For the Love of Phineas and Ferb

Phineas and Ferb in a spaceship they built. Ph...

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I love Phineas and Ferb. My daughter loves Phineas and Ferb. And so, when I went to the store to buy some Phineas and Ferb stuff, I was not happy.

Why not?

Because all of the Phineas and Ferb stuff is located in the section for boys.

I’ve been through this before. I have three younger brothers, so when I was growing up we played all of the boy games. Transformers, army forts, G. I. Joe – you name it, we played it. I had a few G.I. Joe action figures. I had my own army toys, too. (I didn’t get the cool ones for Christmas like my brothers did. Theirs had a toy rifle. Mine just had a plastic dagger. But mine came with a canteen, and they were jealous about that.) G.I. Joe action figures aren’t kept in the girl section, and neither are army toys. So most of my childhood was spent eying the toys in the boy section.

The thing about Phineas and Ferb, though, is that it never seemed to me to be a gender-specific cartoon. I mean, it is about two boys, but the whole gist of the cartoon is that they use their imaginations to come up with plans and create some amazing things. Can that only be done by boys?

I think not. I think that both boys and girls should be encouraged to let their imaginations take them wherever they need to go. And for this reason it makes it even more frustrating for me to have to go to the boys’ clothing section to find a Phineas and Ferb t-shirt for my daughter. I feel pretty good about the fact that she isn’t watching some girly show that is all about make-up and boys and clothes and stuff like that. Not that things like that aren’t important for a girl (although I really think that they aren’t all that important). They definitely shouldn’t be all that important to a five-year-old, anyway.

As it stands, I will continue to watch Phineas and Ferb with my daughter (I think that it is really up in the air as to which of us loves that cartoon more) and I will continue to shop in the boys’ section for Phineas and Ferb merchandise for my daughter. I hope that, above all, she is at least learning the lesson that her mind is a powerful thing and she can think and do and create anything she wants to by using it. And in some ways, she is showing me that this is the case.

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