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Gender Segregation

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  • Three reasons why kids should hate pink

    This is me.pink profile (3)

    Clearly I am not on a pink hating rampage.

    Pink is a good colour, it has a lot of funk and POW.
    However it is a colour, it is not a representation of who, over 3,418,059,380 of the population are as people. Yet if you look at the clothing racks, toy aisles and even toiletries in your local shops, you could be mistaken by thinking that pink stuff is all that girls and women want.
    So let me run through the top three reasons why pinkification and all it represents is ruining society and perpetuating sexism…


    1. Pinkification reinforces outdated stereotypes

      Some girls like pink and some girls like princess and some girls love to look and feel pretty, some girls like to do all those things at the same time. What exactly is wrong with that? Nothing. Nadda. Absolutely not a thing. The problem is when girls think they SHOULD only do these things, and when girls think that being a princess is an aspiration. Unless you are born into royalty, as a ‘princess’ you are basically aspiring to marry well. Marriage shouldn’t be an aspiration for girls in that way. Marriage can be a wonderful choice to cement your relationship with your soul-mate and the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with, but it is not a good aspiration – it’s not 1940, after all.

    2. Pinkification segments and divides kids

      The growth in ‘pinkification’ especially in children’s products is sending a message that these pink things here are for girls and these blue things here are for boys. Now, that might sound harmless but ask yourself: would kids be as obsessed with these stereotypes if we stopped telling them that this is who they have to be? It’s not just a colour divide, it goes much further.

      “Of course you can be a palaeontologist when you grow up, you can be anything you put your mind to… You can’t have dinosaurs they’re for boys! What about this pretty doll?” – Society

      “Jeez boy! Put that doll down, you can’t play with dolls!” “Well, yes, I am fully aware that you are highly likely to go on to become a Father one day, but you know it’s just not right for boys to play with dolls.” – Society

    3. Pinkification has its own tax

      It is a proven fact, that pink stuff costs more. If you go and get 2 baskets and go around a shop and put in the same brand razor, shaving foam and bunch of other products marketed for women and men separately, the ones in the pink packets (so we know they are definitely for women) will cost more money. This is the truth of the pink tax.

    The counterattack

    So granted pink isn’t sat around with Magenta saying ‘So what are we going to do tonight Brain’ ‘Same thing we do every night Pinky, try and take over the world….’ [Can I get a high 5 for a Pinky and the Brain reference?] Inserting the occasional evil laugh. But it is counterproductive to gender equality.
    It's so simple, we remove gender labels for kids. Just make it all unisex. Then kids can pick what THEY want based on what THEY like. They can be raised as equal and we can really start talking about gender equality. This doesn’t need to be an over complicated battle or revolution. Let’s just stop the gender labelling.
    What can we do to stop it? Don’t dance to ‘their’ tune. Join in with campaigns like #clothesthegap, #ditchthegenderlabels #dinosaursforall and check out Let Toys Be Toys, Let Clothes Be Clothes, Pinkstinks, Pigtail Pals and Ball cap buddies and Play Unlimited.

    Let’s be equal - equally equal.

    And that my friends is the clincher, that beautiful, fresh faced next generation who take on the responsibility of populating this little blue and green ball when we move along. We want them to be equal, don’t we? Equal rights, gender equality, all on an even footing: gender, age, race, sexual preferences, to be free and happy – well that needs to be instilled from childhood. Not girl, or boy, CHILD, not woman or man, PERSON.

    Before you roll your eyes at 'another Feminist on a rant'

    There’s a movement out there calling for gender equality, and I’m very happy to be part of it. We felt passionately about this when our son came home from school in a blue box. He was 5 years old so was only just embarking on his second year in education, but told me, his very strong and present female prescience: “I will look after you when Daddy’s away Mummy.” “We can all look after each other.” I replied. “You will need me to look after you Mummy because you’re a girl.” Say what now child?
    To say I was lost for words would be an understatement! How did society get to you so quickly my boy? Then I realised that it hadn’t. This seed hadn’t been planted when he started school, this had been planted at birth. Every time Griff had been to a shop, saw an advert and so much more it had conditioned him to what a it was to be a girl and to be a boy.

    Me and my husband penned our answer to pinkification:

    What’s yours?

    To support our quest to stop pigeonholing children go here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gecko-clothing/gecko-clothings-funkyethical-organic-and-unisex-du

  • Oh I'm just a girl

    Space pics
    You walk into the children’s clothes section of a shop. You see rows and rows of neatly arranged clothes on tiny hangers sprawling in front of you. You spot a particularly adorable t-shirt, prominently placed at the end of a rack, displaying the slogan “Future Astronaut” in bold, bright lettering across its front.

    What colour is the t-shirt you just imagined? Blue? Pink? Green?

    What did the sign above this rack of t-shirts read? Boys? Girls? Unisex?


    The unfortunate reality, dear reader, is that most of us will have pictured a blue t-shirt beneath a sign that proudly proclaims ‘Boys’. A few of us may have caught ourselves doing this, scolded ourselves, and mentally changed the colour to pink and the sign to read ‘Girls’. Very few of us, myself included, will have jumped first and foremost to a gender neutral colour beneath a gender neutral sign.

    Now, I may hear a few protests that girls can wear blue and boys can wear pink, and, of course, I agree. However, it would be foolhardy of us at this point in time to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that the majority of people are happy to look past those associations immediately. In much the same way that it would be foolhardy of us to think that all people look at girls’ clothes that have been emblazoned with slogans such as the seemingly innocuous “Little Princess” or the far more unpleasant at first glance (but actually very similar) “Future WAG”, and think that they are contributing to a far deeper problem relating to the aspirations of future generations. For many people, a t-shirt is just a t-shirt and the colour that they choose for their son or daughter is something that is simply a given, that they never give a second thought to.

    Oh I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite

    So why do I want to make so much noise about this? Why does it matter so much if they’re just clothes? Because (to paraphrase Gwen Stefani) I don’t want girls that are born today to just be girls because that’s all that we’ll let them be, and for that matter, I don’t want boys that are born today to just be boys because that’s all that we’ll let them be.

    Too many times, I have been met with shock over things in my life that, if a man did them, would have been deemed unexceptional, from joining in with arm-wrestling tournaments to moving to a foreign country half way around the world at the age of nineteen, alone. Too many times, I have heard behaviour amongst males that I perceived to be deeply unacceptable, explained away as ‘boys being boys’ or ‘lads being lads’. From men verbally abusing one another in the cruellest ways imaginable under the guise of ‘banter’, through to adult males grabbing women’s backsides without permission or invitation.

    If you think that these behaviours and those pink and blue t-shirts are unconnected, think again.

    The Gender Narrative

    Those t-shirts tell girls that they should aspire to be looked after, to be defined through their relationship to someone else. Those t-shirts tell boys that they can be whatever they want to be, do whatever they want to do, and write their own future. Those reactions, when I have done as I have pleased in my life, suggest that somehow my fiercely independent behaviours are a negative to be apologised for or explained away. Those excuses, when made for males misbehaving, tell them that they can behave however they want to behave, do whatever they want to do and write their own rule book. Same narrative, different age group.

    We aren’t doing our daughters or sons any favours by perpetuating this cycle of low aspiration for girls and ready excuses for boys, and this is why we need to start from a different point; a point that allows girls to aspire towards any future they choose, independent of others, and a point that allows boys to aspire to be better than those that came before them, to not need to fall back on those overused excuses. A starting point that bridges the chasm of expectation between the genders that we have right from the moment of conception. A starting point without gendered sloganeering and colour-coded stereotyping. Isn’t it time that we close that gap?

    Isn’t it time that we 'clothes the gap'?


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