Feminism Friday: Pink stinks!

I’ve had it with pointlessly gendered products. Pink for boys and blue for girls – not only should we all have grown out of this a long time ago, like the 1980s, but it’s actually getting worse! Charlie posted a link to some ‘delightfully feminine’ gadgets on Twitter earlier today, which made me realise what I’ve been doing wrong all this time with my photography. Clearly my photos would be so much better if I was using a camera that is designed for my gender. If my camera was pink, then all would be right with the world. Know what I say to that? BOLLOCKS!

You can stuff your fairydust-powered car accessories, pink cameras and glitter-encrusted Christmas gifts “for her” up your stupid lazy marketeer arse. Same goes for all that shite “for him” too. Believe it or not, some men don’t even like football, piss-weak lager and objectifying women! While you’re at it, stop dividing kids’ stuff by gender too. A friend of mine had some rather awesome ‘space baby’ socks for her daughter, but found that they were only available in the boy’s section. It’s fine to arrange the clothes/toys by colour or activity, but it’s 100% not OK to enforce ridiculous gender stereotypes in this way. Girls do/wear this and boys do/wear that? Really? Says who? Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me! I want gender-neutral gadgets and I want to be able to easily choose between All The Things. Is that really too much to ask?

17 thoughts on “Feminism Friday: Pink stinks!

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  1. THIS! This is the post I've been dying to write for ages now. I've been experiencing pointlessly gendered products since I was a kid, and was often called “a boy” because I loved the Power Rangers. Now, with toy season coming up, I'm experiencing it all over again.

    Seriously, every time I get a catalogue for a toy store in the mailbox, it's divided into boy toys and girl toys, which I think is shit! Everyone should be able to play with what they want and not be judged for it.

    I may even write a post on this myself later, but I think I couldn't have formulated it better than you, Lori. Thank you.

    xx Jilly Boyd

  2. A little while ago, as a bit of an experiment, I visited 'gender-enforcers' Toys 'r' Us and checked what they listed as the top boys bike and the top girls bike.

    The results weren't entirely surprising…

    Girls: http://is.gd/shxT1q

    Boys: http://is.gd/Iihvww

    So girls are taught to be pretty, like pink and 'ride along with me', boys are taught to be 'predators'… Healthy!

  3. My youngest (boy) wants a cook set for Christmas and very many of these are pinked up to the max :/
    My eldest's tool set from a few years back came in a box with a warehouse label detailing 'toys/ boys.' I wrote a displeased letter to the retailer… no reply.

  4. @Jilly – I look forward to reading your blog post on the subject!

    @Beth – Thanks for those links. I looked through the girls' bikes and they're mostly pink and covered in Barbies/kittens. WHY? Urgh. My first bike was a reasonably gender-neutral metallic red. Just like my first car, actually!

    @Rachel – Do John Lewis do old-fashioned cook sets that actually look like grown up kitchenware? I vaguely recall seeing something in there. Seems odd that cook sets are considered girly when so many top chefs are men.

    I remember preferring Sindy to Barbie when I was younger because everything Barbie owned was pink, whereas Sindy's stuff looked more like the real world equivalent. My theory was that I didn't want a pink car for my dolls, because real cars weren't pink!

  5. I totally agree.

    But for the “we've stopped that since the 80's” comment, it's just not true.

    In the office *this week* I was listening to someone saying they'd been told their sproglet was going to be a girl, but that it wasn't certain, so they'd painted the nursery a non-pink/blue colour (can't remember which, off-hand). All well and good. But then…

    “But I couldn't help myself, and bought a load of pink baby clothes and so on. So if it's a boy, it'll all be useless, and we'll have to get blue stuff instead.” #headdesk

  6. This enforcement of feminisation at such an early age is just another example of the backlash, trying to force girls and women into a set roles and away from self determination.

    I do wonder how I would have got on growing up as a child now, rather than in the mid-sixties and early seventies. Yes, I did have a Sindy doll, but more importantly I had her horse. But my favourite toys were Britains model farm animals and horses. I also had a fine collection of Matchbox cars, until my little brother ruined them by “respraying” them with very watery powder paint. (I rib him about that on a bi-yearly basis, by the way).

    My role models were show jumpers – Marion Coakes and Caroline Bradley. When the first women jockeys race took place in the early 70's, my grandfather sat me down to watch it with him. I'd like to think that if I was ten years old now, I'd look up to the likes of Nina Carberry or Hayley Turner, and not some lary skinned Essex girl, or worse still, a “princess”.

  7. @Blue Shed Thinking – I totally agree. Having access to all the toys allows kids' minds to explore many more things, and I too wonder if I'd want to be a footballer's wife or a princess if I was a child in 2011. I hope not! My Sindy had a big red Range Rover, a dining room table with food, and many gorgeous (non-pink) outfits. Interestingly, her house had no kitchen and I am mostly disinterested in kitchens to this day.

    @Another Goldfish – Thanks very much for the tip. That IKEA stuff is utterly beautiful 🙂

  8. We have the fruit basket from ikea, it is great stuff, their toys are mostly gender neutral and very nice looking.

    Tilly has ended up with lots of pink stuff, it happens. She loves dinosaurs, pirates and robots and all that, we obviously try hard to include these things, but she got a Barbie from christmas party the other day and that has gone to bed with her every night since. She likes babies and dollies and has a play kitchen… but has train set and cars as well. Tried not to get her too much pink junk, and it really does bug the hell out of me that early learning centre colour everything pink or blue when really I want totally gender neutral stuff… If we do end up having a boy in future he's going to end up with pink kitchen, pink baby walker, pink baby bouncer…

    The clothes thing used to bug me a lot, sickly pink is all you can get for the first 6 months in a lot of baby shops for girls, H&M were quite good for the brightly coloured clothing that wasn't sickly sweet. One of my favourite outfits for her was a short and top set in brown from there 🙂

  9. Oh and another thing that really gets my goat… Stuff magazine having half naked ladies on the cover. I like that magazine, I like gadgets, but I don't particularly enjoy bimbos posing with them… i don't want a women's tech magazine or anything, just for the men's ones not to be so sexist. And I just think that most gadget geeks really aren't going to be arsed about having a lady on the front…

  10. My girlfriend's little boy loves princess dresses and cowboys. He gets lots of both. He's a cool kid for sure- prancing around in Mommy's stilettos one minute (I love that he wears her prodomme impossibly high red and leopard print heels and says “I'm going to work!” hehehe) and the next he's playing with a train set. I hope I can raise my own eventual spawn similarly.

  11. Hear hear! This colour thing has been annoying me for WAY too long. And it's weird, too: sure, my sister and I had a pink phase each, but it was a choice, an experiment! Now we both prefer blue.

  12. Damn straight! My friend's little girl never looked at pink until she started nursery and then all the nursery workers started forcing it down her throat and she insisted on it. It was horrible seeing this little girl suddenly desperate to conform based on nothing that she'd been told at home. That's big society for you!

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