What we need is more moxie!

I took my daughter to fast food a few weeks back for lunch and to let her play in their play area.  She had a blast in the play area, and we both enjoyed the father/daughter time.  She even got a Moxie girlz™ purse with her kids meal (image at toyalert.blogspot):

For those not already familiar with moxie girlz, it is pretty much the standard mix of girlpower, be true to yourself, and hair and makeup you would see anywhere else.   This message to girls certainly predates my time, but it does seem that they have upped the volume over the years.  Here is a portion of their wisdom for girls from the home page:

Every girl has the strength to do something amazing.  Anything is possible as long as you stay true to yourself & never give up on your dreams!

Their trademark is:

be true! * be you!™

You have to love traditional girl role toys packaged with feminist slogans.  You can click here to read more about each of the moxie girl characters.  Each one aspires to be just ambitious enough to say she had a career, without crossing over into anything traditionally masculine or which would require math or science skills.  They are playful, silly, creative, sporty, and love to dance, and we learn why each one is loved by her friends.

The boys who had kids meals also received a toy, but without any slogans telling them how amazing they are or exhorting them to be true to themselves.  Their toys were pro wrestlers.

It is pretty funny when you think about it, because you could probably go back to any point in human history and find little boys playing as warriors and little girls playing with purses and dolls.

Feminists have to be pulling out their hair saying why aren’t the slogans working?  We must need more moxie!

Resident feminist Doomed Harlot even attributed mothers who feed their kids to predators to a lack of feminist moxie:

I used to prosecute criminal cases so I have personally interacted with women who have sided with their pedophile boyfriends over their own victimized daughters. It’s not a phenomenon I can pretend to understand. I attribute it to (1) denial based on fear of being without a man and (2) internalized misogyny and the resulting ambivalent feelings about their own daughters.

I’m not sure more moxie was what was missing.  What if those mothers were just being true to themselves?

Some would likely claim that teaching girls moxie is strictly a new phenomenon, and girls will turn into boys in just one or two more generations.  But this isn’t true.  Amelia Earhart’s mother was raising her daughter with moxie over 100 years ago:

Their upbringing was unconventional since Amy Earhart did not believe in molding her children into “nice little girls.”

Much like today, the stress for girls was on attitude over actual competence.  In Earhart’s case it payed off quite well.  After her accomplishment of riding in a plane while two men flew it across the Atlantic, she went on a lengthy lecture tour and wrote a book.  I haven’t read the book but I’m assuming she included recipes of the snacks she served the pilots during the flight.

Earhart certainly had the moxie to fly the state of the art Lockheed Electra purchased for her by Perdue University, but by many accounts she lacked the skill.  Moxy alone won’t pilot a plane around the world.  Moxie without the skill to back it up will get you killed.

Given how long we have been raising girls on a steady diet of moxie, why haven’t they turned into boys? I would suggest teaching girls actual skills and real values instead of focusing on self esteem and self centeredness.  Psychologist Dr. Roy Baumeister offers another explanation in his lecture Is There Anything Good About Men?:

For women throughout history (and prehistory), the odds of reproducing have been pretty good. Later in this talk we will ponder things like, why was it so rare for a hundred women to get together and build a ship and sail off to explore unknown regions, whereas men have fairly regularly done such things? But taking chances like that would be stupid, from the perspective of a biological organism seeking to reproduce. They might drown or be killed by savages or catch a disease. For women, the optimal thing to do is go along with the crowd, be nice, play it safe. The odds are good that men will come along and offer sex and you’ll be able to have babies. All that matters is choosing the best offer. We’re descended from women who played it safe.

For men, the outlook was radically different. If you go along with the crowd and play it safe, the odds are you won’t have children. Most men who ever lived did not have descendants who are alive today. Their lines were dead ends. Hence it was necessary to take chances, try new things, be creative, explore other possibilities. Sailing off into the unknown may be risky, and you might drown or be killed or whatever, but then again if you stay home you won’t reproduce anyway. We’re most descended from the type of men who made the risky voyage and managed to come back rich. In that case he would finally get a good chance to pass on his genes. We’re descended from men who took chances (and were lucky).

The huge difference in reproductive success very likely contributed to some personality differences, because different traits pointed the way to success. Women did best by minimizing risks, whereas the successful men were the ones who took chances. Ambition and competitive striving probably mattered more to male success (measured in offspring) than female. Creativity was probably more necessary, to help the individual man stand out in some way.

Interestingly this model fits pretty well when we compare the Earhart girls and Charles Lindbergh.  While Amelia died trying to fly around the world before she had any children, her sister Grace lived to the age of 98 and had 2 children and 7 grandchildren.  Charles Lindbergh had a total of 8 surviving children (not counting the kidnapped baby), including 3 children from his German mistress.  I haven’t seen a full count of his descendants, but as of 1969 he had 9 grandchildren.

Earhart photo details available on Wiki Commons.

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This entry was posted in Aging Feminists, Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Fatherhood, Feminists, Moxie. Bookmark the permalink.

48 Responses to What we need is more moxie!

  1. OhioStater says:

    Can’t vs won’t is an interesting framework, a pretty cool prism for looking at gender differences.

    Roissy had a post, “Gender Differences in Book Dedications”, which reported men book writers said nicer things about their spouses than female book writers, loosely implying the men are happy with their marriage whereas the women are unhappy.

    My response was there is a “selection bias” and that women happy with their spouses, most likely stay-at home moms traditionally married to alpha males, aren’t holed up in lab at 4 in the morning accumulating data for a scientific journal.

  2. Lushfun says:

    Toy brainwashing coming near you, accept the fluf and enjoy the self gratifying ride until the roller coaster dips below and falls upon some turbulence caused by rail of reality.

  3. Snark says:

    “After her accomplishment of riding in a plane while two men flew it across the Atlantic, she went on a lengthy lecture tour and wrote a book. I haven’t read the book but I’m assuming she included recipes of the snacks she served the pilots during the flight.”

    This is why I read this blog.

  4. Lovekraft says:

    follows nicely the premise that socialists/feminists are adamant about destroying the traditional family structure, with a central tenet being to separate humankind from God by elevating the superficial.

  5. Tarl says:

    The girls get feminist sluts, and the boys get a muscular thug with no neck.

    What great role models our kids should aspire to. Thanks, corporate America!

    If they gave those to my kids, they would be tossed in the trash with a scathing comment.

  6. Lushfun says:

    What is especially insipid is now all of these corporate gians aspire to create little “youth” followers for their “initiatives”, ergo a boyscout/girlscout corporate sponsorship to little believers of the great and wonderful corp xyz. Its similar to a historical identity building of the public school which molds the citizenry to support a formed opinion here its the same.

  7. ElectricAngel says:

    “Every girl has the strength to do something amazing.” So reads the toy.

    It’s also true. To whit: give birth. But I’m guessing that’s not what they mean, and I am sure it’s not mentioned anywhere.

    As to feminists tearing their hair out over this stuff, I think the marketers of these toys know that there are not too many offspring of feminists versus non-harridan women.

  8. jack says:

    Moxie you can step in.

  9. Gorbachev says:

    Yeah, the marketers don’t need to worry. The feminists don’t have children. Not a concern.

    If I have sons, I intend to make sure they understand the nature of the women they’re going to be dating and that they get huge amounts of encouragement.

    The world is there for the taking. Take it, and don’t be embarrassed about it. And never apologize for it.

    Women: be nice to them, but remember, they’re just children. You grow up; they never really do.

  10. knepper says:

    Coming to a MickyDs near you…Repro Girls, with the moxie to resist social trends and be happy with a husband and children rather than chase selfish dreams that they were not designed for. Imagine the courage of these true action figures–able to resist attempted brainwashing, and feminazi propaganda and be happy at home, the way God designed them, truly active with the activity that matters–raising the next generation. Oh well, I guess that would belong in the fantasy genre.

  11. OhioStater says:

    I just realized this is the foundation for game. If you can combine a healthy solvent look without an overly ambitious vibe then it’s clear you’ve already come back from the journey, from the far-away exploit, a winner!

    Your behavior pre-selects you.

    Maybe one reason our society, or any other western Empire I can think of, is foundering is an increasing number men are acting like winners rather than going out and winning.

  12. Deansdale says:

    OT
    Why do you keep leaving the H out of Lockheed?

    [D: Thanks! I think I fixed them all in both posts now.]

  13. Dalrock says:

    @Snark
    This is why I read this blog.

    Haha. Thanks. It is a large part of why I write it as well. If I couldn’t have fun with I wouldn’t do it.

  14. Dalrock says:

    @ElectricAngel
    As to feminists tearing their hair out over this stuff, I think the marketers of these toys know that there are not too many offspring of feminists versus non-harridan women.

    I think it is true that (on average) the more feminist a woman is the fewer children she will have. But I think we see a large number of women trying to mix both worlds and coming up with the worst of both. They are all attitude but largely living traditional lives. The toys are aimed more at the mothers than anyone else, and therefore this is what they embody. If the moms didn’t like these, they wouldn’t sell.

  15. The simple reason they stress how girls can do amazing things and be anything, is because people suspect that they cannot. It is what Paul Fussell calls “unlikely assertion”. We all know what men are capable of, but women are a less certain proposition. Hence the need to make assertions.

  16. jack says:

    The Lockheed brothers’ Americanized the spelling of their name.
    Originally it was Loughead. This spelling was prone to an unflattering mispronunciation.

  17. @Electric Angel:

    It’s also true. To whit: give birth. But I’m guessing that’s not what they mean, and I am sure it’s not mentioned anywhere.

    As to feminists tearing their hair out over this stuff, I think the marketers of these toys know that there are not too many offspring of feminists versus non-harridan women.

    Good comment. Until very recently, I would’ve fully agreed with the second part about feminists not reproducing. Enter Sarah Palin; unquestionably a hard-core feminist by her own admission, but with just as many kids as I have (5). I know she’s pro-life, but any similarity to a traditional woman ends there.

  18. I commented before seeing Dalrock’s reply to EA here:

    But I think we see a large number of women trying to mix both worlds and coming up with the worst of both.

    I agree with him.

  19. Zammo says:

    Instead of moxie, how about some humility?

  20. Susan Walsh says:

    I know I’m very late here, but I had to come back and observe how very creepy it is that the young girl in the Moxie pic is clearly wearing a fair amount of makeup.

  21. Dalrock says:

    @Susan Walsh
    I know I’m very late here, but I had to come back and observe how very creepy it is that the young girl in the Moxie pic is clearly wearing a fair amount of makeup.

    Good point Susan. It really is creepy.

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  23. OhioStater says:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1340956/Of-course-women–just-dont-want-says-leading-female-academic.html

    Translation: most women want the opportunity to move up the ladder to date and marry successful men also on the ladder. Amelia Earhart ideally would find herself on the same airbase as uber alpha men like Charles Lindbergh for example. Alas some women really do shoot for the top, confusing means with ends.

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  27. OhioStater says:

    This is an interesting new view: women think ability is something you have or don’t whereas men are more likely to develop a competency.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/heidi-grant-halvorson-phd/girls-confidence_b_828418.html

    It’s consistent with the idea women huddle near the middle of the curve whereas men litter the outside. There’s no need to learn anything new if you float as-is.

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  33. alcestiseshtemoa says:

    Until very recently, I would’ve fully agreed with the second part about feminists not reproducing. Enter Sarah Palin

    Sarah Palin is a libertarian Tea Partier. She’s a right-liberal and not to mention a complete twit, narcissistic and an embarassment. She’s feminist but not in the left-liberal sense.

  34. alcestiseshtemoa says:

    I know I’m very late here, but I had to come back and observe how very creepy it is that the young girl in the Moxie pic is clearly wearing a fair amount of makeup.

    Interesting observation Susan Walsh.

  35. alcestiseshtemoa says:

    Yeah, the marketers don’t need to worry. The feminists don’t have children. Not a concern.

    I believe one of the goals about marketing is brainwashing and conversion. If they can’t multiple naturally then they will spread by other means (e.g. liberalism in education, movies and so forth).

  36. alcestiseshtemoa says:

    The girls get feminist sluts, and the boys get a muscular thug with no neck.

    What great role models our kids should aspire to. Thanks, corporate America!

    LOL

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  43. lainysLainy says:

    anyone who impresses the look of any moxie toy on their child “oh look sweet heart you can grow up to be just like this’ needs to analyse the life skills they should also be impressing on their kids. Take them bike riding, camping, let them get dirty in the mud, run around at the beach, walk the dog, take them on picnics, go worm watching or stargazing, get the paints out, dance, make a noise, sing……… A trip to Macdonalds to the Mall is about as good as it gets for too many kids because quite frankly people cannot be bothered really doing anything, these kids could be such different people growing up but you wont know if you dont give them running space or wctually get to know them. The toys, well they are a social pressure, dump in the bin with the rest of the plastic trash thats says more about the factories making them….do you really want a factory farmed kid? I thought not :-)

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  46. Critical Eye says:

    I love the way you cross-reference your posts, Dalrock. It helps present the totality of the argument you’re making. I arrived here following a chain from your “This Won’t End Well” (http://dalrock.wordpress.com/2013/03/12/this-wont-end-well/). Apparently your posts are like a potato chip – you can’t stop at one!

    PS – Perdue makes chickens, Purdue makes engineers. There is still a residence hall on campus named after Earhart (http://www.housing.purdue.edu/Housing/Residences/Earhart/index.html).

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