Thursday, 16 October 2014

Gender Stereotypes

I'm not a member of the Pink Stinks brigade (just take a look in my wardrobe).  I couldn't be, even if I tried, because Ms Squeaky is a girly girl who loves pink, sparkles, Barbie (much to my horror), princesses, dresses and fairies.  She also loves playing out in the rain with the boy next door, picking up bugs, pulling weeds out of the garden, climbing trees and forgetting to flush the toilet.  She's a pretty well rounded kid, if you ask me.

At the moment, she wants to be a teacher when she grows up.  I'm glad her teacher is a good role model, and one I'm happy for her to choose to emulate, though secretly I'm hoping her dreams don't stop at teaching, right now she could go far further.  That said, her previous ambitions have been to be a princess and a mummy.  Both noble, I'm sure you'll agree, but really quite gender specific.  Why not an astronaut, an explorer, a vet, a bus driver?  PirateGirl wants to be a doctor, inspired in part at least by Doc McStuffins.  A career to be proud of, no matter what's inside your pants.  Doc McStuffins being a show I particularly like for it's challenging of traditional gender roles, without making a big "thing" of it.  People just do what they do.

Much as I'm tempted, I'm not going to break Squeaky's pink phase, or at least not until she's ready to move on to other things.  But can I at least limit its impact?  Do girls have to have special pink versions of everyday items, just because they're girls?  Really?

I'm sure most people are aware of the Amazon reviews of the pink For Her biros, so after that debacle I had kind of thought that major brands would avoid using the same type of clunky and damaging gender stereotyping.  And then I saw this.  Just For Girls pink sellotape dispenser.  (The tape itself is standard clear stuff, I checked.)  Is sticky tape use now a gender specific task?  Do people lacking a Y chromosome somehow find it harder to join two pieces of paper, or wrap a gift?  Does a pink dispenser work differently to another colour?  Honestly, it made me want to scream.

I want my daughter to celebrate being female, to be proud of it, not to feel that concessions have to be made to compensate for her lack of testicles.  After all, as Beyonce asks, "Who runs the world? Girls"

1 comment:

  1. Great post ! and you know me I am not a tad bit girly x


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