- Before you read Pollitt’s essay, comment on “why boys would not play with dolls”.
- After you read Pollitt’s essay and identify her perspective about why boys don’t play with dolls, discuss to what extent and in what ways your argument matches Katha Politt’s argument.
- Identify where Pollitt locates her thesis in her essay and comment on why she has chosen to do so.
- Explain Katha Pollitt’s opinion of “theories of innate differences” in boys’ and girls’ behavior. Do you agree with her? Why? Why not?
- What does Pollitt mean when she writes “[feminism] has hardly turned America into a playground free of sex roles?
- Identify Katha Pollitt’s opinion of current feminists and explain the reasons for her opinion.
- According to Pollitt, “With sex roles, as in every area of life, people aspire to what is possible, and conform to what is necessary”. Discuss the reason(s) for such conformity.
- Why does Pollitt say that “feminism fits our children’s future”? Do you agree with her? Why? Why not?
- Suggested Essay Topic: Do you think “Barbie” is a figure of subordination or a figure of empowerment? Discuss. (Suggested reading: Sandra Cisneros’s Barbie-Q: A Subversive or Hegemonic Popular Text? by Leticia I. Romo, Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, 2005, Vol. 24, p127-137)Suggested Short Story: “Barbie-Q” by Sandra Cisneros
© Ali Nihat Eken, Istanbul, June 2010