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Sigh, everyday sexism.

(28 Posts)
DeleteOrDecay Wed 25-Oct-17 22:22:14

I’m so disheartened by the amount of everyday sexism I’m encountering especially when it comes to kids clothes. I am currently on a forest holiday in the U.K. and in the shop they had some pink and blue t-shirts (picture included) and I was instantly annoyed by them. It can’t be just me can it? Not so much the colour (although it’s no coincidence they happened to be pink and blue is it?) but the slogan. Yet another example of girls being delicate little beings who enjoy things like butterflies, stars and ‘sleeps’hmm whilst boys are obviously always rambunctious and always enjoy mud and fun.

Another example, my dd’s gym class gave out new t-shirts as part of their uniform. They were also pink and blue, although the kids could choose which colour they preferred, why not just have one colour for everyone? Why the need to enforce gender stereotypes like this? I see it in shops all the time as well, boys always portrayed as being strong, cheeky, boisterous. Girls are small, quiet, pretty etc.

I haven’t mentioned it to her Gym Class because I don’t want to be ‘that parent’ and they will probably look at me like I have 2 heads!

Yes in theory I could buy the blue t-shirt for my dd’s instead but first of all, why should I? And second, the eldest especially is pink obsessed and despite all my efforts sees pink as very much a ‘girls colour’ and blue for boys - I am trying to teach her that colours are for anyone who likes them, but it’s a work in progress unfortunately I just hope that one day she sees where I’m coming from. At the moment there’s no way she would accept clothing that was obviously marketed at boys.

I hate this pink=girl blue=boy nonsense. Can’t just be me can it? I feel like no one else sees the problem and it makes me question whether I’m just nit-picking or not. Figured if people in feminism chat think I’m over reacting then they are probably right and vice versa.

DJBaggySmalls Wed 25-Oct-17 22:24:07

Its not just you, kids in the 70's used to wear pretty much the same clothes. I honestly think we are going backwards.

silkpyjamasallday Wed 25-Oct-17 22:39:47

I agree with you OP, it is so frustrating and it is everywhere. With those tshirts I just think why couldn't you use the same text, and why use pink and blue? And the girls version reads terribly in comparison to the boys, wtf does 'sleeps' have to do with the rest of it? angry Totally pointless gendering of clothing and enforcing harmful stereotypes. Unfortunately most people do seem to think getting annoyed by this sort of thing is unreasonable, and until more people wake up and challenge this bullshit it will keep being produced and the messages they send will be absorbed by our children and society as a whole.

Kitee Wed 25-Oct-17 22:43:09

What has “sleeps” got to do with anything?

LastOneDancing Wed 25-Oct-17 22:48:46

I'm with you OP. The seas of blue and pink do my nut. I was looking at boys clothes today & it's all slogans like 'boys will be boys' and 'boys club'. Not in my house thanks.

My MIL has a whole ditty she likes to sing to my DS1 about 'pink for a giiiiirl and bluuuue for a boyyyyy' that makes me want to scream. I'm fighting the tide here.

highinthesky Wed 25-Oct-17 22:49:18

What has “sleeps” got to do with anything?

It’s rather important when you are camping and half-frozen to death in a flimsy tent.

RebelFreddyVSRogueJason Wed 25-Oct-17 22:50:54

* *What has “sleeps” got to do with anything?

Because a girl/woman needs her beauty sleep?

DD would pick the blue one anyways.

DeleteOrDecay Wed 25-Oct-17 23:14:18

I'm fighting the tide here.

That’s exactly how I feel. It’s so ingrained in almost everyone I know. A family member looked at me like I was crazy for suggesting that it is entirely possible for boys to like the colour pink, to wear it, to play with pink toys. It’s not me who’s the crazy one here surelyconfused

I don’t tend to go on about it too much in RL as I feel like people think I’m coming across as a bit militant? I try not to but when everyone else around you is so non-plussed by it it’s difficult not to come across that way. I try a more subtle approach.

Lots of people also haven’t made the connection between gender stereotypes and the trans movement. They seem to think that not having these boxes to put people in leads to the ‘confusion’ and people ‘transitioning’ to the opposite sex. It’s madness.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 26-Oct-17 00:30:18

What has “sleeps” got to do with anything?

Presumably because after having adventures in the forest on the forest holiday the children are sleeping under the stars?

I can't stand slogans on clothes but the pink one makes more sense.

It has forests , with butterflies, wildlife and adventures followed by sleep under the stars- a whole day. The blue one has wildlife and adventures, then the tautological forests and treetops. As for mud- are forests particularly muddy? I used to live in the middle of one - I don't remember it being particularly muddy except after clear telling and before replanting (which looks horrible and you wouldn't be holidaying on a clear felled site)

MiracleCure Thu 26-Oct-17 00:34:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 26-Oct-17 00:35:20

Yet another example of girls being delicate little beings who enjoy things like butterflies, stars and ‘sleeps

The girls' t- shirt also had wildlife, adventure and forests on it. I think you are falling over yourself to find something to criticise about it. It says nothing about girls being delicate- why should liking butterflies and stars = delicate?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 26-Oct-17 00:36:53

Or rather the pink one has etc, etc.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 26-Oct-17 01:02:54

Thinking more, this is why I could never get behind that "Pink Stinks" campaign.

The pink t shirt actually covers more things relevant to a forest holiday. Yet you criticise it and leap to the absurd conclusion that liking stars and butterflies means being delicate.

You could have objected to the gender stereotyping that boys are always rambunctious and always enjoy mud and fun. The slogans on that one are reflecting a more limited perspective than the pink one.

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 26-Oct-17 01:19:29

Both t shirts have ill thought out slogans. They're not very nice at all really, either one of them. It's not the worst example, but there probably wasn't a need for different words on the different colours.

Let Clothes Be Clothes is a great campaign around this, which I prefer to the somewhat outdated PinkStinks.

HashtagTired Thu 26-Oct-17 01:42:58

I know that if I offered the choice to my dd about which of the pictured tshirts she wanted, she would pick pink saying that blue is for boys. She’s 5. It’s not something that I have consciously stressed with her, as I don’t care. In fact, never being a girly-girl myself I often lean on the stereotypical boys stuff.

working925 Thu 26-Oct-17 08:21:16

Most manufacturers will manufacture to demand and retailers will sell to demand - why wouldn't you? You can buy either t-shirt but given the choice many little girls will pick pink - I truly never see this as a problem unless you make it a problem. Girls and boys are different!

ElsieMay123 Thu 26-Oct-17 08:46:29

Eugh, I have a little boy on the brew in my belly (at least that's how I think it works wink) and I do wonder how I'm going to cope with all this. It is so shitty that boys get pushed to be the rough and tumble types, and are thought less of if they quite like butterflies and stars (which surely loads do), and of course vice versa for girls. If I was having a girl I'd be all about fighting the patriarchy, but I'm less certain on how to teach a young fella to be a 'good boy' and respect the choices of his peers.

I want my future son to grow up knowing that he doesn't have to conform to this shit if he chooses not to, or can, if mud is his thing (it is mine!). I won't be putting him in pink to prove a point but how will I make him see that gender is a made up concept and gendered clothing/toys/professions are just nonsense?

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 26-Oct-17 09:06:01

@working925 girls and boys are different because children are different. It's absurd to suggest that there is something innate in girls that make them prefer pink. There is a wider issue with the slogans and images on heavily gendered clothes and it is damaging in the long run to both boys and girls. If you haven't seen it, the recent two part BBC programme on this topic "No More Boys and Girls?" made it very clear what the damage was. Girls aged 7 already judged themselves on their appearance, underestimated their capabilities, boys could only name one emotion which was anger, and so on. All down to the socialisation that surrounds children from birth. We must stop doing this damage to our children.

(http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09202jz)

AssassinatedBeauty Thu 26-Oct-17 09:08:53

@ElsieMay123 see if you can find a copy of "Parenting beyond Pink and Blue" which is a book that exactly covers this issue.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Parenting-Beyond-Pink-Blue-Stereotypes/dp/160774502X

SpookghosttiAndMeatboos Thu 26-Oct-17 09:09:14

I agree that the pink one is a better description of a forest holiday (although there was plenty of mud in the woods out the back of my house growing up!)

My question would be, why have the difference at all then? Why do we need different words on the 'boys' and 'girls' t-shirts?

I have a boy who doesn't care (has stuff of all colours, doesn't have a favourite), and a boy who loves pink (but still has stuff of all colours because I'm not falling in the trap of having him demand everything he owns is one colour and if there's something of that colour it must be his)

And sure, it's all about supply and demand, but marketing works. If you repeatedly present something as 'for girls' then plenty of kids will believe that that is 'for girls' and so will gravitate towards (or away) from it.

My DS who's into pink must have met someone recently who's been more indoctrinated, as I've had a lot of 'girls like pretty stuff, boys like cool stuff' from him.. he still heads to the pink and sparkly stuff of course, he wouldn't want to be restricted himself, but if it's getting into his stubborn little head, then the kids that are less firm in their convictions just don't stand a chance

DeleteOrDecay Thu 26-Oct-17 15:44:05

You could have objected to the gender stereotyping that boys are always rambunctious and always enjoy mud and fun.

Did you even read my post? I clearly objected to both sexes being put into a sterotypical box:

Yet another example of girls being delicate little beings who enjoy things like butterflies, stars and ‘sleeps’^^ whilst boys are obviously always rambunctious and always enjoy mud and fun.

DeleteOrDecay Thu 26-Oct-17 16:02:32

Most manufacturers will manufacture to demand and retailers will sell to demand - why wouldn't you?

Well yes obviously, but why is there a demand for this heavily gender stereotyped stuff? It doesn’t happen in a vacuum.

deydododatdodontdeydo Thu 26-Oct-17 16:06:53

Not sure why there is a need for them to be different, but at least in this case (in my opinion) the pink one isn't lesser than the blue one.
Sleeping out in a forest makes perfect sense, as does stars.
If the blue one said sleeps and stars, people would ask "can only boys sleep out under the stars?".
Pink one definitely not lesser in this case.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Thu 26-Oct-17 16:07:17

Did you even read my post? I clearly objected to both sexes being put into a sterotypical box:

What about your own stereotyping that liking butterflies = delicate? The t- shirt didn't say that. That is your own prejudice.

MoistCantaloupe Thu 26-Oct-17 16:18:32

Though I agree *@LassWiTheDelicateAir*, that there are the same words in place on both the shirts, they are quite clearly blue/pink with words on them to appeal to each sex. If this wasn't in mind, they would have just made one t-shirt in this style 'for children'.
(Agree that butterflies are not delicate. But it has been designed with the thought of appealing to girls.)

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