to wonder why DS has been sent a 'girly' birthday card again?

(186 Posts)

He is 2.

I appreciate the receiving a card, I really do, but... this couple (who are/were friends are my deceased) did the same thing on his birthday last year.

This year's is purple with pink butterflies... last year's I don't remember well but it was pink with a picture of a girl doing something birthday-like.

Cards not received last-minute so it wasn't like they thought they'd miss the post and had to send something they already had at home. Also money (or rather, lack of) not an issue here.

Is it odd thing for them to do? Am I being unreasonably ungrateful?

Are boys not allowed purple butterfly cards? confused

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 30-Nov-12 21:53:09

Thats seems a bit odd, have they ever met him? Does he have a name that could be either boy or girl?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 21:54:46

SMS - whatever. Honestly, there's a feminism board for that type of griping.

CocoPops - did they get his name right? Do you think they might think he's a girl?

SophiesMummySaid - if you were picking a card for a two-year old boy, would you honestly go for one with purple/pink butterflies?

CaliforniaLeaving - yes, they have met him several times...

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 21:55:22

They probably have a stash of cards and want to use them up. Especially if they're older. But doesn't matter. Boys are allowed to like pink and butterflies you know.

He won't catch the gay.

SirBoobAlot Fri 30-Nov-12 21:55:30

My DS would have a field day if he was sent a butterfly card.

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 21:55:34

I do think it's odd.
Sophies, not sure OP said he wasn't 'allowed' it, just that it's an unusual choice for a boy. Cards do have a tendency to be gender specific.

OpheliaPayneAgain Fri 30-Nov-12 21:55:45

Have you contacted them? to tell them it soooo unreasonable to send your DC a card with a nice picture on?

Kalisi Fri 30-Nov-12 21:55:50

Do they know he's a boy? I would find it quite amusing personally.

missmalteser Fri 30-Nov-12 21:56:57

Do they have a younger relative who maybe helped pick it? Dd2 likes to pick all our cards so there are a lot of Disney themed cards being handed out at the minute smile

I got pulled up on this - apparently blue balloons scream 'boy' for a 3 year old.


MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 21:57:24

Coco....a lot of people on MN right this minute are trying to change gender stereotyping. There is a MASSIVE backlash going on about pink being for girls and blue for boys.

The people on the thread are pouring masses of energy into'd be better of worrying about something that matters how according to Tesco kits are for BOYS only. They've labelled them as BOYS TOYS.

I hope MORE people send pink cards to boys.

missymoomoomee Fri 30-Nov-12 21:57:27

I buy multipacks of cards to save money throughout the year. I think some children towards the end of the year might get slightly inappropriate ones if I don't have time to nip to the shops, they may do the same. He is 2 he won't care anyway. I think YABU to be ungrateful, the thought is there.

My GM has a card drawer. Maybe they just use what they have.

ToffeeCaramel Fri 30-Nov-12 21:59:54

They think he's a girl

OwedToAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 22:00:09

When DD2 was 9, PIL sent her a card which said Happy Birthday 10 Year Old.

DH pointed out that she was 9. MIL said "Are you sure?".

Oooh, now was it 9 years or 10 years ago that I pushed her out of my fanjo? It's so easy to forget! hmm

Kalisi Fri 30-Nov-12 22:00:13

Totally unrelated but I am shockingly bad at remembering Birthdays. Never sent a pink card to a boy as of yet but did send a card with a golfer on the front to a 7 year old when the Birthday snuck up on me. blush

duletty Fri 30-Nov-12 22:01:30

Hmm I remember pil giving one of the ds on his 4th birthday a card with a picture of a cake stand covered in cupcakes and glitter and thinking eh?

Than actually remembering,..he LOVES cupcakes, especially making them with grandma and he wasn't interested in any tv/cartoon type characters so it was actually the perfect card for him

But oldies do tend to have a stash of cards with random stuff on them...chickens anyone?

BOFingSanta Fri 30-Nov-12 22:01:30

I thought this was going to be one with Linda Lusardi dressed as the birthday bunny or something <shows age>confused

So look on the bright side.

So because some people on MN want an end to gender stereotyping, no one can post about anything related without having those views foisted upon them? Really?

Climbingpenguin Fri 30-Nov-12 22:02:37

I would welcome the 'wrong' gendered card being sent to either of my two.

jellycat Fri 30-Nov-12 22:02:39

My ds2 received a pink girly butterfly card from his grandad yesterday...for his 8th birthday!!!! Don't think ds2 was impressed! I can only assume that Grandad remembered he needed to send a card at the last minute and that it was what he had in. Not much help to you but thought I'd share!

FestiveWench Fri 30-Nov-12 22:03:08

I despair. FFS.

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 22:03:09

Regardless of whether it is ok or not for boys to like purple butterly cards it is quite odd and I wouldn't send that to a boy unless they specifically would like it!

AlwaysHoldingOnToStarbug Fri 30-Nov-12 22:03:47

It wouldn't bother me, my boys have been sent "girly" cards before, from a friend and my mum and it's never bothered them, they're just excited to have a birthday and get cards.

Hobbitation Fri 30-Nov-12 22:04:01

Some relatives of mine used to send me an age card every year, that was one year older than I actually was.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:04:04

Wannabe where did anyone say that? confused jumping to conclusions slightly there aren't you?

MrsMushroom - yes I hear your point about science kits being 'for boys' (or not). How far would you take the argument though? Would you say that only stocking skirts and dresses in 'womenswear' is gender-stereotyping and should be stopped?

As for 'catching the gay' - I'm not sure how you managed to get that from me thinking his birthday cards from this couple have been slightly odd choices. I'm not remotely bothered if my son turns out to be gay or not.

I sent a blue train card to a 3 year old girl once.

Shoot me.

(She loved it)

JoInScotland Fri 30-Nov-12 22:06:18

My son's favourite colour is purple. He dresses in it head to toe every day unless his favourites are in the wash. He would love that card.

GrrrArghZzzzYaayforall8nights Fri 30-Nov-12 22:07:34

I have a relative that pretty much gives everyone the same card. DS2 got his birthday card from her this week and it's the same card that DS1 got in September (DS1 is 8, DS2 just turned 1). It was lovely for her to think of them but I was a bit confused when I opened the card.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:08:23

Coco I can't comment on clothing...the group on MN are only focusing on toys....personally I don't give a shiny shite what men or women me, it's all fine together and marketed as clothing.

But we're talking about cards for were complaining about him getting a pink card. Pink is a colour. Not a sex. Yabu to bother moaning. At least he got a card. You also posted about his last card featuring a girl doing >something girl like< which is bollocks really. Unless it's related to her bodily parts.

Yama Fri 30-Nov-12 22:08:59

My two year old son would love the card you describe. Are they of an age where they see children as children and not their gender first?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 22:09:03

MrsMushroom - I could say that those people putting massive energy into worrying about tesco putting science kids under boys toys would be better off worrying about something that matter more - like raising funds for cancer research.

I just dont see the need for the comparison between science kits and the ops situation.

Your post read to me like you felt the op was letting the side down. Im too tired to explain myself properly.

'Whatever' yourself Chipping.
The OP posted about a gender issue.
I generally let a gripe out where I find one.

narniasnarnia Fri 30-Nov-12 22:12:17

He is 2 FFS!!!

2 year olds like butterflies, they like colours of all types, yes?

He has not yet learnt that as a boy he is required not to like or respond positively to butterflies or the colour purple. SO, he won't mind about the card. So I really wouldn't worry about it.

However do not panic OP, regardless of this card or others, he will inevitably learn as he grows up that he only likes boy colours and boy things, and live a life devoid of colours other than brown, khakhi, and sludge, and be interested only in 'boy insects' such as slugs and spiders.

MooncupGoddess Fri 30-Nov-12 22:12:27

What a world we live in, when birthday cards for TWO YEAR OLDS are rigorously gendered. <despairs>

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 22:12:44

Oh Good GOD, do people really get worked up and bosom hoiky about labelling toys as boys and girls? Do some people not posess the ability to, er, maybe, use their own initiative whether or not they think the recipient might like it?
Jesus fucking christ, now i've heard everything.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:14:05

Chipping yes cancer research is a very important thing. We're starting with gender stereotyping within toys, so that girls may feel more comfy accessing science based toys and grow up to be research scientists who can look at cures for cancer.

Wannabe it starts in cards and cardigans...and blankets and teddies...then before you know it, you are a parent and you're trying to steer your little girl towards BOTH sections of the toys....because her side is full of prams and glitter and it's she's been TOLD she likes....and the boys BLUE side is full of microscopes and cars etc. Prams are cool...dolls are nice but so are all the toys on the boys side...because they are blue however, she's avoiding them,..., MATTERS that people get irritated when someone dares to break the rules over a card.

I suppose that must be it... they are using cards up.

He isn't known for being particularly into purple/pink... the cards definitely stood out amongst all the others he has received. But as people have said, he is 2, and not bothered.

It just seemed funny to me as the same happened last year and I did wonder if they were trying to make some kind of point, or if I was just reading too much into it. I guess the latter.

MrsMushroom I said something birthday-like. She was opening a present or something perhaps. Not 'something girl-like'.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:16:04

bed tell that to a 3 year old who thinks that blue is only for boys...because she's been told that girls are pink princesses....yes we can choose a boys toy in blue for our girls...or the other way around...if that's the case then WHY put all the boys things in one place and the girls in another? Why not have them together and in a mix of colours? And WHY make the different sides have different toys? Why not the same things?

CaliforniaLeaving Fri 30-Nov-12 22:16:15

Trying to get rid of the "colour pink is for girls only and Dolls too" type thinking is hardly anything new.
There was a lot of this going on when I had my first baby in 88. Dh and I couldn't care less what he played with or dressed as, same as our friends couldn't care about gender toys and clothes, but we all found the older generation would freak out over an outfit that looked too "girly" and the fact that DS's favorite toy was a cabbage patch premie doll who he would drag to the babysitters each day. Apparently he was going to be gay from us not manning him up like we should.
So the struggle continues, happy kids play with whatever toys they enjoy. But for many older people sending a purple card with butterflies on, to a boy would still be an odd thing to do.

Yama Fri 30-Nov-12 22:16:22

But Bedmonster - the op didn't like this card because of years of such labeling.

So, poor card givers fucked up even though they used their own initiative.

BikeRunSki Fri 30-Nov-12 22:17:18

I think they think you've got a DD (possibly with an "odd name for a girl")

In the last 20 minutes quite a few people have come along and said they would send a 'wrong gendered' card too. I don't think they are trying to make a point. They just don't think it's an issue.

Thing is though, I dont need the toy shops to rearrange their aisles.

If a child is going to be a research scientist I dont think wearing pink or playing with dolls will stop them.

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 22:20:51

My friend bought DS a purple My Little Pony for his 3rd birthday because that is what he said he wanted when she asked him. I have no issue with that at all and he loved brushing its hair (so did his older brother) but I would still find it odd if someone that wasn't close enough to know what he really liked sent a card like that to him.

DS2 would probably like pink or purple cards but DS1 would hate it!

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:21:31

You're being naive Wannabe. It's about expectation. I do not want my DDs growing up in a world where they think girls play with craft stuff and dolls and boys get science kits and construction toys. ALL of those toys are cool...I want my DDs to have the confidence to pick what they want.
My 8 year old DD got given a lego set last year...she said I thought lego was for boys! I love it though.

WHY did she think that?

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:22:12

MrsMelons you've got to ask yourself why DS1 would hate it? Why?

MrsMelons - thank you, you have said just what I meant.

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 22:23:14

Well maybe for a start it's for the convenience of shop staff to stack the shelves. Maybe it's easier for customers to start looking for specific products.
Doesn't mean that it's what you have to buy. Don't people use their own common sense when looking? I bought, on request from DD, Thomas the Tank engine train and a few other trains to go with her train set we have bought her for Christmas. I looked where the meccano and star wars sets were. Did I get huffy because these items were all lumped in together? No. I was happy that I could find it easily.
Not saying that gender division doesn't exist. It does. But the toys were also separated into age categories and there was an outdoor plays section. Can't say I would be getting uptight and frantically upset about those categories either.
Seems like people actually look for stuff to go out and get offended by.

peeriebear Fri 30-Nov-12 22:23:26

OP is not ungratefully complaining, just saying it's an odd choice. It is a bit of an odd choice to send a card that the manufacturers have designed to appeal to little girls, to a little boy. There are reams of gender neutral cards out there to choose from, so IMO the OP is perfectly entitled to think it's a little unusual.

msbear Fri 30-Nov-12 22:25:09

Most children couldn't give a flying monkey about the card, it's the bit parents make them endure for politeness' sake. Presents, that's what it's all about...

exoticfruits Fri 30-Nov-12 22:25:12

The feminist board would get very annoyed by stereotyping cards for 2 year olds!
If it is a grandparent maybe they find buying cards difficult-my mother has to put up with a very limited choice because of disability problems.
Does it matter? Does he care?

Hobbitation Fri 30-Nov-12 22:25:29

I am perhaps reading this thread differently. I think the OP has said several times that the card content doesn't bother her but is wondering if her relatives think her DS is a DD.

exoticfruits Fri 30-Nov-12 22:26:25

Why do you need a different card for a 2 yr old boy or girl?

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:26:25

bed you're ignoring the idiotic colour coding that goes on. And ease of shelf stacking is not affected by colour! How old is your DD? Once theyt get to school, they get terribly affected by their peers...and all the little boys feel they MUST love Ben10 and not Charlie and Lola or any girly shows...likewise with the girls.

Peerie...boys of two just like colour and glitter...just like girls of two. There IS no appealing to little girls tastes then because they are too young to have been indoctrinated by manufacturers.

peeriebear Fri 30-Nov-12 22:28:07

And yes it irritates the living shit out of me when shop aisles are labelled for boys and girls. I go around muttering "Oho, so now Moshi Monsters/Doctor Who/[insert my DDs' latest fad] isn't for girls then?" It actually seems more prevalent now than in previous years.

FestiveWench Fri 30-Nov-12 22:28:16
Mumsyblouse Fri 30-Nov-12 22:28:20

I try to challenge the gender colour stereotyping in my own household, by providing my children with a range of colours to wear, not buying 'pink' gadgets (unless requested) and generally trying to raise aware girls who don't feel bound in by this stuff. However, that's my battle and I would never deliberately send a clearly wrongly gendered card to someone else; that's their battle and I don't think the point of a birthday is to make people feel uncomfortable. I often send far pinker/girle stuff boy/stuff to other children for birthdays, just because it's not very nice to make them part of your social experiment on their birthday.

Having said that, they probably are using them up (or muddled as to whether you had a boy or girl!)

tanfastic Fri 30-Nov-12 22:28:23

When choosing cards for my ds's friends I do tend to go for the ones with flowers, fairies, princesses for the girls and trains, cars etc for the boys.....shoot me hmm.

However at two years' old really they won't give a fuck. Ds's grandad gave him one with a fairy on last year, he's was three and didn't bat an eyelid.

I can understand why you would think it was odd though op, even if most don't.

I knew when I read your post how this thread would turn out.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:29:44

I buy toys etc online. I search for what I want to buy. The item comes up. How it is labelled (re boy/girl) isn't a factor as I only search for key items.

DD's had all manner of stuff over the years. She's had different phases over the years too.

But for all I would buy DD toys and games without taking notice of so called gender I wouldn't buy a pink butterfly card for a little boy if I am honest - not unless he had expressed a like for them. I don;t think that is an unusual thing to do.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:30:37

But yes - as soon as your OP I could guarantee exactly how the thread would go - and no, I have not been disproved.

Hobbitation Fri 30-Nov-12 22:30:42

Once theyt get to school, they get terribly affected by their peers...and all the little boys feel they MUST love Ben10 and not Charlie and Lola or any girly shows...likewise with the girls.

Maybe at first, but in DD1's case that ended in reception. By Year 1 she decided she liked football & wanted to do it after school.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:30:57

Hula that's're not a little girl or boy who is affected by marketing in the same way.

peeriebear Fri 30-Nov-12 22:31:22

I'm not saying they are supposed to be for girls, the manufacturers and stockists are. And often pink glittery cards have pictures of little girls on.

tethersend Fri 30-Nov-12 22:31:38

Butterflies for a BOY?

Another example of Broken Britain.


TheOriginalSteamingNit Fri 30-Nov-12 22:31:55

Oh, dd2 has a unisex name (think Nicky type name, but not Nicky) and has had cards from great grandparents 'happy birthday, Grandson'.... The elderly get it a bit wrong sometimes.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:32:06

Hobbit good on your DD but she's a rare case I should think.

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 22:33:20

MrsMushroom I haven't got to ask myself anything at all thank you! I have just said DS2 loves pink/purple and DS1 doesn't.

Have you ever actually thought that boys do actually like traditionally boyish thing? I had an interesting conversation with a teacher who teaches a YR boys class. They said it is amazing how boys naturally go towards traditionally boyish things even if they are brought up in a house where there are no toy superheroes/guns etc - its not always gender sterotyping!

There are colours I quite dislike but as an adult I have it in perspectiive.

baublesandbaileys Fri 30-Nov-12 22:34:06

my 3YO DS loves "blutterflies"

most likely they buy their cards in packs, a pink and purple butterfly card is pretty multifunctional I'd have thought

OP you are so UR!

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:34:42

MrsMelons chill out....of course some boys like traditionally boyish toys...and some girls do too. What's your point?

I suppose I just expected most people to 'play it safe' with people they don't know really well. As Mumsyblouse says.

I honestly don't dislike the card. I was just imagining myself standing in a shop picking a card for a two-year-old boy who I'd met a handful of times but didn't know well. I wouldn't pick something clearly marketed at the opposite gender (whether that marketing is correct or not... and I see I have opened a can of worms there).

baublesandbaileys Fri 30-Nov-12 22:35:49

"play it safe"? so what are the risks?

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 22:36:11

I loved football at school and didn't become 'girly' until I was in my 20's!

DS2 and DH wear pink sometimes but DS1 prefers blue or green.

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 22:36:16

MrsMushroom, it's not that I am ignoring it, it's really that i'm not going out looking for it. I have always encouraged my DC to just like what they like. DDs are 8 and 7. Younger one has always liked boyish stuff. By that, I mean Thomas, Sportacus from lazytown, Harry Potter. She dressed up as HP for World Book Day. As did many of her girl friends.
Have DS 1. He likes footballs and so far, hairbrushes, frozen peas and mobile phones.
Both DDs are at school. Neither have been affected enough by their peers to stop liking what they do. Do you know why? Because they have their own minds and opinions and personalities. I doubt very much that a sign in a shop saying where the boys toys and the girls toys are will change their interests.

Really tanfastic? How odd.
How did you come to the conclusion that flowers,fairies, princesses were for girls and trains, cars etc were for boys?
Hmm, could it perchance be that genderstereotyped marketing that segregates toys and activities for children into boys stuff and girls stuff? Well of course a girl can play with boys stuff, if she wants, no one is stopping her from being abnormal....if that's what she wants

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:36:43

I used to work as a facepainter....little boys, usually under 5 would ask to be a butterfly. About 1 in ten parents would allow this. They would say oooh a tiger!

And the poor little glitter loving lad would have to give in after a few arguments. I took to saying ...what about a moth? Parents would say oh ok yes..that sounds good.

It was a blue fecking butterfly...they were happy..

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 22:37:57

I guess I have no point except for objecting to you telling me I have to ask myself why DS1 would hate a pink card as I am pretty open minded TBH.

Sorry - I am being over sensitive!

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:38:04

bed then why bother having it then? If kids are so free thinking...we may as well ditch the gender shite no?

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:38:21

But I have a girl. Shes 10y and she really isn't affected like this. She likes what she likes and that's it. Colour phases we have been through - green, blue, pink, purple, red, yellow and currently orange.

I work in an infant school. At school the children genuinely play with whatever is there. I am in Y2 at the moment - the boys will happily play with the pink and purple hama beads with the flower templates, and the girls happily play with the science kit to make burglar alarms (both were DD's toys previously). Previously I was in y1 and the children all dressed up in the role play clothes regardless - fairies, princesses, pirates, chefs, aliens, space suits, etc - the girls and boys were happy with any.

Yes, some children have phases and yes, some 5y girls will love pink princesses and sparkles and some 5y boys will only like cars and blue. But many children will interchange and many will like the opposite gender stereo type stuff too. But in my experiences, even at 6-7 years old, they are not overly driven by expectations. Most just have phases of liking different things.

baublesandbaileys Fri 30-Nov-12 22:38:39

"Well of course a girl can play with boys stuff, if she wants, no one is stopping her from being abnormal"

abnormal!!!!!!! shockshock

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:39:13

When I say *have to ask I don't mean YOU alone...I mean everyone has to ask that. WHY do some boys look down on pink etc? And they do>...just like some little girls will go YUK that's a boys toy/colour/design/ whatever.

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 22:40:05

MrsMushroom that is awful from the parents as the DCs should be able to have whatever they want. I guess I was trying to make a point earlier that it is fine if that is what the DC wants but I just wouldn't send a 'girly' card if I didn't know thats what the DC would like specifically.

Sorry again for being OTT about your comment!

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 22:40:14

MrsMushroom, are you not getting that it's just one other way to sell stuff? Kids are generally very free thinking. It's the adults that seem to make a big deal of stuff confused

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:40:47

Hula I do wish people would not come along and say ooh but MY child isn't affected by this.

It's not about looking at it from this's about the bigger picture. T

MrsMelons Fri 30-Nov-12 22:41:04

DS1 probably hates pink as I am pink obsessed!

Sarcasm baubles grin

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 22:41:58

baubles - I think you missed a heavy does of sarcasm there grin

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:42:37

bed it's wider than the pink/blue thing. It concerns the type of toys which are IN each section.

Children's brains are very suggestible. Looking at many displays it seems that Science and discovery equals boys, crafts and hoovering equals girls.

it's not just a way to sell stuff

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 22:43:25

MrsMushroom - you wish people wouldn't come along with their own experiences and opinions - is that what you just said?

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:44:32

MrsMushroom - I am talking from my experience of many children, not just my own child. I just cant get het up about it too much as I don;'t really see many children being affected by it. I see parents getting het up about it - albeit almost only on MN, but a handful in real life - but I don;t see children getting affected by it.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:44:42

Chipping no. I just feel we could all say My child this and my child takes a wider view to understand the full picture.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 30-Nov-12 22:45:01

beds - thing is, its fine for us who have kids who aren't swayed by signs and peer pressure, and who cheerfully ignore such things ourselves, but unfortunately a lot of people are heavily influenced.

Maybe the genderisation of playthings has absolutely nothing to do with half the schools in the country having no girls in their A level physics classes - but then again, maybe it does. No one else ever bought K'nex or lego or meccano for my DD, it was mostly barbies and polly pockets.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:45:19

Hula it's not necessarily something you CAN see.

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 22:45:30

Funny how some children are guided by their parents and some are guided by their occasional trip to a toy shop. Maybe the parents with 3 year olds who think toys aren't for girls or aren't for boys should be looking at their parenting, not toyshop shelves?

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:46:24

Yes Grimma exactly. And the reason why people go hmm when they meet a male carer or nursery worker.

Baublesandbaileys - I am just saying that over a good number of years, pink and purple have become associated more with girls than boys, for a lot of people. Rightly or wrongly. Also, one might expect a child's card with a picture of a girl on to be aimed at a girl. Perhaps I care too much about what other people think, but I would wonder what the parents would think. Because it goes against what has been the 'norm', I was just wondering if they were making a point. Perhaps not. Probably as people have said they were just using what they had in the house. And before you say it's about the child, not the parents, if that is the case completely then why does anyone send a card to a child who cannot yet read, and is more interested in the presents?

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:46:39

I suspect stores also started splitting things into gender areas because it was something they researched and found parents looking at. Same as splitting things into age ranges. Shops respond to shopper preferences.

MrsMushroom Fri 30-Nov-12 22:47:08

Chipping bollocks. Why would you blame parents for the choices manufacturers make?

threesocksmorgan Fri 30-Nov-12 22:47:54

end of

pigletmania Fri 30-Nov-12 22:48:05

YANBU I presume you know your ds well and what he likes, if he's not into flowers and faries than it does seem a bit odd. My nephew 6 would not be happy recieving a card like that as he's into Disney cars and Micky Mouse

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:48:07

Oh come on - I work with many many children in the most "vunerable" age group every single day.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:49:59

Manufacturers and shops respond to shopper preferences and habits, and lots of market research.

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 22:50:05

But it is just a way to sell stuff. And as consumers, we buy what we want.
You do seem to be overthinking things far too much.

PeppermintCreams Fri 30-Nov-12 22:50:15

Is it a card factory card? Because I buy a fivers worth of them at a time so I've always got cards in stock. At 7 for £1 you can't go wrong!

Maybe they buy their cards in bulk from somewhere and the "pink" cards are the only child like ones they've got?

ChippingInLovesAutumn Fri 30-Nov-12 22:51:57

MrsMushroom - what mistakes have the manufacturers made exactly?
<just ignoring your rude Bollocks comment>

TuftyFinch Fri 30-Nov-12 22:52:41

Oh my god will the pink/ blue brigade stop being so antsy! Most people would not buy a butterfly card for a boy. Most people know it doesn't matter but there we go, this is the world we find ourselves in. Labelling toys as 'boy's' and 'girls' isn't the biggest issue. We live in a capitalist society: it's called marketing. If the pink/blue stuff was outlawed do you think the split between toys purchased for boys/girls would change? I don't think it would.

threesocksmorgan Fri 30-Nov-12 22:53:53

Hulababy I like you

Going to bow out for a while, time for bed, thanks all.

This couple are usually quite 'traditional' so really I guess they just sent what they have. That is why I was surprised really, it didn't seem like them to choose what I would see as a more 'modern' choice. Unless they have been on mumsnet reading up about gender-neutrality in toys, cards, etc., in which case I am in trouble!!

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 22:55:24


baublesandbaileys Fri 30-Nov-12 22:57:03

"If the pink/blue stuff was outlawed do you think the split between toys purchased for boys/girls would change? I don't think it would"

why not? before this nonsense there people didn't buy different kinds of lego sets for girls and for boys, kids just got lego! red, yellow, blue and green lego! the same sets!

hiviolet Fri 30-Nov-12 22:59:52

YANBU. It's kind of thoughtless.

Speaking of stupid card choices, my DD was given an adult's card for her first birthday. It was a comedy photo of a baby gurning with "another year older and still gorgeous". I mean for starters, ANOTHER year older? grin

threesocksmorgan Fri 30-Nov-12 23:00:54

hiviolet sorry but that made me lol

CotedePablo Fri 30-Nov-12 23:01:57

Aye, there's always one gets on their high horse.

GrimmaTheNome Fri 30-Nov-12 23:02:22

Tufty - its not about pink/blue, really. Its about labelling playthings as 'for boys' and 'for girls' in cases where they really aren't - like science and construction kits. So, because we do tend to buy conventionally for children we don't know well, most of us would tend not to get a little boy a purple butterfly card - fine, doesn't matter - but also many tend not to get little girls proper science and construction toys (which every girl who gets to play with DDs likes) - they go for the designated girl toys of barbies or if you're lucky, bath bombs.

Chigertick Fri 30-Nov-12 23:02:44

To answer the OP YANBU if the couple don't know your child well enough to know if he likes butterflies etc it is an odd choice.

With regard to the whole gender stereotyping I have b/g twins who have a range of toys that have been given to them both or separately, but we just have out as toys. From quite early on my DS showed a real preference for vehicles, lining up objects and taking things apart - putting back together eg with treasure basket items. DD again from quite young has loved dressing up (covering herself in fabric) hats, people toys (her "men"!) and how objects/things change and filling up bags/ containers.

Now at 21 months he mainly plays with the fire engine etc etc and she gets the soft toys and makes them her babies (her words).

I have consciously never said that certain toys were for boys/girls, they don't go to playgroup and all our friends have similar toys to us so cars as well as dolls. They have only very recently ever seen a tv advert (last 2 weeks).They didn't start at the childminders until 14 months and by then their separate b/g ness was already there.

I agree that there shouldn't be boys/girls toys but that's not to say that they aren't very different from a nature rather than nurture point of view.

bedmonster Fri 30-Nov-12 23:03:54

MrsMushroom, have you shuffled off to Dadsnet? - can't believe you are even on MN to be honest, rather blatant sexism grin grin and lots more grin

threesocksmorgan Fri 30-Nov-12 23:04:55

do people really get so tied up in knots about this......??
at the end of the day, you buy your kids what they like....
really I do not see the big deal

Obstreperous Fri 30-Nov-12 23:10:32

I do this deliberately.

I look for cards away from the extreme ends of gender stereotyping, but still choose cards that are 'meant' for the other gender, or are obviously gender neutral. I do the same with gifts.

Hulababy Fri 30-Nov-12 23:13:31

Obstreperous - would you do this regardless of the child's likes and interests?

TuftyFinch Fri 30-Nov-12 23:14:06

Yes but I don't think they do. They can. But they don't have to. We can all share our 'my dd plays with diggers' stories but most people I know buy for the child not the gender. It's the adults that care not the children and as it's the children that play with them...
I'm not 'against' what you're doing but it's not like it's illegal to buy red/blue/yellow lego for a girl or a pushchair for a boy. Lego won't withdraw their 'pink' lego. It can be bought for boys.
Being ansty won't change people's perceptions because either a) you're preaching to the converted
b) reinforcing a different stereotype.

Hobbitation Fri 30-Nov-12 23:28:01

Yes, I don't mind pink Lego, only any marketing that says 'this is only for girls'.

Hobbitation Fri 30-Nov-12 23:30:59

DD1 got pink Meccano for Christmas from a relative one year. I at first thought 'Oh dear, it's very pink, isn't it?" But it was actually quite fun making all the models with it, and unique among her other toys.

threesocksmorgan Fri 30-Nov-12 23:34:48

Obstreperous why??
is it so it becomes all about you?

qo Fri 30-Nov-12 23:44:52

"Maybe the genderisation of playthings has absolutely nothing to do with half the schools in the country having no girls in their A level physics classes - but then again, maybe it does. No one else ever bought K'nex or lego or meccano for my DD, it was mostly barbies and polly pockets. "

I just felt very sad when I read that.

TuftyFinch Fri 30-Nov-12 23:50:35

I feel very sad when children don't get any toys for their birthday. Getting toys that are too gender specific? Poor children.

threesocksmorgan Fri 30-Nov-12 23:52:06

I feel sad when children die, have no food are ill....
color of toys

qo Fri 30-Nov-12 23:54:57

So minor crimes should always be overlooked because more serious ones exist?

TuftyFinch Fri 30-Nov-12 23:56:12

I feel sad about donkeys though. Poor old donkeys, always with the sad face.

threesocksmorgan Fri 30-Nov-12 23:57:34

"crime" tis hardly a crime

TuftyFinch Fri 30-Nov-12 23:59:29

Are the wrong A levels and pink toys crimes now? Do Scotland Yard know?

coff33pot Fri 30-Nov-12 23:59:41

pink or blue is a crime? OMG I missed this.....

tbh I loved fire engines I was little and thats exactly what my family bought me other than 2 dolls in all my child hood. But then fire engines are red....

qo Fri 30-Nov-12 23:59:41

I know it isn't a crime, I was making an analogy

threesocksmorgan Sat 01-Dec-12 00:00:54

I am now worried about Donkeys....
are donkeys girlie.
will I be arrested for being girlie??

coff33pot Sat 01-Dec-12 00:02:06

only if your donkey has a pink collar threesocks grin

threesocksmorgan Sat 01-Dec-12 00:02:59

oh no
my donkey is all metal
he has tatts and piercings

qo Sat 01-Dec-12 00:03:56

And I am sad about the abscence of girs from physics A levels, I have a dd, why is it weird to feel sad about that?

But because there are children who get no toys somehow excludes me from also feeling sad about this too?

TuftyFinch Sat 01-Dec-12 00:04:03

Donkeys are asexual. They are the only asexual mammal living on land.

TuftyFinch Sat 01-Dec-12 00:05:01

But your DD can do physics? They're not excluding her for being a girl?

qo Sat 01-Dec-12 00:05:08

and you can disagree without resorting to mockery and/or sarcastic posts

TuftyFinch Sat 01-Dec-12 00:06:12

I wasn't being sarcastic. You can disagree without being dramatic.

katiecubs Sat 01-Dec-12 00:07:58

MrsM if you DD was not too keen on Lego perhaps you should try getting her the girls version instead. It comes in a pink box and everything so she may find that more appealing grin

threesocksmorgan Sat 01-Dec-12 00:08:48

I really do not see a link.....
girl plays with doll.......can't do physics....
nah can't see it

usualsuspect3 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:09:43

You can play with pink stuff and even wear pink stuff and still do physics.

threesocksmorgan Sat 01-Dec-12 00:10:29

thank you

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 01-Dec-12 00:11:05

Well, irrespective of that fact boys can and do like the colours purple and pink and can be a swine finding "boy" birthday cards. Then again,they may just pick up the first card they see with the appropriate number on it.

TuftyFinch Sat 01-Dec-12 00:11:08

No usual you can't anymore. It's all illegal.

qo Sat 01-Dec-12 00:11:28

Feeling sad is dramatic?

Ok, well I can see what kind of reasoned debate you're interested in here, so I'll bow out now and get myself to bed.

It's absolutely fine by me if you don't see anything wrong with the issue - it's how you feel and I'm not trying to change your mind.

I don't see why the reverse shouldn't apply?

usualsuspect3 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:13:50

Actually, my physics teacher at school was a female who wore dresses and make up shock

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 01-Dec-12 00:15:46

Same here usual.

Actually,the majority of my science teachers at school were women.

TuftyFinch Sat 01-Dec-12 00:16:52

I'm happy to have a reasoned debate but you're implying girls <can't> do physics. Of course they can, they're not excluded by gender. If you are talking about the wider issue of why girls don't choose to do physics that's a massively different issue and I'd be more than happy to engage in polite discourse about it.

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 01-Dec-12 00:18:05

And the majority of the maths teachers were women too. The majority of all the heads of departments there were also women,thinking about it now. Though I didn't at the time because I never thought women couldn't be any of those things,I just assumed they could,because they were.

threesocksmorgan Sat 01-Dec-12 00:19:41

but wtf has girls doing physics or Maths got to do with birthday cards??

usualsuspect3 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:21:27

Same here, ALi.

My DCs science teachers were woman too.

usualsuspect3 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:22:00

I dunno, threesocks.

I never read the start of the thread grin

TuftyFinch Sat 01-Dec-12 00:23:21

I have to buck the trend and say my maths teacher was a man.

usualsuspect3 Sat 01-Dec-12 00:24:50

One of my maths teachers was a man , he looked like Fred Flintstone.

TuftyFinch Sat 01-Dec-12 00:33:21

Mine looked like Mr Claypole from Rentaghost grin

coff33pot Sat 01-Dec-12 00:45:30

Mine wore a tweeeeeed jacket and horn rimmed glasses lol he was the one that taught me the law of gravity by kicking the stool out from under me grin

SomersetONeil Sat 01-Dec-12 00:52:14

"If you are talking about the wider issue of why girls don't choose to do physics that's a massively different issue and I'd be more than happy to engage in polite discourse about it."

No, it's not a massively different issue; it is the issue being discussed. No-one is saying girls can't do physics; of course they can. But they don't tend to, do they?

Why is that?

CaseyShraeger Sat 01-Dec-12 01:08:05

DD1 (4.5) likes football and Ben 10 and Doctor Who. But she's aware at some level that she's "supposed" to like pink and purple. She says "I like red and blue and yelliw and grey; all the colours except pink and purple". I don't think she has anything against the colours but she dorsn't seem to think she can resist the hyper-girly mindset without rejecting the colours too.

DD2 (21 months) doesn't have much hair. If she's not wearing (effectively) a flashing neon sign that says "Hello, I am a girl" then strangers tend to assume she's a boy rather than a girl. And the comments she gets as a "boy" are identifiably different from those she gets as a girl. Can that really have no impact? Well, in DD2's case quite possibly as she also has a hearing impairment and can't hear what people are saying, but more generally? (ooh, there's an interesting research subject there, on gender stereotyping in hearing-impaired vs. non-hearing-impaired children).

AlexReidsLonelyThisChristmas Sat 01-Dec-12 01:11:06

I had Meccano and all that jazz and I was shit at physics. I was never allowed a Chemistry Set yet loved it and got me an A.

My younger sister grew up on a diet of Barbie, Polly Pocket, Littlest Pet Shop and the rest and will be taking Physics and Maths for A level. She got all the brains and I got all the stumpiness. grin

Obstreperous Sat 01-Dec-12 02:00:23

Yes threesocks, I do it so it's all about me. I also climb into the ballpit at soft play parties and push in front of the birthday girl/boy to blow their candles out grin.

I do buy to interest if I can identify one (they're all only 2-3). I bought my DS an owl card because he loves them. It was pink - they don't actually seem to do owl cards in other colours.

mathanxiety Sat 01-Dec-12 03:38:11

Was it my mum who sent the card? She has consistently got age and gender wrong on cards since DD1 was a baby, so 22 years now.. The DCs treasure her cards.

The problem is she doesn't like to wear her glasses if she thinks someone would see her, and for some reason is blind to many aspects of popular culture so the pink/blue thing doesn't mean anything to her (also she can never tell when someone sitting beside her on a park bench is out of their head on turpentine, etc).

HalloweenNameChange Sat 01-Dec-12 04:04:24

He is 2 he doesn't care.

He is 2, if he knows what a butterfly- he probably likes them.

Someone actually cared enough to send your son a card.

HalloweenNameChange Sat 01-Dec-12 04:24:07

Obstreperous - would you do this regardless of the child's likes and interests?

Hulababy why would you assume that a baby's gender would determine whether they would like a card? Do you assume 2 year old baby girls are more likely to like butterfly than boys? If the people who sent the card don't know the child well why should they send a traditional boys card? WHy should they assume the baby will enjoy it more because it follws gender stereotyping?

Boomerwang Sat 01-Dec-12 06:09:29

Ugh. Skipped most of the thread after the crap about gender stereotyping.

I would think it was odd, yes. It's clearly a girly card. I'd clear up any doubt about your child's gender and expect something more appropriate next year.

The only confused children out there are the ones who aren't reassured about their identity and that's unfair and in some cases detrimental.

nooka Sat 01-Dec-12 06:59:02

Marketing isn't just about responding to demand, the 'best' marketing is about creating demand. Segmentation is one way to do that, in this case by creating products for the part of the market buying for boys and the part buying for girls (or creating that perception at least). This means that parents are much less likely to pass toys down within families, and friends and family more likely to pick up the girl/boy toy because it's easier.

The consequence of this is that the volume of gender specific toys that the average child gets its likely to be much higher. So far fewer girls will get sciency type stuff, and far fewer boys will have creative stuff, and in general neither girls nor boys will have much that hasn't been genderised. Even previously gender neutral toys like lego have done this, and it's even more insidious because not only are the lines aimed at girls in pastel shades but they are also less complex than the standard kits. This is now creeping into adult marketing too - see all the crappy pink tools you can now buy in hardware stores.

qo Sat 01-Dec-12 07:28:13

I really don't think I implied that girls can't do physics tuttyfinch

I said Grimma's post made me feel sad, because it did.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Sat 01-Dec-12 07:36:30

I'm sure there's nothing more to it than one of them went looking for a card and saw a pretty one, or they have lots of cards stockpiled and they're using them up (my grandad used to do this)

And it's actually rather good that their thinking isn't boy = train/football.

Because the other possibility is that they are going out and deliberately buying cards for girls in order to give them to your boy and their intention is to make some sort of point/statement/upset you - and you have to ask yourself - how likely is that?

so I'd say just thank them for the cards and don't overanalyse it. In all likelihood it means nothing beyond sending a card.

seeker Sat 01-Dec-12 07:48:15

The massed ranks of the Professionally Unoffended out in force, I see!

"no, no, no, nothing to see here! No gender stereotyping going on at all. And even if there was, it wouldn't make any difference. Nothing stopping girls doing anything they want to. It's just coincidence that they don't want to be physicists, engineers or Prime Ministers....."

Dp does things like this as he is colour blind

jamdonut Sat 01-Dec-12 08:06:47

Slightly off topic...referring to something earlier in tne thread....

My daughter (nearly 16) went shopping for jumpers. When she came home she had two really lovely chunky knit jumpers,from Primark, that loked gorgeous on her. She got them from the MENS department because she couldn't find anything she liked in Womens!!!

threesocksmorgan Sat 01-Dec-12 08:14:33

i had that problem. I had to get dd's christmas jumper from the mens bit.

I can't believe anyone would think a small boy would like butterflies!

It's PC gone mad!.

They should have got him a dinosaur card.

What will they get him next year? A card with kittens on!

Welovecouscous Sat 01-Dec-12 08:29:28

I might have done this pre DS as I didn't realise how strong gender stereotyping is on gifts for tiny kids. Why wouldn't a 2 year old boy like butterflies?

Welovecouscous Sat 01-Dec-12 08:29:59

This my son adores kittens and would live a card like that!

Oop, sorry couscous, I agree. I was being sarcastic.

TeddyBare Sat 01-Dec-12 08:34:49

YABU and ungrateful. Your ds can like purple and butterflies and it's nice that someone in his life recognises that, especially if you're busy trying to force him to do the stereotypical boy things.

differentnameforthis Sat 01-Dec-12 08:46:28

My daughter would (and was) in her element at receiving Thomas the Tank engine cards this year. Almost as excited as she was when she got Fireman Sam ones last year!

HazleNutt Sat 01-Dec-12 14:02:41

Interesting. So people saying YANBU and why would someone send a "wrong" gendered card, are at the same time claiming that dividing things to boys' and girls' doesn't matter the slightest, surely people can make their minds up themselves and buy what they want.

Well, that's what the people in OP did, and you are stating that they were wrong to choose something that was labelled (or looks like it could have been labelled) "for girls".

But still, gender stereotyping off cards and toys doesn't matter, oh no, not the slightest, no difference..

Hulababy Sat 01-Dec-12 15:25:15

Hallowennamschange - most 2 yo have an opinion on what they like. I responded to another poster who said they'd buy opposite gender specific cards on purpose. I questioned if they'd do it Even If they knew a child's preference and it was different to what the poster wanted to buy.

GrimmaTheNome Sun 02-Dec-12 16:43:45

Hula - I think the clue to that one is in the poster's name. Buying an 'opposite gendered' card is spot-on right if you know that's what the child likes - and spot-on wrong if you know they won't like it. If you don't know what the child likes - best get something neutral IMO (which to me includes something like Thomas the Tank Engine).

>Donkeys are asexual. They are the only asexual mammal living on land.
You know that expression 'hung like a horse'? They ain't got nothing on donkeys grin -fortunately this has little to do with children's toys, even those expensive German plastic animals don't dare do them justice.

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