Thursday, July 16, 2009

Miss Information is annoyed by androgyny

Annie Lennox, Boy George, David Bowie...Miss Information used to think androgyny was cool. Although she has always been too voluptuous to pull it off successfully herself, she has worn her grandfather's tuxedo jacket on occasion.

Well, she's not finding the gender bending thing quite so amusing this summer. Once again it is Force Your Child to Read season at the library. Miss Information has always observed these activities from a safe distance but the "not being good with children" excuse is not getting her out of it this year. Stupid nice neighbourhood branch.

The process is as follows. Child comes in. Those who aren't put off by Miss Information's scowl stammer out a request to join the FYCtR club. This is where it gets complicated. It is necessary for Miss Information to hand out a colour coded sheet based on the child's gender. Which is not always obvious. Miss Information attempts to use her librariany wiles to figure it out. Hair? Shoulder length. Clothes? T-shirts, shorts. Shoes? Crocs--orange Crocs. Damn gender neutral apparel industry. Voice? Soprano, squeaky. In desperation she asks the child's name--which is inevitably "Sam". Miss Information tries to work her face muscles into something resembling "pleasant" and gives out a blue sheet.

The library is going to have way more boys registered this year.

(Also, pink and blue registration forms???? Miss Information is so enjoying her time in the 1950s.)


At 7:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha! Pink and blue registration forms? Welcome to the twenty-first century. Let's leave our gender binary at the door, shall we?

At 10:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's a tough situation, one way to get around it might be to put a small stack of both sheets on the counter and say something like "You need to take one of these, pink is the girls and blue is the boys." so that way they can choose & you don't have to make the call. I dunno what to do about ones who want to classify themselves in some other category though, if there are any. Who knows, probably more trouble than it's worth.

I love the blog though btw. I've got aspirations of librarianship myself & it's great to have the chance to get a peek into that world.

At 1:28 AM, Blogger Mab said...

Hold them out and say "which one would you like?". Small children generally are gender-focussed enough to know which one to pick and if not the parent will intervene. Scary stuff, having to gender stereotype!

At 7:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does it matter to your administrators whether the reader is a girl or boy? Our entry forms are a pleasing, gender-neutral pale green.

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Ask are they a boy or a girl. They ask if they are sure. Get's them every time.

At 10:04 AM, Blogger skoog said...

This librarian is annoyed by folks insisting on gender-specific clothing, and the "why can't they just pick one" mentality. True, it can be awkward at times sizing folks up, but trans and genderqueer kids will turn up at all of our libraries, in increasing numbers. It's our job to be respectful. And for the sake of all genders, ditch the silly pink and blue.

At 11:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are you serious? How about you let the kids choose the color of their registration form rather than promoting antiquated ideas about gender.


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