So I popped into Mothercare today and can you guess the slogans for the clothes?(61 Posts)
Boys clothes...for your little monkeys
Girls clothes ...Give us a twirl, all in this season's colours (as long as it's pink)
Just saying like.
My mil has 3 gds and v recently a new baby gs. The girls have all had the same crocheted newborn cardy made for them. It was a pattern she used for DH and his brother and sister when they were born. She was proud of said frilly cardy thing when she made it again for my dd1 (first gd). It wasn't really my taste but perfectly sweet for a new baby. I was quite sad when she and I went to see gs on day 1 and she said "oh, I won't take the the cardy I have made as its just not suitable for a boy these days" Even 68yos are being conditioned.
DS2 is currently wearing DD's old bike helmet. It's white with pink flowers on (because that was all there was that fitted her at the time) and the number of parents at school that make comments on it being a girl's helmet far outweigh the number of kids. He's really proud of it.
I was one of the many hundreds of staff made redundant when they closed most of the early learning centre shops!
So no defacing the slogans on the signage i'm afraid
We did write rude things about them in the dirt of their delivery lorries though!
Ooh - spill Amazing! Why were you sacked - was it for defacing the slogans on their boards? [hopeful]
Mellie, ds2 (3.5) likes pink, ds1 (6) is fine with it but a friend's DD who is also 6 comments on him having a girl's plate or whatever. And yes, I say people like what they like etc - but plenty of parents make comments too!
The Jools Oliver things are beautiful. But by the age of 5 or 6 my boys are so conditioned by their mates at school that they are very very fussy about what they will wear. It's so sad.
I've also found some H&M baby clothes and Boots 'collectable' things are traditional and quite unisex...ds3 has been wearing some really pretty white cotton smocks and though they are lacy, he is a baby (8mo) and this to me is what babies should be allowed to wear - they were perfect in the hot summer we just had.
this set is gorgeous, he's sadly grown out of it now!
I haven't stepped foot in a Mother-fuckers-don't-Care since they sacked me.
Read Susan faludi backlash abit dated but she wrote a book essentially setting out grumble tarts above theory
No way was it the same in the 70s. I had short hair throughout my childhood, and it was the norm. I got my very first item of pink clothing aged 18.
My experience spans the 50s (when I was 7-17) the 60s as older teen and twenties, 60s and 70s when my DCs were born and the 80s when they were teens, so pretty extensive. What was available to me and my DCs in our childhoods - thinking about clothing and activities - in an era that was technically pre second-wave feminism, though we are all in fact feminists as was my mother and grandmother, was much less stereotyped than today.
It seems to me that as women have become more and more independent, economically and socially and free (apparently) to be/do what we want the tendency to shove girls back into - for want of a better word - a princess box has increased. Girls today, for an example, seem to bother what boys think of them whereas I and my school friends and my DCs couldn't give a flying fart.
Is that my imagination or is there some sort of subtle backlash going on?
Conspiracy theorist - moi? Surely not.
The real problem is that (if you read those slogans) the boys are all about them enjoying their life, quite rightly, where the girls is all about pleasing others by being pretty to look at. WTF is that about? I don't care if other people think my (future) daughter is "cute", but I do want her to be happy. It may be a pretty traditional form of sexism but that division should be dead in the water by now.
I'm late twenties and pictures of my schoolfriends show no-one wearing pink, let alone gigantic princess party dresses. I remember a girl who used to wear quite puffy dresses and we all thought it was a bit OTT tbh, and they were in green or navy, not pink. Now I see little girls walking around like they're on their way to The Great Big Disney Princess Convention, and they're only off to Asda or whatever. It's bizarre.
Some years ago I bought a t shirt for my son, then about 14, from TK MAXX, There was a stylised drawing of a aeroplane with some writing. I couldn't read it (too wiggley) but bought the t shirt.
About a year later I was ironing it (hate ironing so must have been very bored) and actually read the words - "Mile High Club". Oh bugger.
I bought a few of the Jules Oliver things for my son and other children I know. They were lovely. At least I got them at a better price
'When I was at school I asked if I could wear trousers in winter and was the first girl to do so (and not the last) I played footie and had proper short cropped hair.'
That's brilliant - you were pretty fortunate in that case.
I was 9 when I tried joining in with the boys who were all playing football on the playing field...I was told off for it, in no uncertain terms - why, I asked - because it's a rough game and they are boys and you will get hurt, don't be so silly'
That was it for football. It totally turned me off even bothering to try if I had to fight so hard just for a kick around at lunchtime.
>> Basically the gender stereotypical stuff obviously sells!
Yes, because they're making parents waste their money on two of everything lest they be judged for not conforming sufficiently to gender stereotypes.
"I'm sure back then there was boys/girls stuff much as it is today" Well I don't know how old you are melliebobs but it wasn't like this in the 70s. At my DSs nursery there isn't a single girl with short cropped hair. At the local primary school the same thing. It definitely wasn't like that in my childhood. These messages have an effect.
Personally, I haven't set foot in Mothercare since the CEO did his web chat. There was a whiff of paternalist BS about his replies that just tallied too much with this pink for little princesses / blue for our little funmonnkeys for me. It really does define the culture our chilfren grow up in and I find it opressive and a bit depressing.
For me, the naughty boy / passive girl marketing is not appropriate in a world where one out the 1 out of 4 women suffer some form of sexual abuse during their lifetime.
In simple terms its all about the financial side of it... Basically the gender stereotypical stuff obviously sells! On the other end of the scale the last time I was in MC (few months back) I thought some of the boys range from Jules Oliver & Mylene Class was a bit feminine looking for my tastes... Flowers & birds on if my memory serves, & this was the kind of stuff reduced in abundance in their recent end of season sale.
I can't see the link in how kids are dressed really determines how they develop & what they go on to do as an adult. If my daughter wanted to do what's seen as a traditional male job then I would encourage her to do it & I'm all in favour of breaking down boundaries.
I took my DS around the block with his pink pushchair this morning and he got a very odd 'look' from an elderly man. Pic on my profile. He is almost three and I KNOW as soon as he gets into school (If not before) he will be made to feel ashamed/strange.odd for liking his pushchair and doll. At the moment I dress him in pink quite a lot.
I also saw this the other day. It makes smoke come out of my ears. I mean what hope do we have?!?
Well, rainbowfeet, you told the OP that this was such a stupid thread that you were laughing at it; I don't think you're in a particularly good position to be telling me I'm rude for judging you for that. And you're blatantly making it about you -- you said you wanted to be able to spend your money on the clothes you liked for your children, which no one was suggesting for one moment that you shouldn't. It's about the relentless stereotyping of "boys are like this, girls are like that" all over the place.
It matters because my DD comes back from school telling me that she can only like "boys' stuff" if she is a tomboy, and that if she is a tomboy she can't like "girls' stuff". These aren't concepts she's learned at home. Left to her own devices she just likes some stuff and not other stuff, scattered among the gendered categories (I suspect most children are the same), but the message she's getting outside the home is that it's one or the other, that she can either be a proper girl or a tomboy.
melliebobs, there may well have been boys/girls stuff at something approaching the same level when you were young, but I'm older than you and it wasn't anything like it in my childhood. Lego was marketed at boys and girls equally; pink was just another colour (if I look back through pictures of my childhood very few girls are wearing any pink). Yes, there were Barbies (etc.) but there weren't vast aisles of "boys'" and "girls'" toys.
Today we are in a position where the proportion of computing A-levels taken by girls is going down significantly; half of the UKs co-educational state schools send no girls at all to sit A-level physics; between 2001 and 2011, the percentage of technology jobs held by women declined from 22% to 17%. Maybe that's a coincidence; maybe it has nothing at all to do with the increased gender polarisation of childhood. But it's an interesting and suggestive correlation.
I have a policy of "no writing or obvious branding"on clothes, I don't mind pink but I mix it up and only buy plain clothes - people frequently ask if my DD is a boy.
A selection of Mothercare t-shirts from the 18mo to 8 yr range
Boys: Born to be cool, Born to ride, happy little dude, redwood camping-boys only, laugh out loud, little strong man, boys will be boys, make some noise, funny happy awesome,
Girls: Born to be cute, born to sparkle, (plus: born to be a star- marginally less bad), pretty little flower, little cutie, cute cute cute cute, princess in training (supervom), I want to marry a prince (super-aspirational, that one)
WTAF??????? I cant tell you how depressed this makes me
It matters to me because my 8 year old DD said this:
Mummy, why do boys get called 'cool' for wearing blue, and girls get called 'babies' for wearing pink. (that's what happens in her school)
Because anything that is seen as feminine is there to be ridiculed
Join the discussion
Please login first.