They're making pink Nerf guns now, Mummy, so girls have can them too!!

(42 Posts)

... said DD1 to me this morning with her eyes alight.

I just want to weep.

For all that I tell them again and again that girls can have any toy, that there are no girl and boy toys and colours.... the message is apparently falling on deaf ears amongst the onslaught of pinkification my children are subjected to.

DD1 honestly believed she couldn't have a Nerf gun because they were for boys, even though she wanted one. But now there's a pink one, she's good to go.

And still you get people saying that pinkification isn't an issue and you should just ignore it and buy "what your children want".

FFS! angry

GobblersAnyKnobFucker Sun 03-Nov-13 11:31:33

Sheesh really? Jesus.

Pink bastard 'Lego Friends' already represents all that is wrong with the world and makes me want to weep.

Luckily dd is already quite happy with her Nerf Maverick in unisex grey and yellow grin

It's how they're advertised as well, loads of boys charging round and not a girl in sight!

GoofyIsACow Sun 03-Nov-13 11:36:14

That is terrible, i vividly remember asking my mum for an action man in our local shop, she said 'you cant have one, they are for boys' the shop assistant and my mum both laughed. I was mortified, i felt so stupid for asking.
I know they didnt mean to upset me, my mum would have been devastated if she knew how upset i was, she just genuinely believed girls couldnt play with them! This is 27/28 years ago.

Things, with the toy makers at least, it seems, haven't moved on very far! sad

AlmightyMess Sun 03-Nov-13 11:37:36

Could not agree more.

I find it painful in toy shops that the aisles are separated into girls and boys. The Lego, nerf guns on one aisle, dolls, princesses, and everything punk in the other.

I'm trying so hard to teach my kids they can play with whatever they like but I honestly have to convince them.

Allot is pressure from their peers. Dd won't wear smart school shorts because a girl laughed at her and told her she was dressed like a boy.

AlmightyMess Sun 03-Nov-13 11:38:28

Punk confused pink

GoofyIsACow Sun 03-Nov-13 11:45:53

DS1 has a pink micro scooter which i bought second hand, i am so proud of him for not even batting an eyelid, he just zooms around on his new scooter!

FreakinRexManningDay Sun 03-Nov-13 13:40:16

I found it really hard to restrain myself recently when a little girl held up a pair of Monsters Inc pyjamas in a shop and her mother said You don't want them they're for boys. Or when dd s nursery teacher told me she fell in a puddle and they had to change her but she was wearing boys clothes. I did pipe up and say I'm pretty sure she'll be OK.

So the pinkification is being bought by parents of girls. Why?!

KateCroydon Sun 03-Nov-13 13:45:18

AlmightyMess.

Punk toys would be great, or how about grunge action man in a flowery dress and DMs?

Rosencrantz Sun 03-Nov-13 13:47:49

Get her a normal coloured one for Xmas?

The thing is, she went to a Nerf party at a friend's house recently (and was the only girl there). She used orange guns and yellow guns and blue guns, none of them exploded in her hands or caused her to melt into a puddle because they weren't pink!

And then she decided to stop joining in the shooting and instead took on the role of "nurse for the wounded". hmm

She knows she can have any toy she likes. She has trains and cars and Lego (not Friends!) along with Barbies and Monster High. She knows she can have toys and clothes in any colour.

But still the accursed advertising is getting to her. sad

DD2 once refused to let me buy her Gruffalo wellies after she saw the "For Boys" label on them (thanks, Sainsbury's hmm ).

I try to be as strong an influence as I can, but sometimes I despair that I can't win. sad

It's pernicious and makes me v angry - I feel your pain.

No idea what to do about it - it does seem that this kind of marketing works and people buy pink shit for their girls and blue crap for their boys. It is very hard to escape angry

fuzzpig Sun 03-Nov-13 14:27:47

Argh just wrote a long post and lost it. I totally agree, anyway!

FreakinRexManningDay Sun 03-Nov-13 14:30:01

Yes I can see the whole pink glittery tat aimed at girls. I yearn for the days of cbeebies with no advertisements. Dd1 didn't even know about adverts until she was about 5.

FreakinRexManningDay Sun 03-Nov-13 14:31:47

On a side point I saw a buggy for sale on a local buy and sell site. It was advertised as a boys buggy. It was black and red.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Nov-13 14:36:31

I've been looking at onesies for DD (she is desperate for one, no idea why!) and found this gruffalo one - unfortunately they aren't big enough but why why why is it 'for boys' Debenhams? Why does it not just say 'childrens'' FFS. DD would be over the moon with it.

I get especially angry over this because I believe these divisions along gender lines for children is where it all starts; the Us vs Them of men and women, where we view each other suspiciously as different species, rather than just People with slightly different genitalia.

Madratlady Sun 03-Nov-13 14:47:55

We just bought a pram for our first DC, a boy, it's a very dark pink, kind of raspberry. A couple of people, including the shop assistant when we picked it, seem to think it's strange. I despair.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Nov-13 15:03:02

It's so ingrained that I sometimes struggle with it myself. Earlier this year I went to a huge Disney Store with the aim of getting lunchboxes for my DCs in time for the new school year. I'd already seen a Sully one.

Got there and found a planes one which I chose for DS (he loves aeroplanes), and I still got all angsty because I wasn't sure if DD would be happy with the Sully one because all the other ones there were pink sparkly princess/fairy type ones and surely she would like one of those.

It's ridiculous. I felt like she would feel she was missing out (i should point out she wasn't with me BTW so wouldn't even see what else was available!) even though a) she LOVES Monsters Inc and b) she adored last year's totally 'non-girly' lunchbox which was a Dalek.

I was quite embarrassed with my own thoughts at this point. Got the Sully one and she was ecstatically happy with it.

Astarael Sun 03-Nov-13 15:13:35

madratlady is it the icandy peach jogger? We bought that in "cranberry" which sounds like what you're describing when pregnant and dc was a surprise. She turned out to be a girl and more than one person has assumed I bought it with gender in mind and asked if I'll buy another one if future dc #2 is a boy.

I had thought it was a nice gender neutral colour.

The Disney store must be one the worst places on this planet for that kind of gendered merchandising.

Did none of you know that if you put your boy baby in to a 'pink' hmm pram, he'll turn gay?? <wrings hands in great distress>

Oh gah angry.

Other countries seem to manage the 'nice bright colour for children' a bit better although it is sneaking in everywhere.

Yy to this is where it starts (or even earlier when it works on the future parents) and to we are all just People with slightly different genitalia.

CoolStoryBro Sun 03-Nov-13 15:29:11

I don't think you can entirely blame the manufacturers if your dd "honestly believed she couldn't have a Nerf gun because they were for girls, even though she wanted one".

My DD has just got one of the Nerf Rebels after years of chasing around her brothers with her own yellow versions. But she always known she can have any toy she likes, as have her brothers.

NoComet Sun 03-Nov-13 15:29:42

But they are boys, is enough to drive you nuts.

DD2 you are 12, you have heaps of hot wheel cars, so why are gender neutral sports shop trainer liners OK, but M&S boys ones aren't.

White socks, are white socks, what the fuck does it matter what the cardboard says <tears hair out>

CoolStoryBro - who else would you like me to blame then? Because I've certainly been telling my DDs for years that they can actually have toys which aren't pink and sparkly. Sadly they don't seem to believe me.

You sound a little smug with your "But she always known she can have any toy she likes, as have her brothers." Are you suggesting I just haven't made that point clearly enough?

fuzzpig Sun 03-Nov-13 15:54:09

It's not even 'rebel' - it's 'rebelle' - I guess the normal word just wasn't girly enough!

That is what makes it so pernicious and all-encompassing - the children internalise it, a lot of parents/grandparents/other nice people who buy present for children internalise it and in combination with the whole tween attitude of 'boys are stupid' or 'girls are yeuch' that is so common, it's a marketing person's wet dream.

"Rebelle" made me go 'ack' - even DH (who is not exactly a New Man) 'got' why it annoyed me.
I wonder whether it's a tenuous connection to The Hunger Games or (R)Evolution and their respective heroines?? I may be over thinking...

CoolStoryBro Sun 03-Nov-13 16:20:52

I was only quoting you and replying to your exact words. If you said one thing, but meant something a bit different, how am I supposed to know?!

And if my dd knowing she can have a yellow nerf gun, and indeed owning one just like her brothers, makes me smug, so be it!

CoolStoryBro Sun 03-Nov-13 16:23:01

Pacific, I presumed it was a tenuous link to the hunger Games et all too. Especially as the majority of them are cross bow shaped.

kim147 Sun 03-Nov-13 16:28:55

It's called the Heartbreaker.

DS reckons it's purple which is one of his favourite colours so he'd love one.

He asked me how I had found out about so we had a little talk about colours.

CoolStoryBro - how was that responding to my exact words? I have explained to both my DDs over and over and over again that girls and boys can have any toy they like. And that they can like any colour they like. And yet despite this, my DDs still think that pink is only for girls, and that they can't have "boy" toys unless a pink version comes out.

I'm pleased for you that your DD doesn't seem to have internalised the infernal "pink for girls" message that they are constantly bombarded with. Really I am.

But how is pointing out "well, my daughter knows she can have any toy" helpful to this conversation, unless you also have any useful wisdom on achieving this to share with those of less fortunate and with more impressionable daughters?

FreakinRexManningDay Sun 03-Nov-13 17:29:44

Its not just the internalisation of pink for girls there's also a peer pressure amongst young girls that wasn't there when dd1 was young,she's 14 now.
Dd3 is 4 and already I can see the girls in her class behaving in a queen bee manner,complete with obnoxious attitude. This is the way girls are portrayed as snidey bitchy princesses all glittery and pink.

fuzzpig Sun 03-Nov-13 17:44:50

I just saw this game linked to on another FWRC thread. Ugh. Hey girls, win the game by getting picked to dance with the prince. Lovely. hmm

feelathome Sun 03-Nov-13 19:02:51

Its infuriating, isn't it. Take a stand and sign the petition at
www.lettoysbetoys.org.uk

Done long ago, feelathome. I love that campaign very much, and have been following it from the start. I nearly managed to rope a friend into doing their graphic design for them back in the very early days.

But if anyone else on here hasn't signed..... please do!!

UptoapointLordCopper Sun 03-Nov-13 19:42:11

It is infuriating. I have signed the let toys be toys campaign and they are one of the few people I follow on facebook. It is also depressing when you hear nursery staff and teachers talking about children in a very gendered way. I'm involved in an equality thing at work but on a bad day I feel we are fighting a losing battle. sad angry The thing is relentless.

kim147 Sun 03-Nov-13 19:59:11

Have a look at my profile. I was at a museum and saw some toys in the gift shop.

They were all named. Boy's names on blue toothbrushes. Girls' names on pink ones.

Then there were door names. All named. Girls in pink with My Princess on them.

Boys in blue with action heroes on.

No more colours exist obviously.

KaseyM Sun 03-Nov-13 21:21:31

AnnieLobeseder, there will always be someone that thinks there's no problem because their kids are ok but the overwhelming majority of kids ARE affected by it.

Of course they are. The various marketing department of the toy industry spend millions on advertising to our children, and not only that they always advertise the same message: boys= adventurous & cheeky superheroes, girls = passive, vain and pretty in pink. To think that this has no effect on children is naive in the extreme.

CoolStoryBro here is a link you might find interesting. If you click on "more comments" you'll see what kids think about the issue and see that it really does affect them and limit their ideas of what they can and can't do. I'm glad your kids are fine tho.

sashh Mon 04-Nov-13 07:07:19

Nerf guns are great.

I'm really split on this because they didn't need pink ones, but the girls' range are actually better than the boys.

<I do not own a Nerf gun, my exflatmate has an entire collection>

NoComet Mon 04-Nov-13 08:01:25

Yes it does matter I have two DDs and having avoided pink for DD1, as much because it doesn't suit her colouring, or her bedroom, as making a statement.

But DD1 having blue things means, by default DD2 gets girly and pink. there are no other colours

DD2 is far the more girly of my DDs, nature or nurture? I don't know, but I do wonder.

Got to love that there are still so many people who think that it is solely down to the parents whether kids buy into this gendered crap hmm Because everyone knows advertising is so utterly ineffectual, that's why people put so much money into it.

It's all so subtle sometimes. I have been trying to explain to DH about why Diego and Dora piss me off. Why is Diego driving? He's a child. Why does he have a Rescue Pack while Dora has a Backpack? Why is he so much fucking cooler than Dora? DD wants to watch Diego now, not Dora. I can see why but once again she either wants to be the slighter weaker, less interesting girl and loses or wants to be the boy and internalises that boys are 'better'. Grrr.

Bue Fri 08-Nov-13 19:18:41

This reminds me that this morning I drove past a group of school age children (very young, maybe reception age?) walking somewhere. They were all holding official school bags - all the boys had blue ones and all the girls pink. I was so shock I'm surprised I didn't crash the car! This has got to be the most egregious example of this kind of gender based crap that I have ever seen. What hope is there if this kind of bullshit is now being encouraged and perpetuated by schools?!

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