Bear figurines with its special children’snmeals.nIn the interest of “educating” ournchildren, the authors oiThe BerenstainnBears: No Girls Allowed feel that it isntheir duty to sow the seeds that willnoverthrow accepted notions of the relationshipnbetween men and women.nAnd they do so using pictures andncaptions overtly denigrating men. Patriarchy,nmale dominance, and “violence”nare to be destroyed, and societynrevolutionized, by making our childrennrealize that male is bad and femalenboth good and properly in control ofnsociety.nThe cover of The Berenstain Bears:nNo Girls Allowed shows three boysnstaring hatefully out of their fortresslikenclubhouse, sharp claws extended atntheir distressed little sister, who is forbiddennfrom entering by the huge signnposted on the side of the house. Thentitle page includes a “scorepad” —nwhere we may find the “score” or thentruth — on which is written the question,n”Is it so important that he- andnshe-bears aren’t the same when whatnreally matters is how we play thengame?” Indeed, it is the failure of thenboy-bears to “play fair” that makesnthem so inhuman, so bestial in the eyesnof the authors. The boy-bears are repeatedlynshown reveling in the distressnof the little she-bear, wicked grins onntheir faces.nThe story itself is a simple one. Thenlittle girl bear (known only as “sisternbear” — perhaps names would allownfor too much individuality) begins thenstory as a poor runner and marblenplayer. Soon, however, she learns hownto play these and other games andnproceeds to defeat her “brother bears”nat all of them. In this way the female isnshown to be capable of greater prowessnthan the male. The lesson is, of course,nthat once women overcome the handicapsnimposed on them by Westernnsociety’s history of male oppression —nthe traditional refusal to allow the femalento compete — the female is superiornto the male, even at his ownngames. This is why males oppress femalesnin the first place.nNot surprisingly, the brother bearsnreact to their sister’s superiority bynbecoming jealous and hateful. Thenmales attempt to deal with the fact thatnthe female is better than they are bynexcluding her from their social group.n52/CHRONICLESnThe boy bears build a clubhouse,nerecting a sign saying “no girlsnallowed,” and closing the door in theirnlittle sister’s face.nAt this point the parents becomensignificant actors in the story. A seeminglyntypical working-class couple, thenfather wears coveralls and the mother anlarge print dress and matching bonnet.nBut in fact the parents are much moren”enlightened” than their attire mightnsuggest. The mother bear, foreseeingnthe problems that will arise from herndaughter’s superiority, points out to hernless intelligent husband that males arenjealous of female prowess.nWhen sister bear complains to thenparents that she has been excludednfrom social interaction with her brothers.nPapa bear gives the best responsenthat one can expect from a male.n”‘You’re absolutely right!’ roared Papa.n’It isn’t fair! Come, we’re going backnthere and make them take you intontheir silly club — and if they don’t, I’mngoing to tear that clubhouse limb fromnlimb!'”nAs a male, Papa bear is obviouslynincapable of responding to injusticenwith anything other than force (thoughnhis recognition of it makes him anbetter-than-your-average bear). Luckily,nhowever, Mama bear placates thenmale with her superior wisdom andncharacter. Recognizing that males arenruled by their appetites, Mama bearnsuggests that her proletarian husbandnbuild a new clubhouse for girls (sincenmales are only good for manual labornin any case). Mama bear then preparesna celebration of the new clubhouse thatnincludes a meal of “barbecued honeycombnand salmon” — no red meat, ofncourse.nSmelling the aroma of the food, thenmale bears come running and, afternthe more cooperative female bears takena vote, are allowed to share in the meal.nHaving been shown the error of theirnways in the only way that males can benexpected to understand, through annappeal to their stomachs, the boy bearsnbring the book to a happy conclusionnby welcoming the girl bears to thenboys’ clubhouse and changing theirnsign to read “Girls Welcome!”nThus there is a happy ending to thenbook. Cooperation defeats exclusivity.nSharing defeats independence. Thensuperior females prompt the acquiescencenof the inferior males through annnnappeal to their base ruling appetites.nThe lessons that children are supposednto learn from this are painfullynobvious, even to an inferior male likenme. Since the female is superior to thenmale in terms of talent, intellect, andnmorals, the child must attempt to emulatenthe female in all possible ways.nSharing is to be valued over independence,nand competition and personalnresponsibility are to be dirty words. Allnattempts to base society on anythingnother than balanced social groups andnthe matriarchal “sharing” of all tasksnare male and therefore bad. Independencenis bad; freedom is bad; Americanis bad; male is bad.nBruce Frohnen teaches politicalnscience at Reed University in Portland,nOregon.nARTnThe End of Artnby Geoffrey WagnernReflections on the 1989nWhitney Biennial ofnAmerican ArtnA rnong the Neo-Minimalists Lizni. Lamer makes a strangely regularntapestry out of human eyelashes.nThe team of Kate Ericson and MelnZiegler compares bottles of powderednpigment. Meg Webster makes a bignlow-lying circle out of nothing but dirt;na second sculpture populates soil withnplants, stones, and running water.n