"By the time he started attending day care at 14 months, I'd given up on gender neutrality in his toys, but I still clung to the belief that I would be able to raise a nonviolent child by banning toy weapons and even cartoon violence in videos. Picking him up one afternoon, about a month after he started at day care, I was informed that he and his buddy, Zach, had been in trouble that day for inappropriate play. It seems they'd been using their thumbs and forefingers as pretend guns, pointing at the girls and yelling, "Bang! Bang!" I was gobsmacked."I laughed because it mirrors almost exactly the version my mother recalls about me and my sister. Our parents had the same notion - PC before anyone had heard of PC - so they bought us gender-neutral toys. But I made guns out of Lego and my sister put the train-set to bed.
You don't get a blank slate. Not with individuals, families, societies or nations. One of the things that has struck me since I started blogging is the number of people who think this isn't so, wish it wasn't so, fervently believe it ain't so - without realising there's a whole bunch of people who have been there before them.