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What age does society not mind girls in blue and boys in pink

(18 Posts)
heidihole Sun 30-Jun-13 10:58:42

This puzzles me. If I (female) walk down the street in a navy jumper no one would ever comment "is that a boys top then?"

If a 10m old little girl is in a navy jumper cue lots of comment "is that big brothers hand me downs" etc etc.

Recently my friend was upset that the local paper came and took a photo of us at toddler group for an article and her 8m old DD was in a red top "oh no why's there a photographer here of all days when she looks like a boy in red!!"

My DS has a pink tshirt (with a piranha on does that make it more manly?!) and often gets comments on it "oh... His's umm pink?!" As if I hadn't noticed.

If DH aged 33 wore a pink shirt no one would mention it.

So at what age do people "allow" people to wear clothes colour coordinated for the "wrong" gender. Teenage? Adult?

DonutForMyself Sun 30-Jun-13 11:14:21

My 6 yo had gone out this morning in camouflage combats and a blue angry birds t-shirt (both hand-me-downs from DS). She thought she looked so cool she asked me to take a photo of her and put it on FB!

She sometimes wears trousers and a jumper instead of a skirt/cardigan for school and asks for her hair in a ponytail so that she can "look like a boy". She's disappointed when nobody remarks on how boyish she looks! She loves her DSs and wants to be like them!

DS2 has a bright pink polo shirt and jumper, both of which he likes and nobody has ever commented on it being pink. DS1 however (a teen) wouldn't dream of wearing pink.

I don't think its an age thing as such, more of a manners thing if anyone feels they have the right to point out these things. My DP has a salmon polo shirt that makes a nice change from the usual navy and grey he wears, but he does always mention it (with 'gay' associations!) so he is conscious that its not a 'manly' colour.

Bue Sun 30-Jun-13 11:16:01

Yes I don't get this double standard at all. Blue totally normal on adult woman and pink totally normal on an adult man (DH has about a hundred pink dress shirts and ties) but absolutely unacceptable below a certain cut off age? Where is the logic in this confused?

Bumpstarter Sun 30-Jun-13 11:22:10

Perhaps it is the age when a child might reasonably be picking clothes for him or herself.

Although come to thinkof it I had comments when I dressed my baby girl in blue, but I have photos of them both around 1 yr old wearing a navy jumper with a spaceship on.... No comments. They were standing up and trying to walk then.

MoleyMick Sun 30-Jun-13 11:25:12

This interests me because I'm in Australia which in a lot of ways is more sexist than the UK (casual sexism etc) but when it comes to clothes and toys it's much less gender specific. Wayy less than UK judging by what I read on here. My dd (16 months) has pink etc but she also wears lots of blue trackies and jumpers etc and no one has ever mentioned it. DS (3) has a little friend who has a favourite pair of trousers, bright pink and too small really, which belonged to a girl cousin. DS also loves peppa (sodding) pig so has pink peppa stuff. I'd be so annoyed if people commented on it.
Just interests me that in Australia sex stereotyping isn't really a thing for kids, even though its a more sexist adult society (arguably).
Sorry for the tangent, not sure how relevant it is to OP after all that!
I'd find it so annoying if peopl

MoleyMick Sun 30-Jun-13 11:28:00

Also sorry for random half sentence at end thereblush

My 3 year old has pink tops and nothing has been said to him. My sister also 3 sometimes goes out wearing her brothers tracksuits and nothing gets said

BeQuicksieorBeDead Sun 30-Jun-13 11:39:27

I work with 3 and 4 year olds and they have got to the point where the boys will avoid colouring in a picture pink/purple because that is a 'girl colour'. I find this deeply disturbing, that the stereotyping in my area has gone beyond what you wear and play with, to the point that you cannot be seen to pick up a crayon of the 'wrong' colour in case someone catches you! I challenge them every time and we have talked about it, but the messages from home are a lot deeper ingrained than anything I can put over to them.

onedogandababy Sun 30-Jun-13 11:58:36

I got this from the assistant in Clarks when buying dd a pair of canvas shoes. After her bringing me out a selection of pink/lilac glittery ones, I asked if they had blue ones in her size. Cue comments of 'oh I didn't think to look at the boys shoes'

Blue canvas trainer type shoes are apparently gendered. FFS

GibberTheMonkey Sun 30-Jun-13 12:19:36

I dressed dd in blue and one of my favourite baby boys outfits was pink and brown

SchroSawMargeryDaw Sun 30-Jun-13 12:37:17

DS1 (21 Months) wears pink all the time and we've never had a comment.

AmandaPandtheTantrumofDoom Sun 30-Jun-13 16:03:20

Ooh, see I'm not so sure about pink on an adult man. There are certain groups within society who would be really uncomfortable wearing pink. I think that that is to do with the fact that anything that associates you with the feminine is lesser to a certain type of man - hence phrases like big girl's blouse, cried like a girl and man up.

But I do agree it's odd. The strongest reactions are around babies and young toddlers, and I think that's to do with people's deep discomfort if they aren't sure the gender of a child. Wasn't there a famous experiment where adults were given a baby in a white babygro to play with and were massively uneasy that they didn't know if it was a boy or a girl. Then when told (not necessarily the correct gender) exhibited very gender-based ways of playing (you're strong, aren't you sweet, ooh you're a handful...)

5madthings Sun 30-Jun-13 16:12:54

Well my eight near old ds3 will wear pink and purple and it does get comments ted on a bit sad

But ds4 who is five has a bright pink cookie monster T-shirt and that doesn't get commented on...does the cookie monster on it make it OK for a boy?!

Dd wears hand me downs as well as lots of 'girls clothes, when she has worn denim dungarees people have comments ted on her being in 'boys clothes'...

I hate the gender stereotyping of kids.

Ds3 loves Tinkerbell and fairies and princesses and yet he is. Supposed to and I was slated on mnet for buying him 'girly' dress up stuff..he chose a purple tutu that he wears with jeans and a princess dress. He likes to wear his fairy outfit as we'll, its vidyia (sp) one of tinker bells friends the purple fairy.

KaseyM Sun 30-Jun-13 19:25:56

Jeeez, DS once picked out a black jacket at Asda that had a purple stripe. One of the staff looked at it and said "you don't want that - it's for girls!"

Drives me nuts.....

specialsubject Sun 30-Jun-13 19:34:39

no-one MINDS. It is just that it is impossible to tell the gender of a clothed baby so they are sometimes dressed colour-coded to save a lot of repetition.

I make a point of praising my nieces for non-girly behaviour (that's clever/strong/smart etc) and ignoring whining or princessy-ness, not that either of them do that.

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 19:54:41

I think it probably lessens when the children have grown to a point where their sex is obvious through other indicators - style of clothes, hairstyle, face has developed etc.

I think it "matters" when babies/small children look the same whichever sex they are, and the clothes styles aren't so different - babygros etc.

What I personally find odd is when people get babies done up in really complicated outfits which seem to make it time-consuming to change nappies etc and hinder them when they start trying to crawl. I'm always a bit hmm @ 5 month old girls in ballgown type affairs but then I take the practical approach to most things!

NiceTabard Sun 30-Jun-13 19:56:33

We have had it a lot with shoes (but that is a boy's shoe, the girl's shoes are over there) and once with temporary tattoos (oh sorry we do have some but they're boys ones).


SinisterSal Sun 30-Jun-13 20:26:13

Hate it. Even buying plasters for the kids today, they wanted character ones so it was princess ones or car ones. Even falling over and cutting your knee is now a signifier!

It seems harmless - I always get the howl of You're over thinking it s/he is a girl/boy so why not wear/do/colour/eat/sing/play girl/boy things?

But we never give black/white kids special black/white clothes or toys. Logically we should if it's all so harmless and it's not like they don't know or shouldn't 'celebrate' their colour, and anyway we're all equal now and there's no such thing as discrimination anymore.

Imagine two aisles in the toy shop - say red coded and green coded - for different races.

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