Tag Archives: gender

On Yer [Pink] Bike!!

Does a bike require gender? Is there a need for such gender division on something as utilitarian from such an early age? This is discussed further in the link below:

Oi! Sexist Marketing! On Yer Bike!!.

Interesting also, that pink was aimed at boys originally. E.g: June 1918 article from the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department:

“…The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink, being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.”

This is discussed further in this article:

Pink and Blue, Chris Blattman

Also, as I ramble on further. This video is particularly interesting and relevant:

This comment from a little girl called Riley. She is right, there is a lack of choice for toys targeted at girls. Boy’s not only get a choice of colours in their range, but a choice of proactive role models – superheros in this example (sport stars and strong career roles in other examples). Girl’s on the other hand get passive, pretty princesses (and servile, domesticated toys elsewhere).

Segregating toys in such a simple way is just strange to me. This simplification surely can’t be good for childhood development and it must certainly have some affect on gender stereotyping. Childhood should be a fun learning experience, preparing kids for adulthood. Yet, all I can see is that by ‘pinkifying’ certain toys (not just through colour, but by a strict choice of either superhero or princess), it can also deny boys choice as well. Given the choice, would they want something that promotes passiveness and vanity, such as a princess or would they prefer something proactive and exciting like a superhero or astronaut?

Surely, we shouldn’t be engineering kids thoughts through things like this? It’s not just marketeers either, it’s parents that reinforce this. It worries me. Toys should encourage imagination and ingenuity, they shouldn’t encourage stereotypes. Granted, there’s no denying ones gender identity, but gender is one of the many facets of identity – there’s more to life than being a princess or a superhero.

Give the kids freedom to find out more about their individuality, don’t deny their imagination.

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