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Pink Uniforms for men.

(54 Posts)
TiggyD Wed 21-Nov-12 10:15:31

There are very few men working in nurseries. About 2% of the early years workforce are male. The reasons men give for not going into the sector are the low status of the job, low pay, and the fact that it's seen as women's work.
My question is this. Is it right for nurseries to choose pink as the colour of their staff's uniform?
It's not really combating the image of being women's work, but then again pink is just a colour and it shouldn't be seen as "women's", but it is and it will put men off, but it shouldn't...
This isn't a stealth campaign or a stealth moan. I really can't decide what I should think. At the moment I'm coming down on the side of pink not being helpful in not putting men off and nurseries would be better off avoiding it, but what do you think?

DudeIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 28-Nov-12 22:17:48

i know plenty of men happy to wear pink shirts/jumpers/underwear when it's being sold in topman or river island. to use it as an excuse not to enter a particular job is ridiculous.

PurpleTinsel Wed 28-Nov-12 22:10:59

The staff wear purple uniforms at DS's nursery, and yet have no male staff.

Seriously, I'd be very surprised if the colour of the uniforms is the major thing putting men off jobs in nurseries.

I'm not an expert, so correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't someone interested in a career working in a nursery generally have committed themselves to working in the sector by signing up for college courses in childcare, before checking out what the uniforms at local nurseries look like?

It being seen as 'womans work' is probably far more of a factor.

SherbetDibDab Sun 25-Nov-12 08:57:28

At our nursery staff can choose shirt colours, pink or green, and a couple of the guys wear pink.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 25-Nov-12 08:49:19

I dunno Himalaya, my nursery has pink polo shirts and, as it's an independent, it's probably just that it's the owner's favourite colour or something - don't think it's been thought through in the way you suggest.

I agree with nick - "pink is for girls, blue is for boys" is probably most prevalent in the 0-5 age group that nurseries cover - on that basis rather than the basis Tiggy outlines, it might be better for nurseries to avoid both.

nannynick Fri 23-Nov-12 12:39:54

I feel a nursery should not have Pink or Blue as a main colour of their uniform or logo. I feel that young children quickly associate those colours with gender.

Tabbards are horrible. Wgen I temped in nurseries a black tabbard was part of the temp ahencies uniform. Incidently the other colours were: white polo shirt, red sweatshirt, black trousers, black shoes - that applied for all temps regardless of them being male or female.

grimbletart Fri 23-Nov-12 12:23:20

Ooh sorry OneMore.... of course I meant blokes not chaps grin

OneMoreChap Fri 23-Nov-12 11:24:44

Don't do that namechangeguy - it's a phrase seen everywhere and when read you absolutely know it is going to be followed by a stream of misogyny - and you are not one of those terrible chaps.

I shall cry...

GetAllTheThings Fri 23-Nov-12 11:12:15

Men who wear pink shirts earn more than those who don't apparently....

Twas on the Today program yesterday. Not sure how scientific the study was though and the only links I can find are The Express and The Daily Mail.

namechangeguy Thu 22-Nov-12 17:20:15

grin I am getting everything wrong today! Thanks for the warning.

grimbletart Thu 22-Nov-12 14:04:26

Don't do that namechangeguy - it's a phrase seen everywhere and when read you absolutely know it is going to be followed by a stream of misogyny - and you are not one of those terrible chaps.

namechangeguy Thu 22-Nov-12 13:21:22

It was an attempt at levity, as was the dashing bit. It seems even my humour is weak sad

I do like as a mere man, grimble. I might appropriate that!

drjohnsonscat Thu 22-Nov-12 12:16:09

Kritiq, yes you've got the point I was trying to make. I'm not muddling up homosexuality and cross dressing! Of course not.

grimbletart Thu 22-Nov-12 11:55:09

It's a variation KRITIQ on that well known saying "as a mere man...." To be seen frequently in angry letters to the Daily Fail grin

KRITIQ Thu 22-Nov-12 11:44:41

Weaker sex? What's that? confused

namechangeguy Thu 22-Nov-12 09:34:21

Can I just say, as one of the weaker sex, that I have no problem with pink. I have a pink shirt on right now, at work, where people can see me. It's rather dashing, if I am honest.

Those people who think that my shirt is demeaning, or makes me more feminine, or identifies me as gay are living in the 1950's. An I am in my 40's, not some metrosexual 17 year-old with my jeans waistband round my knees.

Himalaya Thu 22-Nov-12 08:31:27

I must admit I would be put off by a nursery with pink uniforms. They must have thought "hmmm, we employ people in an area of work that is predominantly female, I know lets dress them in pink" - it does not bode well for them having enlightened ideas in general about girls and boys.

Plus what the OP said about making male staff feel like they are in the "wrong job".

RiaOverTheRainbow Wed 21-Nov-12 23:40:55

I've only skimmed the thread, so apologies if I'm repeating anyone.

I think men so insecure in their masculinity that they'd turn down a job with a pink uniform are unlikely to want to work in early years at all.

OneMoreChap Wed 21-Nov-12 19:12:09

ATM pink is fashionable for men, but how long will that last?

I had a pink shirt in 1974, if it helps....

LynetteScavo Wed 21-Nov-12 18:47:34

I think a pink polo shirt is way better than a tabard with bears on it. Or any tabard for that matter.

I have a loathing of tabards. - in fact I'm not keen on nurseries having a uniform, although I do see how they are easier for staff.

ATM pink is fashionable for men, but how long will that last?

But, yes, I think it is right (acceptable) that nurseries choose pink as the colour of their staff's uniform, if they chose to have a uniform. If young men have a problem wearing pink, then they are going to have a problem singing "I'm a little teapot" complete with actions.

KRITIQ Wed 21-Nov-12 18:40:19

Well, yes, but that's deeply sad if about the worst insult or slight one can level at a man is to suggest that he is in any way like a woman. sad

In my view, homophobic in such a context are linked closely to the phenomenon of "male is what is not female." Being gay, or seen to be gay, is like being a proxy female and therefore, not "male" enough.

Seriously though, why is it THAT bad to be associated with female characteristics, even when it's meant to be a slur? My FIL is quite often misidentified as female, but it doesn't bother him any more than getting anything else wrong on a first impression. My ex DH also experienced this from childhood onwards but again, it was no biggie.

What's the deal?

namechangeguy Wed 21-Nov-12 18:37:49

I am not sure gay and feminine are necessarily the same look. Are you confusing homosexuality and cross-dressing? Most gay men appear to dress pretty much as men.

drjohnsonscat Wed 21-Nov-12 16:27:28

I think it looks "gay" because it looks "female" iykwim. Two entirely distinct groups that some men need to distance themselves from in case they get tainted by gayness or femaleness.

KRITIQ Wed 21-Nov-12 16:18:40

I don't think the colour or the look of a uniform will be the deal breaker for anyone who wants to go into a profession. Plenty of jobs involve wearing uncomfortable, silly or weird outfits, but people still do the jobs.

I think if you are looking for barriers, pay, status and promotion prospects are probably the main ones. In our patriarchal society, these are characteristics that men are supposed to value and they generally aren't conditioned to see caring as a suitable role for a man (a stupid shame.) So, they probably will have never been encouraged to think of such a career, by family, by teachers or by friends. In my experience, often move into caring professions later in life, perhaps when they've actually experienced caring for others and value it and have got to the point in life where pay and status aren't big deals for them.

TiggyD Wed 21-Nov-12 14:42:20

For a qualified nursery worker in my area of the home counties it's £14,000-£16,000 ish.
In my fantasy nursery I would offer polo shirts in blue, green, red, blue, yellow, orange and purple and let the staff choose just because I think a choice is nice.
I think the problem with young lads is because pink looks 'gay' rather than 'female'.

OneMoreChap Wed 21-Nov-12 14:34:48

If you want to look at things like scrubs they come in all sorts of colours for all sorts or roles - and 3X is large.

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