The penny is beginning to drop re pinkification&hellip ;.

(15 Posts)
DawnOfTheDee Fri 07-Feb-14 09:00:07

I saw that piece on BBC breakfast and found it really annoying. It was a good opportunity to air this debate but I didn't rate either of the guests they had on for it.

As a pp said the engineer wasn't really of the right demographic and imho didn't actually seem to have a strong or defined opinion either way on the matter. The MP tried but wasn't the most eloquent speaker and missed a few key points i felt.

Spiritedwolf Fri 07-Feb-14 08:54:40

Just because individual parents can try and counteract the prevailing culture of pink = girls and blue = boys (much more difficult as they grow and are influenced by advertising, peer pressure and other adults) doesn't mean we shouldn't also challenge that culture and try to dismantle it.

I'm not sure that it is meaningful for an adult woman with teenage and 20 year old daughters to say (as one did on BBC Breakfast this morning) well MY girls played with Barbies and are doing a science or engineering based degree and I played with Barbies and I am an engineer. Firstly gender segregation of toys has intensified in the last 20-30 years so she and her daughters weren't exposed to the "pink everything" version of childhood, even dolls and other toys marketed towards girls were less 'pink'. Secondly, toys are just one of many influences, maybe in their case things such as having an engineer for a mum gave them a broader view of what women are capable of than average girls.

Also, it shouldn't have to be the case that you either totally conform to gender stereotypes or completely confound them. Its okay to have a variety of interests, but that's the point, we have to give children the opportunity to enjoy a variety of different interests. Not steer them into rigid stereotypes so that girls who might be skilful footballers and boys who might be talented ballet dancers never find out because they never have the opportunity. And those who are given that opportunity have to have unusually high levels of confidence/stubbornness/obliviousness/support to not give up their hobby when faced with scorn/isolation/bullying/teasing from their peers.

At some point my toddler DS is likely to realise that he is expected by some people to like certain things and reject others, not because he doesn't like them but because he was born with a Y chromosome and a penis. In the meantime I'll continue to offer him a variety of toys and to make sure that we have some pink coloured items so that is 'just another colour' rather than something unusual to be avoided.

I don't know how successful my subverting is, but I have made sure he has things like a pink car, pink balls as well as blue/green/red/yellow in his ball pond, that he has a doll and animals like cats and horses that are often seen as feminine (as opposed to dogs and dinosaurs) and he has pink and purple vests, socks and cloth nappies as part of the rainbow of other colours. Of course he has dogs and will have dinosaurs too.... not least because his mum LOVED her dinosaurs as child. I'm trying to avoid him seeing pink as off limits, as well as having more gender neutral versions of traditionally feminine toys - like his doll is an IKEA one.

Practically, I have tried to get things which I'll use again with younger siblings of either sex.

HeartShapedBox Fri 07-Feb-14 02:12:33

we have lots of pink shite here.

most of it belongs to Ds1.

Dd generally prefers the cars, dinosaurs, and fireman Sam stuff.

meh.

I just let them play with whatever they like.

a toy's a toy, imo.

CouthyMow Fri 07-Feb-14 02:06:18

DS3 enjoys dressing up in the pretty dresses at preschool as much as he enjoys dressing up in the animal costumes or the police outfit, or builder's outfit.

I see no issue with that. Just because a toy shop might have signs saying 'girls toys' and 'boys toys', does that mean you have to pay any attention to that? I never have.

The only comment I've ever had that I had to think about was when DS2 had his toy kitchen set up next to his tool bench, and a mum on a playdate said "isn't a toy kitchen a girl's toy?"

My reply was "errrr, his dad is a chef. He likes to cook like his dad. How can a kitchen be for 'boys' or 'girls', don't men have to cook and eat too?"

(Never paid much attention to gendering or colours of toys, DD is nearly 16, and was far more into toy cars and dinosaurs than any of my 3 DS's. I figured I'd buy her the toys SHE would play with.)

CouthyMow Fri 07-Feb-14 01:56:15

It's adults that are segregating based on colours though, not the children.

DS3 doesn't care that his tea set is pink and lilac, he chose it. There was the same tea set in green and red. He chose the one HE wanted.

So I don't believe that selling toys in pink is the issue, but that some adults have odd beliefs about colours being anything other than colours is the issue. Just because a particular toy only comes in pink, does that mean that a boy can't play with it? Not to me. DS3 wanted a toy cleaning set. The only one the store had was pink. DS3 has a toy cleaning set. He is happy, I'm happy, and if other people have an issue with the fact that he has a pink cleaning set that he enjoys playing with, then really that's THEIR issue, not mine or DS3's issue.

Theoldhag Fri 07-Feb-14 00:23:32

It's not the colour it's the message behind the clearly segregated items and how that impacts on society that I have a problem with.

Let toys be toys and all that

phoolani Fri 07-Feb-14 00:14:24

Pink is indeed just a colour and can be for anyone. But could somebody please point that out to toy companies/ kids' clothing manufacturers?

CouthyMow Fri 07-Feb-14 00:04:52

We have a beautiful pink fairy dress here. The fact that it was the dressing up outfit DS3 asked for is irrelevant...what is wrong with pink as a colour? Some girls like it, some boys like it. I don't think that there is anything inherently 'wrong' with pink, more with sone people's interpretation of colours being divided along gender lines. In the Nineteenth Century, pink was 'for boys' and blue was 'for girls'.

I think any colour can 'be' for anyone.

Theoldhag Thu 06-Feb-14 23:57:55

And as for pink swiss knives or screw drivers <heaves>

Theoldhag Thu 06-Feb-14 23:55:52

I used to really love pink, the different shades reminding me of sunsets and flowers. But now I have I think been over pinked! All I ever see in shops that sell toys or childrens clothing is row upon row of bloody bubblegum pink plastic shite.

Depressing it is

legoplayingmumsunite Thu 06-Feb-14 23:27:25

I should say that had anyone attempted to give me a pink soldering iron when I was designing circuit boards, they would have found my use of it not at all in accordance with their health and safety.

I loved this quote. We don't really do pink in this house precisely because of the gender segregation that comes along with it. I'm quite happy for my daughters and son to play with the toy kitchen, after all DH and I both cook, but I see no reason to have a pink one. But the criticism I get for it is unbelievable. At least there are companies that go against the tide, we have two Learning Resources Science kits which as well as being fab for primary kids have, shock horror, a picture of a girl and a non-white boy doing science on the boxes. It's almost like science isn't just for white middle class boys.

gallicgirl Thu 06-Feb-14 23:15:10

I was very proud of my DP for sharing this article on Facebook today. I'll make him a feminist yet!

EEatingSoupForLunch Thu 06-Feb-14 23:07:04

My DH found this article today and read it to me with outrage. We have brightly coloured toys for our DDs and very little pink girly shite, in fact DH got older DD Meccano for Christmas and I chose a Lego pirate ship for birthday. But it was heartening for me to see how exercised he got about the under representation of women in STEM professions.

As an aside, I do read fairy stories to DDs but 'doctor' some more sexist details. DH usually finds this amusing but after seeing this article he read the Frog Princess at bedtime and after declaring their love at the end, both the prince and princess went to university, he became a social worker and she became a car mechanic grin

grimbletart Thu 06-Feb-14 18:31:33

Not sure where &hellip came from in the title confused

grimbletart Thu 06-Feb-14 18:26:54

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26064302

In other media too. BBC does not highlight this point but the Daily Telegraph, for example, made the point that in the 1970s, which was when my children were young, kids' toys and clothes were in bold primary colours, something that I have stated several times in various threads on the topic. But, despite the evidence of old photos I was beginning to wonder whether I was wallowing in nostalgia and 'misremembering' and even then we were swimming in a sea of pink. Glad to see my memory was correct - we old gimmers have these senior moments after all grin

The comments under the Daily Torygraph article are grim though, many insinuating that it is politically correct feminist nonsense instead of a desire by sensible adults to give every child the opportunity to be his or herself rather than a pink or blue clone.

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