Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 4/11/2006 6:53:24 AM EDT
This is only about 1/4 of the emails. After a while, you've really read all you can stomach.

The ParkSlope Hat Spat: Read All the Emails
READ MORE: Brooklyn, New York Magazine, e-mail, kids, park slope

20060410parkslopehat.jpg
New York mag has a cute front-of-book item today on an only-in-Park-Slope battle that recently raged on an email list for earnest and progressive parents in that earnestly progressive Brooklyn neighborhood. As Ben Mathis-Lilley explains:

A few weeks ago, a member of the Park Slope Parents e-mail forum who’d encountered a stray piece of winterwear in the neighborhood posted a notice to the group titled “Found: boy’s hat.” … ubscriber “Lisa” went public with her problems regarding the gender-specifying description of the hat. Wondering how such a categorization would feel to a spiky-hat-wearing girl, Lisa wrote, “It’s innocent little comments like this that I find the most hurtful.” A third member responded soon after, saying such political correctness drove her “up the wall,” and a heated discussion ensued. Lisa’s supporters questioned their opponents’ commitment to “the free interchange of ideas and questions” … while an opposing faction expressed facetious dismay that the original poster, who had described the hat as likely belonging to “an older child,” was not more considerate toward “younger children who happen to have large heads.” … [O]ne poster questioned the use of “hat,” asking if the object might be more sensitively labeled a “soft, porous bowl.”

It’s all pleasantly, kookily amusing, right? Not quite. In summarized form, yes, it’s amusing enough. But we had a chance to read the entire exchange — stretching on for days, with charges of political correctness and anti-political correctness, sexism and stereotyping — and we’re much less amused. The whole thing is after the jump; prepare to be intrigued, amazed, disgusted — and quite certain you could never, ever be paid enough to move out there.


Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 12:25:27 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Found: boy’s hat

Hi:

Friday, at the corner of 11th street and 8th ave, adorable navy blue or maybe black fleece hat with triangles jutting out ofit of all different colors. Sorry did not post right away.
For older child.

-Helene

===============================

Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 17:34:48 -0500
Subject: RE: Found: boy’s hat

Helene,

I’m sorry, I know that you are just trying to be helpful, but what makes this a “boy’s hat”? Did you see the boy himself loose it? Or does the hat in question possess an unmistakable scent of testosterone?

It’s innocent little comments like this that I find the most hurtful…

What does this comment imply about the girl who chooses to wear just such a hat (or something like it)? Is she doing something wrong? Is there something wrong with her?

Lisa

===============================
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 16:34:55 -0800 (PST)
Subject: RE: Found: boy’s hat

Lisa,

Its emails like yours that drive me up the wall! Is it that you have so much time on your hands that you can take the time to make such a comment. The original poster was just trying to do something nice and return a lost item to someone. If it was my hat I wouldt care if she posted it as a dogs hat found Id just be happy to get it back.

Since it was obviously not your “boys” hat then there really was no reason for you to write other that to make sure that everyone complies to your PC view of life.

What does the fact that you felt the need to post this comment say about you?

Trina

===============================
Date: Mon, 20 Mar 2006 19:44:13 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: Found: boy’s hat

Lisa,

yes, my apologies

Helene

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 09:34:14 -0500
Subject: Re: Found: boy’s hat

It’s emails which try to suppress all matter of interesting dialogue which are my pet peeve.

I appreciated Lisa’s email very much and I am glad she wrote it. I imagine it has nothing to do with some rigid standard of “PC” which led her to post her response.

I know that many people like to think they are beyond these issues and that sexism doesn’t apply to them, but truthfully it is alive and well. “Rambuctious” girls are still “punished” for the same actions which for “active” boys are not. Boys are still noted more for their math skills, even when there are girls in the same class who are equally skilled. I’ve witnessed it first hand. The emphasis on how a girl should look and dress and act is much stronger than it was when I was a kid, and frankly it’s very oppressive to a girl who doesn’t fit or want to fit “the mold.”

Lisa’s post could have led to an interesting discussion about sexism, marketing, gender neutral child-rearing (does it work?), education- how can we encourage and develop styles of playing and games which enhance girls skills and love of math and science? Why is it that society is suddenly obsessing about how boys are falling behind in reading? Are they really and is it a function of sexism that everyone cares so much about the sucess of boys when girls have been shut out of math and sciences for decades? Doesn’t it rebalance in middle school and high school when boys pick up speed and girls start dumbing down so that they can be cute for the boys? And what about puberty itself, how does that effect academic success?

I could go on and I hope I have provoked someone out there into a more interesting conversation than what to buy and where to buy it.

Abbey

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 11:51:04 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Re: Found: boy’s hat

I used the term ‘boy’s hat’ as a department store indicator to help parents identify whether it might belong to them…Is every context saturated by gender politics - even a lost hat?

Why do we all jump to conclusions about each other’s motives? Recently, I bought my three yeat old nephew pink Dora flip flops because he loved them. Did I tell him I was buying him girl shoes? No. My son Jake nurses his baby doll every night.

I agree the participants I agree the participants of great discussion are pioneers of new thinking. My eyes have been opened here. And that is good, and a start…

Helene

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 13:26:52 EST
Subject: Re: Found: boy’s hat

I can tell you this, my nephews (2-8) would not wear a girl’s hat, and they would know exactly how to discern a boy’s hat from a girl’s hat. Perhaps no buttons would’ve been pressed had the lost hat been described as a “boy’s-style” hat? Yeesh.

Karen

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 13:40:27 -0500
Subject: a little humor re: Found: boy’s hat

Helene:

I’m sorry but, HOW DO YOU KNOW it’s for an older child? What does this say about younger children who happen to have large heads? Is something wrong with them??

OK, I’ll shut up now and crawl back into my hole. :0)

Susan, mom to Aniella (3) and Ina (1)

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 13:54:27 -0500
Subject: Re: a little humor re: Found: boy’s hat

LOL. And along those lines, how do really know this is a “hat”? Doesn’t this just speak to our conventional understanding of what a “hat” really is?

I’m shutting up now too. But thanks for the laughs.

Jennifer
Mom to Andres, 15 mo

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 19:32:21 -0000
Subject: Re: Found: boy’s hat

Helene,

I think this group owes you an apology. I mean, really people. The posting was about a hat. Perhaps she used words that could’ve possibly in some context been taken to mean something more. However, do you really think she was trying to do anything except return a hat to its rightful owner? My goodness she even apologized in her posting for not posting about finding the hat right away.

It’s true what they say…. No good deed goes unpunished.

-Dave

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 15:04:00 -0800
Subject: re: lost boy’s hat and language

I feel that I need to defend Helene, even though I don’t know her. I think she made an innocent comment/observation about the style of a hat which did not deserve the kind of public scolding she received. An interesting conversation about sexism would be very interesting, but not at the expense of another member.

Thanks, Helene, for your post and kindly trying to find the hat’s owner.

Thanks,
Lisa H (Mom to Lily (who recently lost her girl/boy winter hat) and Annabelle, almost 18 months)

===============================

Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 16:33:52 -0500
Subject: RE: Re: Found: boy’s hat

Helene,

I am glad that you understood that I was simply pointing out that I found your language hurtful. I do not fault you for your post: you did not know — until I replied — which is why I did so! Thank YOU for understanding.

From the start, my parents encouraged me and my sister to do whatever we wanted (despite, and even in spite of, gender stereotypes). I chose Wall Street computer systems, and she became a master carpenter and draftsperson. Both are traditionally men’s jobs in male-dominated industries. Even at this point in our country’s history, both continue to be difficult paths for a woman to choose.

….I’ve been humming Peggy Seager’s “I’m gonna be an engineer” all day.
http://lionslair.com/Lyrics/I’m_Gonna_be_an_Engineer.html

These days, I spend a lot of my time around kids. To underscore why I was compelled to point out the impact of a subtle and innocent reference to a hat, here are some statements that I’ve had to reply to this week:

from a 2nd grader: “I can’t be President, I’m a girl” (can’t she?)

from a 5th grader: “MS51 is where the smart kids go.”
(and those who don’t go there aren’t smart?)

from a kindergarten kid:
“Are you a man?” “No” “…but you have short hair”
(this one is interesting, because there are so many women with short hair in our community, and I don’t know any man who would wear his hair as I do! This kid is clearly struggling to make sense of a newly-learned stereotype)

They learn these labels and stereotypes from the everyday language used in our community. Yes, even in an innocent post about a lost hat.

Lisa

===============================

www.gawker.com/news/park-slope/the-park-slope-hat-spat-read-all-the-emails-166214.php
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 6:56:37 AM EDT
"Lisa" needs to step outside to the real world once in a while.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 6:57:45 AM EDT
Idiots. Why don't they argue about something productive, like how many magazines you need, or whether Colt is better than Bushmaster?

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:02:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Idiots. Why don't they argue about something productive, like how many magazines you need, or whether Colt is better than Bushmaster?




Or 9mm and .45 ACP: which is the better round for self-defense?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:05:56 AM EDT

It’s emails which try to suppress all matter of interesting dialogue which are my pet peeve.

I appreciated Lisa’s email very much and I am glad she wrote it. I imagine it has nothing to do with some rigid standard of “PC” which led her to post her response.

I know that many people like to think they are beyond these issues and that sexism doesn’t apply to them, but truthfully it is alive and well. “Rambuctious” girls are still “punished” for the same actions which for “active” boys are not. Boys are still noted more for their math skills, even when there are girls in the same class who are equally skilled. I’ve witnessed it first hand. The emphasis on how a girl should look and dress and act is much stronger than it was when I was a kid, and frankly it’s very oppressive to a girl who doesn’t fit or want to fit “the mold.”

Lisa’s post could have led to an interesting discussion about sexism, marketing, gender neutral child-rearing (does it work?), education- how can we encourage and develop styles of playing and games which enhance girls skills and love of math and science? Why is it that society is suddenly obsessing about how boys are falling behind in reading? Are they really and is it a function of sexism that everyone cares so much about the sucess of boys when girls have been shut out of math and sciences for decades? Doesn’t it rebalance in middle school and high school when boys pick up speed and girls start dumbing down so that they can be cute for the boys? And what about puberty itself, how does that effect academic success?

I could go on and I hope I have provoked someone out there into a more interesting conversation than what to buy and where to buy it.

Abbey



Ah, one of those people who use a lot of words to say absolutely nothing...

Can you imagine being married to her?

How stupid. "Lisa" needs a slap.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:06:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Helene:

Why do we all jump to conclusions about each other’s motives? Recently, I bought my three yeat old nephew pink Dora flip flops because he loved them. Did I tell him I was buying him girl shoes? No. My son Jake nurses his baby doll every night.



This kid is going to wind up having a sex change.


Originally Posted By Susan:

I’m sorry but, HOW DO YOU KNOW it’s for an older child? What does this say about younger children who happen to have large heads? Is something wrong with them??





You can't make this shit up!

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:07:41 AM EDT
If I lived around a lot of people like that, I would kill myself.

You wanna know what hell is like? It is having to listen to people who are that *BLEEEP*ing stupid open their mouths and belch forth idiocy so foul that it HAS to be the work of Satan himself.

IT'S A *BLEEEEEEEEEEP*ING HAT YOU DUMB *BLEEEEEEEP*ING *BLEEEEEP*ERS!!!

GET THE *BLEEEEEEEEP* OVER IT BEFORE I RAM A STICK UP YOUR *BLEEEEEEP* AND MAKE YOU MY OWN PERSONAL PUPPET.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:10:09 AM EDT
unfrikkinbelievable....
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:10:09 AM EDT

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
This kid is going to wind up having a sex change.



I was never inclined to "nurse" things when I was a little tike. Perhaps that is because my parents weren't PC morons....

Ten bucks says that these kids already have a therapist on speed dial, because mommy and daddy are too *BLEEEEEEP*ed up to actually raise a child to have even a slight chance of being anything remotely like a man.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:10:51 AM EDT
All of them need jobs ASAP. They have WAAYYYY to much time on their hands.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:12:47 AM EDT


They learn these labels and stereotypes from the everyday language used in our community. Yes, even in an innocent post about a lost hat.



This is the kind of person you should be allowed to slap legally.

Liberalism.....You can be morally superior without being moral!

I think I am going to go throw up now.

Cripes.

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:15:11 AM EDT

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
This kid is going to wind up having a sex change.



I was never inclined to "nurse" things when I was a little tike. Perhaps that is because my parents weren't PC morons....

Ten bucks says that these kids already have a therapist on speed dial, because mommy and daddy are too *BLEEEEEEP*ed up to actually raise a child to have even a slight chance of being anything remotely like a man.



My parents gave me a doll when I was little, which I proptly declared had super powers and forced my mother to make a cape for him. What the hell kind of boy would attempt to nurse it?

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:15:57 AM EDT
This is a great slice of why America is circling the bowl.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:16:29 AM EDT

Originally Posted By happycynic:

Originally Posted By John_Wayne777:

Originally Posted By motown_steve:
This kid is going to wind up having a sex change.



I was never inclined to "nurse" things when I was a little tike. Perhaps that is because my parents weren't PC morons....

Ten bucks says that these kids already have a therapist on speed dial, because mommy and daddy are too *BLEEEEEEP*ed up to actually raise a child to have even a slight chance of being anything remotely like a man.



My parents gave me a doll when I was little, which I proptly declared had super powers and forced my mother to make a cape for him. What the hell kind of boy would attempt to nurse it?




A boy who wants to grow up to be just like Mommy.

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:20:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:22:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 7:29:51 AM EDT by TheLibertarianMind]




How is this for PC?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:25:52 AM EDT
My head hurts after reading that drivel. What a bunch of maroons.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:28:08 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/11/2006 7:29:17 AM EDT by Alien]
I think the lady talking about the big headed kid and the other lady talking about how can we really say it is even a hat were being humorous. Look at the titles of their e-mails.

I'm going to go nurse my Alien Warrior doll from my Alien Queen doll now, or maybe I'll just nurse it from me. If I was at home I could take a picture!
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:35:10 AM EDT
Hmmm, let's see.....a group of people spending days online arguing over "semantics".....does that sound familiar to anyone??


Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:39:50 AM EDT

Why do we all jump to conclusions about each other’s motives? Recently, I bought my three yeat old nephew pink Dora flip flops because he loved them. Did I tell him I was buying him girl shoes? No. My son Jake nurses his baby doll every night.


"Helene" is fucking up her kids, and the dads are just as bad for allowing it. What if the hat was a pink fluffy one? Would they have said it was sexist to call it a girl's hat?

Which brings us to this: what exactly IS "sexist"... Maybe it's no longer a PC term as originally used by the Feminazis. Maybe it more closely means "A person with rational regard to the obvious differences between the male and female genders as God intended." Sexist is a GOOD thing.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:40:23 AM EDT
I used to live in Park Slope, AND I belonged to the Park Slope Parents email list.

Those people are crazy.
And (bit of trivia) most of them are lesbians.
Park Slope has the most lesbians of any neighborhood on the planet.

No, not the hot kind, either.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:44:39 AM EDT
I read this crap, look at our country and think...where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:44:42 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hellhound:
Hmmm, let's see.....a group of people spending days online arguing over "semantics".....does that sound familiar to anyone??





Hu­h...?!!!




"Jane you ignorant slut, it's a FLASH SUPPRESSOR not a FLASH HIDER...!"




Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:45:12 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hellhound:
Hmmm, let's see.....a group of people spending days online arguing over "semantics".....does that sound familiar to anyone??






Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:46:28 AM EDT

From the start, my parents encouraged me and my sister to do whatever we wanted (despite, and even in spite of, gender stereotypes). I chose Wall Street computer systems, and she became a master carpenter and draftsperson. Both are traditionally men’s jobs in male-dominated industries. Even at this point in our country’s history, both continue to be difficult paths for a woman to choose.
Lisa


Just an attention whore. Her whole reason behind her emails was just to tell everyone how "great" she is.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:47:42 AM EDT
Solution, everyone wears green unisex jumpsuits, one size fits all.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:49:52 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Chaingun:
Solution, everyone wears green unisex jumpsuits, one size fits all.




Why they gotta be green??!!

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:51:35 AM EDT
i object to this whole thread, how do you know they were mothers?? and i think the use of "email" in the subject line was very discriminating to other forms of online communication!
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:51:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Hellhound:

Originally Posted By Chaingun:
Solution, everyone wears green unisex jumpsuits, one size fits all.




Why they gotta be green??!!




What about people with only one leg? Why do you have to be so cruel and callous towards our unipedal-Americans?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 7:56:21 AM EDT
I say wall that neighborhood off and flood it. Then go around with a boat and say "We're here to save the women and children".


Then that stupid c*** would end up drowning.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 8:01:12 AM EDT

The emphasis on how a girl should look and dress and act is much stronger than it was when I was a kid


Somehow I doubt the veracity of that author's statement. Either that or this woman grew up on the moon.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 8:02:53 AM EDT
God, that makes my head hurt!

Those women need to stop being "liberally educated soccer moms with degrees" and just fuck the mailman, make a cake, or something; they've obviously got too much time on their hands.

And this is why we've got such rampant liberalism in this country... we let women work and vote, and then we've got college-educated women at home with an internet connection and nothing to do but be politically active.

(Yes, I know that's not true for all women, but by and large, women are the "bleeding hearts" and demonize anyone that's not PC. The only PC males I've met who can't be swayed are gay. On the other hand, most women seem to be PC/liberal.)
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 8:15:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By raven:

Originally Posted By happycynic:
Idiots. Why don't they argue about something productive, like how many magazines you need, or whether Colt is better than Bushmaster?




Or 9mm and .45 ACP: which is the better round for self-defense?



how cares? .357 magnum and 10mm auto own them both!
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 8:15:22 AM EDT
These bitches are the very reason why our country is about to see "interesting" times.

Frigg'n Sheep.

Link Posted: 4/11/2006 9:52:26 AM EDT
You can take a bunch of little kids and give them all little dolls. Or action figure.

The girls will sit them around and have tea.

The boys will line them up like little green army men and shoot them.

Even at very early ages PC attempts to be "unisexual" fail.

And the lady whose 3 yr old boy nurses the doll... damn, buy him some GI Joes and Hot Wheels.
Top Top