Playing With Dolls
An original two-minute play by Darby Smith. Revised by Paul Bodin.
(NOTE: Student 1 should be acted by a girl, and Student 2 should be acted by a boy. Fill in the names of people <inside special brackets> before performing the play.)
For information on how to use this play in the classroom, take a look at Pete's blog by clicking the following link: https://www.philosophy-foundation.org/blog/dialogues-in-philosophy-with-children
Playing With Dolls
Student 1: Hi __<name of student 2>__, what’s wrong?
Student 2: Hi __<name of student 1>__. I’m okay, I’m just a little confused.
1: Why, what happened?
2: Well, last night my friend ___<name of friend>___ came over and my little sister __<name of little sister>___ asked if we would play dolls with her. She has a collection of princess dolls. I said yes.
1: I don’t see anything wrong with that.
2: ___<name of friend>___ said that boys don’t play with dolls, and that if I played with them, he would tell everyone that I was a girl.
1: That’s embarrassing. What did you do?
2: I felt pretty bad. So we didn’t play with my sister, even though it really hurt her feelings. I didn’t tell ___<name of friend>___ that I enjoy playing with dolls when I’m with her.
1: I didn’t know that you play with dolls.
2: I don’t think it’s a big deal. My parents are busy at night, so we play together and it’s really fun. I don’t think that dolls are only for girls.
1: Look, I understand what you’re saying. But maybe ___<name of friend>___ just felt like girls should play girl games and boys should play boy games.
2. What does that mean exactly?
1. It means that princess dolls were designed for girls. Put yourself in ___<name of friend>___’s shoes. Boys don’t like doing girl things.
2: But my question is, who decides what is a “girl toy” and what is a “boy toy?” Or what things are only for girls and only for boys?
1: Everybody knows that princesses and dolls are for girls only.
2: I don’t think that you can say anything is just for boys or just for girls. Why would playing with dolls make someone uncomfortable?
1: A lot of things make people uncomfortable. Like if a boy wears a dress to school, he will probably get be asked to go home and change because it’s weird, right? He can wear whatever he wants at home, but I don’t think he should be allowed to wear a dress at school.
2: It would probably be weird if a boy wore a dress to school. … But why? Who decided that dresses were only for girls? And how come it’s okay for girls to wear pants at school but boys can’t wear dresses? It doesn’t make sense.
1: I don’t know why. It’s just always been a rule, I guess.
2: How about sports? Why does our high school football team only have boys on it?
1: Because when boys go through puberty, they develop more muscles than girls. That’s just the way it is. It wouldn’t be safe for girls to be on the football team with boys. The girls would get hurt, and the boys wouldn’t feel right tackling them.
2: You say that you’re really good at soccer, right?
1: I’m lucky. I have two older brothers who show me all kinds of moves.
2: And you’re on an all-girls team, right?
1: Yes. But I’m good enough to play on a boy’s team.
2: You might not have the chance if you’re in Kidsports.
1: What do you mean?
2: Kidsports says that, as long as there’s a girl’s team at your grade level, the boy’s coach doesn’t have to let you try out for their team.
1: I didn’t know that! I don’t see any reason why a girl can’t have a chance to play on a boy’s team. That isn’t fair.
2: See what I mean? We are supposed to believe that our country treats men and women equally, but sometimes they aren’t treated the same way. Hey, it’s still light out. Let’s go to the park and kick the soccer ball around. As a boy, I can show you a few things.
1. You wish!