Pirates are to Boys as Princesses are to Girls

A direct mail piece from the local YMCA arrived yesterday. Among the classes and activities they were advertising for kids this Summer was “Princesses and Pirates”. I googled the site to figure out what this was. It’s not a mixed class of princesses versus pirates or even princesses and pirates working together. There are two different classes, one for girls and one for boys presumably. It didn’t say that girls couldn’t go to pirate camp, but I can’t imagine most boys wanting to go to princess camp…not when they’re five anyway.

The description of Pirate Camp is as follows.

ARRR!!! Join us for a week of adventure on the high seas where we’ll transform ye landlubbers into truly fearsome pirates! Go treasure hunting, learn how to sword fight, and navigate the perilous seas by learning about mystical creatures of the deep and mutinous crews in this camp of swashbuckling fun!

First of all, I appreciate that playing pirates is the equivalent of playing princesses. There are other things to pretend to be, but pirates are pretty modern. Yeah, yeah, 16th century. The truth is that modern youth, more than ever, needs to develop the skills of the pirate: to be independent, unafraid to defy the law in order to follow your moral compass. Today’s world demands a privateer, perhaps serving the interest of a large organization but always serving his own interests first.

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the myth of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is associated with pirates and global warming. While the FSM fights the creationists with reductio ad absurdum, the pirates are doing the same against the first church of the warming globe. I just hope to hear my kids yelling, “I’m Captain Nemo!” and “I’m Ragnar Danesjold!”

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