FFS, do we have to start with the gender stereotyping crap so early?!

(84 Posts)
TheBookofRuth Tue 28-Jan-14 10:18:49

Warning: this is more of a long, rambling rant than anything else.

DD has just turned two and we had a birthday party for her. A female relative - someone who I regard as a strong independent type and didn't expect this from - started talking afterwards about how lovely it was to see all the little boys getting stuck in and having a go at everything and showing no fear, and how different they were from the little girls.

I wondered if she'd been at the same party as me, because what I saw was just as many girls getting "stuck in" as boys, and the two shyest, most withdrawn guests were both boys. I mentioned them to her, and she waved it off with "oh yes, but on the whole..."

Similar conversation with MIL recently, who was talking about her little great nephew (only just over one) being "SUCH a boy, he just stomps about getting into everything." At the exact moment she's saying this, her two GDs (my DD and SIL's) are "stomping about getting into everything".

I don't restrict the toys DD has on grounds of gender, so she has dolls and cars and everything in between. Her favourites at the moment are trains and duplo and anything she can paint and draw with. At the party I mentioned something about her playing with a truck and another mum raised an eyebrow and said she was surprised I let her play with trucks. Why?! I'm fairly sure it won't make her grow testicles!

Another mother gave her a present of long haired winged unicorns in various shades of pink. Kind of her to give her a present at all of course, but it couldn't be girlier if I dipped it in glitter. I know people claim that all little girls go through a pink and girly stage regardless of what their parents do, but this kind of stuff can't help, surely?

And now I'm feeling annoyed at myself for being disparaging about "girliness", because I get annoyed IRL when people look down on traditionally female pursuits and occupations as somehow lesser. I'm a SAHM and get enough of that myself, with people demanding to know when I'm going to "get back to work" and "get a real job", as if there's no value at all in my simply being a mum to my DD.

But why, why do people do this? We have these amazing little people with their own incredible developing personalities which are all so different, and from birth we try to force into them into these pigeonholes and make them to conform to stereotypes of "girly girls" and "proper boys". It's so sad.

OliveOil71 Fri 31-Jan-14 17:19:44

The former Wacky Warehouse at Drusillas is to be redeveloped as a Hello Kitty house. Within this the facepainting, hairbraiding and tattoos are to be located within a 'Beauty Parlour' I don't know about you but I find this completely unnecessary and anachronistic. The target age is girls 3-8. Why does it have to be a 'beauty' parlour? Why not a Hello Kitty Studio or even Salon for example. Furthermore it separates the girls from the boys and there is to be no more craft. I emailed to the MD, Mr Laurence Smith, and his reply was 'I disagree with you but I can see you feel passionately about this so I am not going to persuade you otherwise'. I found this rather patronising. I posted my concern on their facebook page. Rather than replying and starting a debate, they removed my post. Poor social media etiquette. If you feel that they are not handling this well and that the name sends the wrong message to girls, please do get in touch with them. Drusillas is a zoo with environmental and conservation ethics, I believe it should have social ethics too and not jump on the 'beauty' bandwagon.

My local mn facebook site has just advertised a local "beauty salon" for children.. including "pamper packages" and pink limos. I want to barf

Relax away those hard days of preschool girls.. hmm

I'm sure botox will be approved for 8 year old anytime now.

KerryKatonasKhakis Fri 31-Jan-14 19:46:28

Yes Uptoapoint, such expectations projected onto a foetus. And then some people are desperate to have a specific sex and things like gender selective IVf come in and '25 girls and Wanting a boy' reality shows etc.

If you're desperate for a girl and the she ends up hating pink, loving football etc., are you disappointed? If your H is desperate for a boy to play football with, would you want your money back if he was more into ballet?

Suppose you just force them to conform.

KerryKatonasKhakis Fri 31-Jan-14 19:47:40

That's disgusting Olive. And what a crock o' shit response. Keep complaining.

KatherinaMinola Fri 31-Jan-14 19:52:11

"I have never seen a man wearing a girl baby in a pink sling."

I have only read the first page, but wanted to say that DH happily wore DD in a pink sling several times a week for about 2.5 years smile

(We were given the sling).

OliveOil71 Sun 02-Feb-14 18:54:57

I am shocked a local mumsnet is allowing an ad for the girls' beauty parlour, I thought mumsnetters would be dead against that sort of thing. Scarily I guess lots of people think that sort of thing is 'lovely' or 'sweet'.

ILoveCwtches Sun 02-Feb-14 19:52:06

Our living room has blue carpet & curtains so dd's highchair, playmats & changing mat are all the 'boy' version i.e. blue, so that they match.

I have had a few funny looks from shop assistants when I've bought them (if dd happens 2b wearing a dress).

I assume they think I should be buying the pink version in case I have an attack of amnesia and can't remember what gender my baby is and need to refer to the colour of her belongings! I, however, am well aware that she is a girl. I was there when she was born, ffs.

NotCitrus Sun 02-Feb-14 23:17:57

At a play place I go to, they have managed to track down a blue toy ironing board and iron. Last time I was there there was a queue of small boys all wanting to iron the dressing up outfits (mostly superheroes and a gruffalo). Not sure Spiderman needs ironing!

Near me there's definitely a split between nurseries that encourage gender stereotypes and ones that try to discourage stereotyping and present a wider range of toys and role models to all the kids. Though the staff still worry about comments from parents when two boys are racing pink pushchairs or paint pink and lilac pictures. Probably the same parents who gibber when dd is in a blue dress. She likes denim dresses and they're practical. I like the brown and grey trousers with embroidered flowers too.

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