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To be saddened by this casual gender stereotyping?

(189 Posts)
SuiGeneris Sun 09-Jun-13 06:42:25

DS went to a third birthday party recently. Lovely family that we would like to get to know more. As seems common round here there was an entertainer who spun out a story and games on a pirate theme. It started off with there being an island full of monsters that the boys (aka pirates) were asked to scare away "so that it would be safe for the princesses to come onto the island". I was stunned (and, it must be said, sad and irritated) that in this day and age, in London, in an educated environment, this should be acceptable. Of course the hostess probably had not heard the story before and the other parents would not have said anything through politeness but.. Really??

As it happens DS asked to be a princess when it came to the face painting and none of the other children said anything. At just 3 I think they are unaware of stereotypes, so why foist them on them?

pigletmania Sun 09-Jun-13 09:47:51

Totally different clover, it's not like with like. Really some people just find fault with everything. Tbh I used to be a tomboy as a child, a wore boys clothes and had plastic guns, played cowboys and Indians. It's just one little part of a child's life, some people are so hit picky

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 09-Jun-13 09:48:01

Yes. One small event. It is all the tiny grains of sand that make a beach.

Lilithmoon Sun 09-Jun-13 09:49:05

Very well said Amanda.

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 09-Jun-13 09:51:58

As said the children will deviate a game to suit their rules. I have to follow my dd's wishes when playing. If she fancied being a princess she would. If she fancied being a pirate she would and there wouldn't be a damn thing I could do about it. Brilliant! As it should be.

It's a fairy story. (Oh my should I specify fairies can be both genders or else fairies would have died out long ago?!?)
You're looking for things to be upset about and finding them, shock horror. Sometimes it seems that people now want to be professionally upset all the time.

TheFallenNinja Sun 09-Jun-13 09:53:19

Oh no. Another I'm more clever than you thread.


Cloverer Sun 09-Jun-13 09:54:53

How is is totally different piglet? In one situation children are assigned roles based on a stereotypical view of their gender, another based on a stereotypical view of race. Seems almost exactly the same to me.

pigletmania Sun 09-Jun-13 09:56:10

If the op was that concerned she should have said to the entertainer, actually ds would like to b a princess not pirate, I am sure tat teir are boys here that would like to be princess too and girls pirates. If not she can't complain really

Ilikethebreeze Sun 09-Jun-13 09:58:08

None of the 15 or so posters who said yanbu, have answered my question about whether you are going to promote your children to be car mechanics, tilers, central heating engineers, etc.
So are they all going to revert to familiar girl jobs when they are older?

Floggingmolly Sun 09-Jun-13 09:58:28

The children were not assigned roles

TeapotsInJune Sun 09-Jun-13 09:58:44

I don't know why it shocks people that boys, actually, aren't princesses hmm they are princes. And I would find it a but weird if a male child of mine kept demanding to wear clothes designed for the opposite sex. I never understand why it is seen as such a crown of glory on Mumsnet to be honest.

As for the party, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest.

pigletmania Sun 09-Jun-13 09:59:49

I agree TheFallen, the guy was being lazy and outdated but if it riled the op that much she could have tactfully mentioned it to him, I most certainly would but thats me. If not stop complaining, most probably she won't see the entertainer again!

pigletmania Sun 09-Jun-13 10:04:59

I agree teapots, it's really silly. It's a kids party! You as a parent have to promote gender equality at home, and encourage your children tomgetva good education and career which makes them happy. If dd told me she wanted to go intO engineering or te sciences i would support her 100% if she wanted to be a Nurse or PA I would still support her 100%

StuntGirl Sun 09-Jun-13 10:05:26


LinusVanPelt Sun 09-Jun-13 10:05:49

Ilikethebreeze, when my dd grows up she'll be a woman, not a 'girl'. And I'll encourage her to do whatever job she wants to do. Right now, at three, it's either astronaut or digger driver.

OP YANBU. Cloverer, your analogy illustrates the point perfectly, and nobody has been able to answer your question of why sexist stereotypes at a child's party are just part of the fun, while racist ones would be unacceptable.

Wheresmycaffeinedrip Sun 09-Jun-13 10:07:45

I bet you still took the cake and party bag though!!

Even though it was pink with butterflies as it was a girls party.

Or Spider-Man cos it was a boys.

pigletmania Sun 09-Jun-13 10:09:20

Linus what if your dd when an adult tells you tats she's going out with the girls tonight!

MrsLouisTheroux Sun 09-Jun-13 10:10:27

Wait until they're older OP before you fret.
The invitations for Pamper parties & soccer parties will come flooding in. Oh and there's also rainbows v cubs, brownies v scouts.
We really need to gender neutralise the world don't we?

Although, I'm guessing even well educated parents and their children 'in London' enjoy these activities OP. Despite everything. hmm

TeapotsInJune Sun 09-Jun-13 10:11:21

Because racial stereotypes state that one race (usually white, although I have seen some racism towards white people from those from other cultures) tend to state or imply that one race is better or superior than another.

This was not the case here. The island was full of monsters that pirates (either child could choose to be a pirate) had to remove to make safe for princesses (and the OPs son chose to be a princess.)

Apart from the fact princesses are inherently female which I suppose you could argue through the name, it is not the worst I have seen.

Gender stereotypes exist through history - I'm not sure how you'd get around that without teaching your child no history at all <shrug>

BadPoet Sun 09-Jun-13 10:12:30

Heghog - v good point. My 10 yr old dd seems to have grown up secure that she can be or do anything she wants but I frequently overhear her lecturing 7yo ds who since starting school has firmly absorbed the message that some games/films/colours are not 'for boys'. He used to wear fairy dresses completely unselfconsciously, he would never do that now.

StealthPolarBear Sun 09-Jun-13 10:16:35

Cloverer, it looks as though you aren't going to get an answer.

Cloverer Sun 09-Jun-13 10:18:04

Doesn't weak, passive (female) characters needing to be rescued by strong (male) characters imply that one is better than the other Teapots?

LinusVanPelt Sun 09-Jun-13 10:18:43

piglet I'd say "have fun, be safe". The same thing I'd say to an adult son who said he was "going out with the boys."

But if my adult dd described herself at work as "a girl" in "a man's environment," which is the context ilikethebreeze used it in, I' d do her the favour of pointing out how that use of language infantilises women and portrays them as less capable and not-to-be-taken-seriously in the workplace.

Ilikethebreeze Sun 09-Jun-13 10:19:34

The two are not comparable.
Like saying I am having fish for dinner.
Tell me whether I should cook steak or mince.

StealthPolarBear Sun 09-Jun-13 10:20:38

I give up.

Ilikethebreeze Sun 09-Jun-13 10:21:21

Linus, at what age does a gril turn into a woman?
You have wrongly assumed the age of my DD.

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