5 Year Old Insists Bilbo Baggins is a Girl—Mom Knows Better Than to Argue

Over at Slate, Michelle Nijhuis is talking about children’s literature—and what some parents are doing to appease their children when they notice a lack of gender parity. When Nijhuis’ own daughter kept insisting that Bilbo Baggins was a girl, she took her daughter’s words to heart and swapped some pronouns around as she read. The results?

“And you know what? The switch was easy. Bilbo, it turns out, makes a terrific heroine. She’s tough, resourceful, humble, funny, and uses her wits to make off with a spectacular piece of jewelry. Perhaps most importantly, she never makes an issue of her gender—and neither does anyone else.”

The article discusses other changes that she’s heard of parents making to well-kown texts, and the ways in which kids might benefit from their fiction reflecting reality a little better. Not only is the story uplifting and exciting, but it’s also a really great idea! We’re going to start doing this to our favorite children’s book and see what we end up with…


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