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Is "the boy" a patriarchic stand-in for the word "child", or what? It seems like some kind of in-group slang. Reminds me of the British expression "old boy", meaning "man".

I am so glad several other commenters here have pointed out that boy's guides were fairly common and this is a cute reference to that genre of book. There were girl's guides too. It is not the least bit offensive nor meant to cause offense.

Were the girl's guides about the same things as boy's guides? By cute, you probably meant harmless. You probably didn't mean to say that gender roles are cute. I guess its harmlessness is up for debate. My position on the matter is that there's no place for socially constructed gender roles in this society, and it's not cute.

Girls guides were about the activities most girls were engaged in at the time, cooking, sewing, etc. You never would have seen a "Girls Guide to Shortwave Radio," for example, fifty years ago because practically no women were doing it. I am sure it would have delighted a small handful of girls, but that is not how markets work. You don't print a book if it is not going to sell.

I generally disagree with your position on gender roles, which I think evolve naturally and are not necessarily bad.

We disagree on multiple points, but I appreciate your cool-headed and open approach to conversation.

The first thing I thought of was a callback to those old books targeted at near-adolescent boys e.g. The Boy's Own Guide to Fishing.

Obviously, it comes off as clumsy and inappropriate today or 16 years ago judging by the date on the footer.

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