DD (2) has started up with the 'pink is for girls, blue is for boys' - how to deal?

(38 Posts)
makemineabacardi Thu 02-Jan-14 12:28:31

I've always been very careful with DD (who is 3 next month) to try to avoid pigeonholing her with colours, toys, clothes etc. She wears any colour she chooses, plays with both dolls and cars, loves Spiderman and horses equally etc etc. I feel very strongly about the 'let toys be toys' view so for most of her life I've tried not to make a big deal out of the gender segregation for small children (which in my opinion is far more apparent than it was than in the 80's when I grew up).

Very recently she seems to have 'noticed' the gender divide so has started asking questions. For example, she told me on the way home from nursery a few days ago that old mantra 'pink is for girls, blue is for boys' until I reminded her that my fave colour is blue and she also says blue is her fave too. She's started doing things like picking up her Spiderman top, looking confused and saying 'but its for boys'. The same for her new shoes - which she chose but are also from the Clarks boys' range. She'll still wear them happily but she's starting to ask questions.

I've tried explaining to her that all colours and toys are for anyone and anyone can play/wear them etc, but is this how I should be saying it? Is there a better way to make it clearer for her in a way she would understand?

It's inevitable I guess that she would reach this stage (I'm guessing she picked it up at nursery as we have no family here and she doesnt get it from friends), and a bit depressing as I thought she would be older than this. 2 seems very young to be aware of this.

So any good pointers for me? How do fellow feminists deal with this issue with their children?

Thanks smile

ilovesmurfs Thu 02-Jan-14 17:15:53

Yes exaclty errol pink is fine, but it being solely for girls is not.

ErrolTheDragon Thu 02-Jan-14 18:22:39

'but it being solely for girls is not.'

I can't think of any toys or activities which should be seen as girl-only or boy-only.

TheBunsOfPanettone Fri 03-Jan-14 20:38:26

As I found out recently ideas about the sex-appropriateness of pink and blue extend beyond human children.

I volunteer with a cat sanctuary and earlier this week a gorgeous adult male was rehomed. His new staff owner came to collect him and at the same time, collect a litter tray. The pink litter tray, which had been made ready for collection, was rejected shock and one in a more "suitable" colour requested.

Was I wrong to howl with laughter?

ErrolTheDragon Fri 03-Jan-14 21:45:35

Not wrong at all. Having said that, I do find it quite helpful that so many owners of lady dogs give them 'feminine' collars - saves having to look underneath to check what sort of social interaction is likely to happen with my boy dog! grin

TheBunsOfPanettone Sun 05-Jan-14 14:26:08

ErrolTheDragon hehe grin

capercaillie Sun 05-Jan-14 14:33:16

Where has she picked that up at 2 years old? Is it a phrase said at nursery? 2 seems very young to be aware of that but it can be reinforced by caregivers

I must be lucky so far. 4 year old DD has not had a noticeable pink phase and is dressed as a dinosaur today.

Rosencrantz Sat 11-Jan-14 18:11:41

In our house, pink is for Candyfloss and blue is for Man City, and no one ever has to choose between the two. You can have both!

Creeping Sun 12-Jan-14 00:08:30

Don't worry Bacardi, it's a normal stage in development. Toddlers are trying to make sense of the world by categorising. So every man with grey hair becomes granddad, sometimes every man becomes dad, the child I was minding 2 days a week called me Mummy because I was the one changing her nappies and feeding her, and everything pink is for girls and everything blue is for boys.

By correcting them you teach them that the categories are a bit more refined than that and may even have different criteria than she picked up on. So keep just telling her that "colours are for everyone" (my standard phrase) as you are doing and she will grow out of it soon enough.

Auntierosemary Sun 12-Jan-14 00:23:38

Isn't it funny how nobody ever worries about boys liking blue in the same way that they worry about girls liking pink? And yet at the same time, it's not often you see a boy dressed in girly colours, whereas many parents conscientiously dress their girls in unisex clothes.
To have a strong gender identity is not necessarily to be oppressed.
What's wrong with pink?

Auntierosemary Sun 12-Jan-14 00:24:32

And yes, I have just drank a bottle of wine.

Creeping Sun 12-Jan-14 00:56:37

Very good point Auntie, despite (or thanks to) the wine!

That is exactly why my boys had a pink buggy to push around when they were toddlers.

All too often girls playing with cars is not regarded the same as boys playing with pink things, dolls, make-up, handbags or other things girly. ]

The message society gives to our girls and boys is clear: boy things are good enough for girls, but girl things not good enough for boys. I.e. girl things are worth less than boy things i.e. girls are worth less than boys.

It needs a concerted effort on the part of the parents to fight this, because the rest of society (adverts, (toy) shops, tv shows) unthinkingly show the stereotypes that our children have no difficulty picking up.

CouthyMow Sun 12-Jan-14 01:35:27

My DS3 says "pink in wainbow song. Blue in wainbow song. Wainbow song for evvywun" whenever someone says he can't like Sofia or Doc McStuffins or dollies because they are pink, or his best friend can't play with tools or Spider-man because they are blue...

(The clever words of my 2y11mo DS3!)

sashh Sun 12-Jan-14 06:00:06

Only boring and silly people think that pink is for girls and blue is for boys.

People sometimes use colours because other people are too silly to tell the difference, but she is not silly she can tell boys and girls apart.

2beornot

My carer wears nail varnish, usually black, sometimes with one red finger nail. Do you want me to send you a pic?

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