Tag Archives: sociology

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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Perfection in Imperfection

Slavoj Žižek rambles that we should become more artificial and thus abstract from nature. A mathematical universe – abstract materialism, nothing other than formuli and find spirituality in that dimension. Through this we will find true love which isn’t idealisation of each other, but acceptance of each others failures and vulgarities. Perfection in imperfection.

In this talkybox (Examined Life, Astra Taylor) Žižek highlights the following:

Is this existing world the best possible world?

Does nature exist or is it a series of large catastrophes that we thrive from and which feeds out hubris.

Will ecology become the new opium of the masses, like religion – a warning conservative voice dictating our everyday lives?

The article that it’s adjoined to discusses marxism

http://gu.com/p/2tv8q

Amonst other things, he discusses the contemporary context of Marxism:

“Marx was talking about land and property when he wrote about this, but today intellectual property is our commons, information is our commons…” – Žižek

He states that today, we are witnessing a strange regression whereby we ‘rent’ our intellectual property online.

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