My gender stereotyping moan of the day

(44 Posts)
YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Mon 15-Oct-12 12:39:34

I have posted quite a lot recently about gender stereotypes and the arguments for and against 'innate' characteristics of the sexes. It has been something on my mind recently and I have become even more aware of the comments that are made on a daily basis.

Today, we went to the supermarket. DD2 (16 months) was having an independence moment and was determined to walk, plus help me carry one of the carrier bags back to the car. Two people commented:

- Person one (mistook her for a boy) : Isn't he strong, helping his mummy
- Person two: Aw, isn't she sweet, she wants to do the shopping.

I know these people may have said the same to the opposite gender, and I am not criticising either of them as such. But just ARRRRGGGHHH. Comment to a boy on strength. Comment to a girl on being sweet and wanting to go shopping.

OneHandFlapping Mon 15-Oct-12 12:50:19

And young children absorb those messages, and become preoccupied with complying with gender specific roles IME.

My gender stereotyping moan of the day is this ad .

Women are:

a) airhead shopaholics
b) mumsy grocery buying drudges
c) mad cat ladies

Men are:

a) trawler fishermen
b) sport cyclists
c) criminals
d) in the pub with a pint

angry

samandi Mon 15-Oct-12 13:08:12

Ha! I doubt they would have said the same about the opposite sex child. It's mindless.

Startailoforangeandgold Mon 15-Oct-12 13:15:30

That ad is truly awful and like the OPs comments seems to suggest women are only fit for shoppingangry

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Mon 15-Oct-12 13:36:47

In the same vein as the adverts www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzKKGxKM1z4 this one gives me the rage too. The dad must be a reasonably competent cook - he thinks to stuff a chicken breast (even if it is with Philly, yuck) and wrap it in bacon. But we have to have a whole 'oh, mum's out so I'm cooking' and lots of eye rolling at the thought he could do it properly. It's like something the Apprentice candidate roll out.

samandi Tue 16-Oct-12 09:02:00

YoullLaugh - yes, I had a small rant about that one the other day :-)

Lottapianos Tue 16-Oct-12 13:02:37

OP, that would send me ranty too. And people dont' seem to realise how prevalent these messages are and seem to think it's all down to 'hardwiring' hmm

TotoroOnTheCatBus Mon 22-Oct-12 20:37:14

This s one of the reasons I tend to leave dd dressed as a boy.. she gets comments on how big/strong/friendly/talkative she is.. Dressed as a girl, aren't you so pretty, look at your pretty dress..

I try and tell her how big and strong she is as often as I can in a positive way. She won't hear as she gets older (not in a nice way anyway) as she is a girl and she will be big and strong. I'm nearly 6 foot and dh is 6'3 so it is a sure thing and I don't want her to internalize the idea the girls should be dainty and weak.

OneMoreChap Tue 23-Oct-12 15:38:31

TotoroOnTheCatBus
... I don't want her to internalize the idea the girls should be dainty and weak.

This! Thank you! I detest this drive for some parents - both male and female - to wrap their kids in sodding cotton wool. DD and DS were taught to climb, throw balls, ride bikes, get muddy, cope with scabbed knees, swim in open water.

DS and DD were similarly taught easy cooking, sewing buttons, trouser hems, changing plugs and using power tools. [OK, chainsaws waited till they were teens... so they could wear the kit]

Aaaargh when I see daddy's little pwincesses, mummy's bwave climbing hero.

TotoroOnTheCatBus Tue 23-Oct-12 18:25:57

.. ah have you seen a "future WAG" t-shirt.. Dh practically had to physically restrain me from throttling the parents. Sigh

OneMoreChap Tue 23-Oct-12 18:55:25

Jeez. paucity of aspiration, imagination and ambition, or what?

I find it very difficult to praise my ds for things that are not typically said to boys, because most of the positive things said to small children about their characteristics or achievements are more masculine, all the positive things said to girls are about their appearance. So whilst I occasionally call him sweet, or doesn't he look lovely in that top, mostly I praise his curiosity, strength, activity, intelligence.
I make sure I say these things to his female friends too, but I rarely have to edit the things I saw to ds whereas I often have to self edit things I say to his girlfriends. Sad, but true.

Pet hate phrase ' typical boy'

No. typical baby. Grrr

My experience exactly, MakesCakesWhenStressed.

I have a 6 month DS. When he's kicking his legs about he's a 'little footballer'. Girls, however, are 'little ballerinas'. hmm

And this stereotyping started in the womb!

droid400004 Wed 24-Oct-12 19:51:39

a lady in the street today called my son (dressed in hot pink trousers, red wellies and a green coat, pushing his baby doll in a barbie pushchair) a sweet girl - I enjoyed her face when I told her he was a boy smile

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Wed 24-Oct-12 20:32:50

Today's annoyance. Three three year olds all complaining about getting socks and shoes on after a swimming lesson. Mother says 'Oh, it's a boy thing, boys are lazy.'. She was crouching next to her son and another little boy. Hadn't noticed that the third child moaning was my DD.

I mean, for god's sake, do we have to make toddler whining a gendered issue?

And my annoyance of the day. A friend's DD is turning 2 and she's after gift suggestions.

So far: dolls' house, pram & doll, kitchen.

angry sad

Oooh, I saw advertised on freecycle Girls toys: cuddly toys, dolls, a small play kitchen, play house
So, dolls and can just about understand because society really frowns on it (poor DS1 even got teased at school for playing with a doll. luckily the teacher overheard and squashed the other child) but kitchens, cuddly toys and play houses are for girls are they?

YoullLaughAboutItOneDay Thu 25-Oct-12 12:36:30

My suggestions for what DD loved at two - Lego, scooter, play food and play cooker, train set. smile

ninjasquirrel Thu 25-Oct-12 17:33:40

My moan - ad in today's paper "19 smelly socks. 12 sweaty shirts. 5 dirty jumpers and 1 washing fairy" Picture of woman gazing into the distance "Being a mum can be hard but choosing your energy deal shouldn't be..."

Oh fuck off.

rogersmellyonthetelly Sun 28-Oct-12 18:02:28

Girls should be dainty and weak - how many times did I hear this implied in my childhood! As a result I was chronically self conscious as a teenager and young woman about my height, build and my large hands and unladylike size 8 feet.
Thankfully common sense took over in the end and I now see myself as being a perfectly normal woman, just built on a slightly bigger scale than the average. it has it's advantages, my huge handspan means I can pick things Up in one hand that most people need two hands for, my strength means I rarely need to ask for help with lifting stuff, and size 8 shoes are plentiful in the sales :0) gotta look on the bright side of life.

Yama Sun 28-Oct-12 18:15:13

The main reason I like ds's hair long (he is 2) is so that people don't treat him like a boy so much. We have had so much programming to treat boys and girls differently that it's hard to break the habit. And most people don't see the need to break the habit.

Society has told my daughter that it is good to be pretty. As yet, I don't think the dainty message has hit her and the Princess stuff I actively combat.

SkaterGrrrrl Sun 28-Oct-12 18:45:44

My son is 2 weeks old. Relatives on meeting him have commented on his strength and his "strong features". A fiver says had I dressed him in pink, his features would have been described as "dainty".

grumpyinthemornings Tue 06-Nov-12 21:11:43

droid I think I've seen your lad grin or one very similar. DP got a slap for saying prams and dolls were girl toys...

ProcrastinatingPanda Tue 06-Nov-12 21:23:54

I seen calendars and organisers for sale a few days ago, they were all pink or ''Mum's family organiser". Why can't it be 'parents family organiser'?

That and the Fairy advert, that makes me see red.

Panda, steer clear of the new Asda add then. angry

Those organisers make me furious. I have told the sellers that I won't buy one that says "Mommy" or "Mum" or similar.

DD (almost 2) is a climber and has no fear at all. Whenever she is up a climbing frame or on a bouncy castle, the parents (mainly fathers) of boys say things like, "that little girl is doing it" or "if that little girl can go on it you can". I just want to shout at them. Firstly, it is OK if your DS is timid or shy or cautious, he is fine AND my DD is foolhardy in comparison to most children, not just girls. Don't act like if she can do it, your son can do it, or even wants to.

Zwitterion Wed 07-Nov-12 05:11:39

My rant:

'Be Happy, Be Healthy' on CBeebies. New show, great idea, exploring common childhood illnesses/ailments.

But why why why is the Doctor male and the nurse female? The beeb had a fantastic opportunity there to challenge stereotyping. Arrgh.

In fairness a lot of me too is around Dr juno. But I do agree.

Oh you lot are overthinking, boys naturally prefer getting muddy and girls prefer playing house blah blah... Someone had to say ir so I have grin

Dd does rock climbing and so we are very keen to emphasise how strong she is, how eating up her dinner will make her grow up big and strong. But both ds and dd are surrounded by so much gender stereotyping that I sometimes feel like giving up and buying her a wag in training t shirt and painting her nails (she is 3)

CookingFunt Thu 08-Nov-12 12:46:58

I have a twelve year old DD who is car mad. Like her dad always tinkering with engines. The attitude to this by my friend (who truth be told,raises her children in a stereotype way) is that no boy will want a girlfriend covered in oil. DD overheard and said well then he's not worth my time. At least I am sending a confident self sufficient mini feminist out into the world. One who will depend on herself.

Lancelottie Thu 08-Nov-12 12:55:20

DD (age 10), yesterday: 'Well I finally found a Dad's Organiser Calendar but the pictures are just rubbish so I got the Mum's one again with the good cartoons.'

Not sure if that shows the right priorities or not, really. I agree (having seen the calendar she meant) that zero design effort seemed to have gone into it beyond the word 'Dad' on the front.
confused

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 16-Nov-12 09:05:06

New moan from me.

At the supermarket yesterday. My two girls were walking in quite nicely for once. Woman coming the other way with a tantrum throwing two year old boy. She says loudly to him "Look at those little girls behaving nicely". Well, ok, I would have preferred the stress on nicely, not girls, but ok. I know it feels unnatural to refer to same sex group as 'those children' from all the times I try and force myself to do it. But then she turns to me and says "Boys, they are just so different'.

FFS. Different day. Us coming out and her going in. The behaviour could easily have been reversed. It was not a gender thing and she made it one.

<and breathe>

paperclips Fri 16-Nov-12 09:50:33

My boy is only 7 weeks old and already people have come out with "boys are like that" comments. Apart from his ability to wee on the wall how can a tiny baby be any different in behaviour?

He's a small, pretty little baby, and a sensitive fellow. Its too early to tell but I can't imagine him being a big bruiser of a lad.

Last week when I took him to children's centre he was wearing a lovely bright baby-gro with yellow green red and pink stripes and HV assistant thought he was a girl. Because he wasn't wearing blue?

Another thing, I read a review on Amazon for the fisher price rainforest Baby Gym, and the reviewer had been concerned that the jungle theme was too boyish for her daughter. WTF?

Zwitterion Fri 16-Nov-12 09:50:56

I need to come in here and scream.

About thread in AIBU.

Feel better now! thanks

HazleNutt Fri 16-Nov-12 10:26:52

I know Zwitterion!
"But girls are just born to like pink and boys just naturally hate tea sets, nooooo of course they are not influenced by anything, that would never happen.."

Went on search to find said thread. Found it. Rather depressed now.

What makes me angriest/most despondent is the 'it doesn't really bother me' attitude.

Well it bloody well should!!

And, breathe.

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 16-Nov-12 12:30:33

I have been trying to entice like minded souls across to the feminism boards from that thread. Not 'thread about a thread', just a nice place talk about this kind of stuff and have people agree it matters.

Trills Fri 16-Nov-12 13:13:10

It does matter.

YoullScreamAboutItOneDay Fri 16-Nov-12 13:17:34

Thanks Trills smile

Xenia Fri 16-Nov-12 13:52:00

I certainly always challenge gender based comments which are inaccurate and always have. Someone recently talked about his son and a pen knife and I said how when I was 10 or 11 and got my first pen knife how happy I was. i think people need to know how much little girls can like that sort of thing and then as a big girl I bought my own island with my own money I bought myself and have enjoyed showing my children of both genders how to make fire, climb trees, camp etc Nor surprisingly in their mid 20s my daughters are fit, strong, run marathons, earn a lot, spend their teenage years outside and riding and feminist.

It is certainly important to make sure children of both genders wear clothes that mean they can get dirty and climb and ensure they see that men can be 100% responsibel for washing or cooking at home and are not presented with a stereotype that men earn and women serve.

SomersetONeil Tue 20-Nov-12 05:02:58

Not sure if this is wholly the right thread but this, but need to vent...!

In town today, passing by a second-hnad junk curio-type shop with a blackboard sign out the front:

"Ladies - your husband called. He said you can spend as much as you like!"

There isn't a single part of that, that doesn't have at least 2 things wrong with it.

UptoapointLordCopper Tue 20-Nov-12 10:04:32

I need to vent too. Got birthday card addressing me as "myfirstname DHsurname". And I've told them to their face that they are NOT TO FUCKING ADDRESS ME AS THAT. Shall I return it? NOT AT THIS FUCKING ADDRESS? angry

SomersetONeil - angry too.

In fact angry all round. angry

Anniegetyourgun Tue 20-Nov-12 11:02:37

Yeah, XH used to tell me I could spend as much as I liked. Which was bloody big of him, given that I earned it angry

devilinside Tue 20-Nov-12 11:36:16

My rant, ads for joke kits, (lots on TV at the moment) always boys playing tricks on their 'girly' older sisters (who always scream and overreact). Re-inforcing the old stereotype that practical jokes are for boys/men

ProcrastinatingPanda Tue 20-Nov-12 11:45:51

Last week my 5 year old son informed me that men should do hard strong jobs like building and lifting stuff and women should do nice easy jobs. He's 5 fgs and has the emotional age of about 3 years old, how on earth has he already learnt about gender stereotypes? shock

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now