Little Boys Shouldn't Be Anything Else

Sure, children at play--especially play supervised by adults with preconceptions--will demonstrate certain gender-specific reactions. They'll also display activity that isn't specific to any adult expectations.

My 2-year-old nephew loves his trike and his truck, but he loves his Bert and Ernie dolls too. He's every bit as ready to help me stir a cake as he is ready to help me put up shelves--because he hasn't been taught that it might be weird for a boy to bake a cake or for Auntie to use power tools.

I firmly believe we can extend this happy acceptance to big issues: equal pay, maybe, or sexual equality.

They believe what we tell them, children. And when we're gone, the world will be their toy. Wouldn't it be nice if they leaned to treat it better than we did? If we let them pick their own toys and don't judge them for the choice? Our children have a chance to make wider choices than we did. Broader, richer, better choices.

KATHLEEN BARTHOLOMEW

Los Angeles

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