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Jewish World Review May 11, 2000/ 6 Iyar, 5760

Kathleen Parker

Kathleen Parker
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Consumer Reports


Boy Crazy! stacks
deck against guys --
SO. IT HAS COME TO THIS: Boy Crazy! trading cards, the latest pre-teen incitement to adolescent unrest.

Boy Crazy! (pardon the debutante breathlessness, but that's the trademark name and I'm stuck with it) is the name of a new collector's game that plays to girls' historical, and apparently genetic, propensity for boy-obsession.

For a few bucks, girls can buy a deck of cards featuring 363 boys ages 12 to 22.

Each card features a head shot of a boy "discovered" at 15 malls around the country, along with his first name and state.

A variation on the Dewar's profile follows, with questions about favorite food, drink, school subject, TV show, movie, books and so on.

The game makers boast that their stable is filled with "real boys for real girls," not fantasy celebs beyond the grasp of your average American gal. Thus, Boy Crazy! boys come with glasses, braces, pimples and, oh goody, tongue rings.

They're Scorpios, Capricorns, Asian-, African- and that old standby, European-Americans, a plethora of diverse Y-chromosomes for the nascent playgirl's whim and wonder.

Some adults are concerned, naturally. Asserts one troubled mother in an Associated Press story: "It's like a meat market for kids."

Well, of course it is.

How can you possibly expect girls to meet the demands of summer internships without first mastering the prerequisite of boy-craziness?

Besides, trading cards of boys such as Joshua, Chad and Nate is logical preparation for life's inevitable relationship roulette.

Like any sport, the finding, trading and dismissal of dates and, by extension, husbands, requires focus and discipline. One can't begin too soon. Though I'm over the target age of 10-ish, I couldn't resist visiting the Web site ( and playing the matchmaker game.

By filling out a form with your name and birth date (no year) and your favorite male body-style, Boy Crazy! will select a hunk just for you.

For my first round, I entered my father's traits: black hair, green eyes, average size. Out of statutory concerns, I requested a boy in the highest age group, 20 to 22.

In the spirit of instant gratification, my boy-crazy, online, digitally transmitted boy of the moment, No. 286, materialized.

His name is Jake, an African-American Scorpio, who describes himself as a stylish, ambitious, sensitive young man who wants to be either a movie star or an architect, who would change nothing about himself except his nose and bank balance.

I'm with you there, Jake.

Next I entered my son's coordinates. I asked for a tall 15-year-old with brown hair and brown eyes and got No. 312. Jonathan, come on down!

Though a tad old at 20, Jonathan is getting closer to home. He's preppy, likes Nirvana, appreciates women who are intelligent and admires his grandfather.

In the great deck of life, one could do worse.

That goes for the Boy Crazy! concept as well.

Not much harm comes from silliness. Boy Crazy! has the substance of Silly Putty and the staying power of infatuation.

If adults can't see it, girls can. Out of the mouth of one babe, who rolled her eyes at a sample deck, came this succinct observation: "These are complete strangers."

Of greater concern to this recovering boy-crazy mother is the objectification of boys.

Personally, I wouldn't want my son's visage plastered on an exploitative Web site or engraved on a playing card to be tossed in the trash bin like a used paper cup by some faceless hussy. Relax, equality avengers. Two bad ideas don't make a good one.

As for boy-crazy girls, take it from an old pro: Forget the mall, guys.

The cool ones aren't trolling the food court.

JWR contributor Kathleen Parker can be reached by clicking here.


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04/06/00: Womyn's Contempt for Commitment --- and the bastards it creates
04/04/00: Sue-happy American society is out of control
03/30/00: Duct-taped baby serves as warning
03/28/00: Stay-home parents know that their kids need them
03/24/00: No 'Great Expectations' when schools shun the classics
03/21/00: It's common sense to restrict Internet usage in libraries
03/17/00: You want to be just a mom? For shame!
03/14/00: Colonoscopy: Important, but bad TV
03/10/00: I made a mistake about trigger-locks
03/08/00: After this school shooting, no easy target for our contempt
03/03/00: Car crash helps bridge our divide
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02/14/00: College testing via Lego-building -- yeah, right
02/02/00: Bubba should spare us phony love theatrics
01/26/00: What sets off Those Who Speak for Women
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12/29/99: Grandparents' rights impinge on family autonomy
12/13/99: When did fathers become fair game?
12/09/99: Don't be stupid about at-risk kids
12/07/99: Pokemon is no substitute for a father
12/02/99: Blaming the victim --- men
11/30/99: Baby-killer's story has less-than-Precious ending
11/23/99: Pendulum swings back toward discipline, responsibility
11/18/99: Put the babies first in this mighty mess
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11/09/99: Gore could benefit from a secret in Wolf's clothing
11/03/99: Who needs 'birds and bees' when we have MTV?
11/01/99: Women Can't Hear What Men Don't Say
10/26/99: Children's needs must take priority in divorce system
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10/15/99: Bullying boys ... and girls
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09/30/99: Sorry, guys, Faludi is no friend of yours
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09/23/99: The great blurring of need and want
09/21/99:Focus on more than baby's first 3 years
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09/14/99: Fathers' group seeks to right inequities
09/09/99: Son now has a license to grow up
09/07/99: A slap in the face of domestic violence
09/01/99: No, ma'am: Legislation on manners misses the mark
08/26/99: For better boys, try a little tenderness
08/24/99:The ABC's of campaign questions
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07/11/99: 'Brother Man': An American demagogue in Paris
07/08/99: Only parents can fix broken families
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06/28/99: Men aren't the only abusers
06/23/99: Is the entire country guzzling LSD punch?
06/20/99: The voice remains -- as always -- there beside me 06/16/99:Stating the obvious, a new growth industry
06/14/99: Calling for a cease-fire in the gender war
06/10/99: We owe children an apology

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