A is for apple, B is for …

I rarely think much about possible gender bias against men in books, movies, or shows. The bias against women has been so lopsided, for so long, that if the needle occasionally swings the other way, I’m not going to lose any sleep about it.

Even so, this book I just bought for Evan is a bit … odd.

Yep, that’s right. I’m going to analyze a book with cardboard pages.

It’s a typical alphabet book in most ways. Animals, shapes, other basic words. C is for cat, D is for dog. O is for orange, A is for apple.

G is for girl. Makes sense. And B is for …

… balloons. Huh. Okay.

That would be slightly odd by itself. What’s especially strange is that B, like all the letters, has an additional word hidden under a flap. So the secondary B is for …

“Boy” wasn’t even in their top two.

Still, not a huge deal. What else have we got?

Q is for queen. Again, makes sense. And K is for …

K is for kite. (Under the flap, K is for kangaroo.)

Let’s keep going.

H is for hen. And R is for …

(Under the flap, R is for rabbit.)

In fact, there’s not a single item in the book that’s identified as male. The closest we get is “L is for lion,” where the picture is a male lion, judging by the mane. And I guess the kid on the cover might be a dude, I’m not really sure.

I mean, I’m not offended or anything. Even my ego, fragile though it may be, isn’t that fragile. But it does seem a little odd, doesn’t it?

Anyone else spend their time analyzing kids’ books? What have you noticed?


6 responses to “A is for apple, B is for …

  1. I have noticed that Dr. Seuss gives waaay too much credit to cats. Especially those wearing hats.

  2. Respinning it, if you see girl and think boy you are a terrible person because you are asserting a binary rather than accepting gender as fluid.

    Or, and this is more likely, they picked words for sound/spelling/picture and didn’t think about sexism.

  3. R for ROBOT? Why not Recursion? Such blatant discrimination against those of us that are mathematically/programmatically inclined. Sheesh. They could have just shown a picture of a gnu!

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