Canadian parent Wendy Tsao took her child’s over-sexualised dolls, removed their makeup and changed their overly done-up hair to turn them into role models from real life. By creating from commonly available dolls lookalikes of real-life women of renown, Tsao explores the idea of playthings having an influential impact on the formation of one’s own identity.
In a country with a burgeoning population that still doesn’t believe in talking about sex openly, the book wants to help parents and teachers deal with uncomfortable questions rather than brush them under the carpet. To ensure that young children are not dismissed, distracted, or confused by adults who are too awkward or even (gasp!) ignorant of biology.
As a society, in our platforms of exchange of goods, products and services, how are we approaching parenting, children or sexuality? Stores are clearly catering to the constructed parent and child. There’s lots of toys, clothes, diapers, bedsheets and cute dangling, fluffy things to cluck at in stores catering to parent and child as a combination thali (platter). The day I see personal and sexual hygiene products in a store catering to mom and a teenaged me, I will kick up my heels and bray.
Talking about migration would be talking about what happens with the crossing of boundaries. Boundaries of culture and climate, and boundaries of visibility, where a change in semantics can come to render what was invisible visible (an accent, perhaps a way of dressing, one’s values and ideas, the experience of being surveilled as an alien), while also allowing the migrant certain new freedoms to be invisible (anonymity where ‘nobody knows your name’, and certain kinds of agency one may not have enjoyed back home).
The book explores how gender plays out in public and private institutions like family, educational institutions, work and public spaces. It illustrates the multiplicity of ways in which people live gender and testifies that even if there are gender laws, in a just world there can be no gender outlaw.