Girl's Life v Boy's Life: "Do you Know When to Shut Up" vs "Jokes to impress"

Whtbout2ndbrkfst's comparison of the covers of Girl's Life and Boy's Life magazines is awfully trenchant and sad. It'd be interesting to do this as a monthly series, and gauge how recurrant this phenomenon is.

If you want to know why gender stereotypes exist, take a good look at the difference between Girl’s Life and Boy’s Life Magazines. While Boy’s Life pushes boys to get outside and explore nature, Girl’s Life tells girls they should be worrying about fashion. While Boy’s Life offers stories of Scouts they can model themselves after, Girl’s Life asks if Facebook is ruining their love life. And, my personal favorite, while Boy’s Life gives it’s readers jokes so they can be the center of attention Girl’s Life posits, “Do You Know When to Shut Up?”

Girl's Life vs Boy's Life (via Amanda Palmer)

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  1. The discrepency is sad, but it's a little like comparing apples to oranges. Boy's Life is the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America - you get a subscription as a member of the BSA. It's been in publication since 1911, and doesn't need to pander for subscriptions, or sell itself in the check-out line. Girl's Life is the product of some publishing group starting 1994 to make money - it needs to convince people to buy subscriptions or make that impulse purchase.

    From a quick search, it doesn't look to me like the Girl Scout's currently have a comparable magazine for members. If it did, that would be the ideal comparison.

    Not saying that society isn't teaching gender inequality - I recently had to have a discussion with my 4 year old daughter that yes, boys can wear pink (a topic brought on by the NFL breast cancer awareness campaign) - just that this isn't a great demonstration of it, though it would appear to be on its surface.

    EDIT: I see there was once a Girl Scout magazine, first called The Rally, then The American Girl, last published 1979. Here's some of their old covers. It involves some gender stereotyping as well, but at least I see some covers depicting archery, canoeing and swimming. Considering the time period, I suppose we could consider that fairly progressive.

    There's also covers from a more recent, unrelated magazine called American Girl; just disregard those.

  2. kpkpkp says:

    Next Comparison: Fortune vs. Soldier of Fortune

  3. I see someone flunked the quiz in that first magazine.

  4. daneel says:

    Well, you could knock me down with a feather!

  5. Sure, being told you can't dance or ask for directions has given you an intimate look at the worst harm stereotyping does to people, and that gives you all the perspective you need to assert it's not so bad to do with women or racial minorities.

    ...I guess that actually proves your point about stereotypes sometimes being based in fact, seeing as one of the Caucasian male stereotypes is being completely and obstinately blind to the different experiences of other people. I'm not sure that counts for credit, though.

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