her claims, as many of them are related to the ways parents may indoctrinate certain ideals upon their children.

Pollitt begins by plainly stating that even though the National Organization for Women was formed 28 years ago, “boys still like trucks and girls still like dolls” (Pollitt 1). The manner in which this introductory sentence is structured seems to simplify the importance of what children choose to play with in comparison to the issues that organizations like NOW attempt to address. This approach is unique as it lends itself to be perceived as the author poking fun at her subject matter.
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Notwithstanding, Pollitt then rejects this sentence by saying that what Barbie represents actually is important in our society, and even children are aware of this. The closing sentence is what relates this paragraph to Pollitt’s primary claim. Pollitt is stating that regardless of whether give a child a Barbie or not, children are still aware that “being sexy, thin, stylish” (Pollitt 6) is considered important. This emphasises the importance of parents paying attention to the messages they send to children, rather than trying to avoid sending any message at
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