My dad got a motorcycle, my mom got a… new refrigerator?

Today I come to you with my favorite comic as a kid. I currently have twelve Calvin and Hobbes comic collections. What I love most about Calvin and Hobbes is that I laughed at it as a kid, and I’m still laughing at it now.

Below is Calvin and Hobbes’ two-member club G.R.O.S.S., or Get Rid Of Slimy girlS. Commonly used to target Susie Derkins, one of Calvin’s classmates.

The comic I came across that made me think most was this one; where the discussion of how as men and women age, the toys we play with are drastically different, both literally and figuratively:

In my personal life, my parents differ greatly in this as well. My Dad’s toys include a Harley, an ATV, a kegerator (a refrigerator made specifically with a tap on the top for beer). Now, the Harley my Mom benefits from as well, but perhaps there is a difference between driving and riding, no? When I think about my Mom’s toys, they lie along the lines of an iPod touch, perhaps a camera. She does have a lot of clothes and shoes. This makes me think of an instance when I got home after being away at school for awhile, and they had purchased a new refrigerator and freezer. Mom was so excited to show me all the new features, the shelves, the way she had organized all the frozen food, etc. My dad’s comments on the fridge was how nice it was to have an ice maker. There’s something to be said here about my Mom’s excitement over the fridge. A lot of her time is spent in and out of the fridge, fixing meals for the family, potluck dishes and baby shower dishes, etc. I can’t help but feel that the fun of toys really is taken out of the picture for women as they age. I think barreling down a highway at 80 mph with a 10000 CC engine under you is a bit more thrilling than downloading a new application to manage the finances on my iPod Touch would be. Perhaps this is just up to personal preference? But I can’t help but see these trends around all of my friends’ parents as well! Men’s toys are so active and engaging, thrilling even.

Which makes me think about the toys I have as a young woman. I have a ripstik, pretty fun and active I guess. I have my annual pass to skyline drive, so I can go hiking and camping at my leisure. I own just about every sports ball you can think of. I have my guitar, and am borrowing an electric that I haven’t picked up yet. I have a two-door sporty car. Will I drop these hobbies and toys when I get older? Is having a family going to inhibit me from occasionally engaging in the risky stuff I tend to enjoy? Does it inhibit men in the same way? My bucket list includes stuff like skydiving, backpacking through foreign countries, seeing every national park in the country. Is all of that a realistic?

I want you all to weigh in on how you feel about this…

One thought on “My dad got a motorcycle, my mom got a… new refrigerator?

  1. I think it’s a little of both individual preference and societal contructs of gender instilled from birth. Think about the toys and clothing given to boys and girls. Most “male” clothes have pictures of dinosaurs, trucks, sports, or fun sayings that allude to joking around or playing. Most “female” clothes are pink/purple, say things like “I love shopping!” or “princess”, have pictures of cute animals (horses, dogs, cats), or flowers, etc.. The media and fashion influence what society deems “female” or “male” from the second you are born. Girls are given baby dolls, kitchen sets, and toy vacuums as toys when they are young, so it logically it would make sense that the adult version of these toys would be things that a woman would find enjoyable. Same for boys and men. Now, if you were fortunate enough to have parents who bent societal norms by not buying into gendered toys and let you play with whatever you want, as an adult you’ll probably be a lot more likely to enjoy typically male or female activities and “toys.”

    As for this:
    “My bucket list includes stuff like skydiving, backpacking through foreign countries, seeing every national park in the country. Is all of that a realistic?”
    If that is what you want to do in life, nothing is stopping you. You are the only one who can make your dreams a reality. Get out there and do it! Nothing says that you have to start a family at a young age. Experience all you can now and “settle down” later if that’s what you want to do. If you don’t go after the things you want in life, what is the point?


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