Friday, 7 December 2007

I can't believe how caught up on gender the world still is...

From stores, to clothes, to McDonald's and even Santa!
It really becomes apparent when you have kids just how thick that gender line still is. After all we've been through and after all the "treat kids equally" and "don't treat girls any different than boys", it's still amazes me how much difference there is between "girls" things and "boys" things.

Go into any clothing store. Boys things are rough and tumble and girl clothes are frilly or cutesy - and usually pink or purple. Even the little infant diaper shirts or onesies have to have a bow on them! Toy stores are no better. The promo pictures are very biased (these are from the Fisher-Price website). Of course it's the boys that play with cars and dinosaurs and trains, while girls play with the kitchens and houses...
McDonald's still asks "Would you like the boy's toy or the girl's toy?" I try hard not to feed into it and respond with "The car, please." Then I get, "So, the boy's toy." It bothers me when they assume. One of their promos with either cars or dolls/bracelets. We were at the counter and the employee went to get the toys to show Alexandria so she could choose. The lady came back with only girls choices. Alex looked at them and didn't say anything. (She'd seen the toys in the display and knew there were cars.) I had to say to the employee, "I think she'd like to see the cars." At this point Alex isn't really affected by the labels. She just picks what she wants and doesn't know any different. Soon, though, she may feel like she shouldn't want the "boys" stuff, even though she may prefer it. It will be worse with Zach. What if he likes the "girl" toy better? Maybe he'd rather have a unicorn than a race car. I don't want him to feel as if that's not ok, because it is!

And Santa! Yes, even Santa... Alex sat on his lap and Santa said, "What would you like for Christmas? Dolls?" I just thought, oh man, et tu, Santa? Alex replied back, "I like dinosaurs."

I love Alex's mix of "girl" and "boy" preferences. She wants My Little Pony and dinosaurs. She loves her kitchen and her race cars. I hope will instill the confidence in her to continue following her personal preferences, no matter what society may put on her.

4 comments:

ejph said...

I am in agreement with you here Jacki!
Have you noticed how it's considered okay as a girl to like boys stuff (you're just a bit of a tomboy), but the moment a boy likes 'girls' stuff its seen as some kind of weakness?! That's it I'm off to play with my Cindi doll collection! Perhaps I'll do some housework too...

mommy2monkeyNgobo said...

Absolutely. I'm sure it will be even more noticeable with Zach when he gets a bit older.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

Good, but sad post. The funny thing is that car garage in the first picture is what my son choose to give as a birthday gift to my daughter when she turned one. I would like to believe it is because he really thought she would like it and not because he wanted to play with it himself! Regardless, she did love it.

Sarah said...

One of my friends has twin boys the same age as my son. One day, we were at an indoor playground and one of the twins was pushing a stroller with a doll in it. My friend said "Don't let your Daddy see you doing that!" (thankfully, he wasn't old enough to understand). I thought "What? Does his Daddy not do that? Does he not push his sons in a stroller? What the hell is the difference!"

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