Recently, I have come across a bit of a conundrum, and it is one I cannot quite get my head around. One that really should not exist in 2017.
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We chose not to find out the sex of baby number two, so when I went to stock up on baby bits and clothes I came across a problem. Blue for boys, pink for girls and white/ grey for unisex. The baby’s whole wardrobe is now grey. I bought a few bits which I liked and didn’t care if they were a bit ‘girly’ or I recycled some of Elijah’s old bits.
What I want to know is way back when, who decided that we had to dress baby boys in blue and baby girls in pink? Why was all the unisex clothing white? I mean white really for a baby? Why is it if you dress a boy in pink he will get some questionable looks? Why can we still not in this day and age, dress our children in any colour of the rainbow without fearing some comments at the supermarket till? Or some questionable looks at playgroup? Why is it if you dress a boy in pink they will suddenly now become mistaken for a girl? Did the item of clothing suddenly change their appearance?
The same with most toys; they tend to be marketed at one sex or another, but why? Surely all toys should be free to all and in the long run that would increase profits as more people would be buying them?
The other day Elijah chose a Barbie Kinder Egg over a superhero one. I saw that they were distinctly packaged to be for girls and boys. But why? It is chocolate egg with plastic tat inside!
I love the innocence of a child, that they will play with whatever and whoever and not care because they are too young to understand the connotations that have been applied by society. I once watched a program where children as young as 5 began to enforce the gender stereotypes that are there. I just think things are not as clear as they used to be. People do not conveniently fit into the two genders anymore. Instead we have a wide spectrum and to me that’s okay but we need to catch up with the times we now live in.
I think that starts of at a young age. I encourage Elijah to wear what he wants, to pick his own clothes out. I let him play with whatever toys he wants and Elijah is very partial to a handbag! I will raise both of my children to not worry about what people or society think of them but instead, to do what makes them happy. I will also encourage them to never judge someone because of what they look like, what they believe in or if they are different. In fact, we need to nurture this and make sure all children take this message with them as they grow up. What we really need to do is to quash the gender stereotypes that are now out of date and archaic.
I guess, in a way I am raising both of my children to be feminists, or in reality, equalists. I want them to not feel restricted in anyway because of their gender.
I do not see why everything has to have a gender, clothes, toys, Kinder Eggs. Why does it matter? I mean really? Is it a crime if my son wears a pink t-shirt? Or want to play with a toy pram over a truck? Not many jobs require you to be a specific gender to do them, so why do we still get viewed on our gender rather than our ability?
I think I may have to begin to boycott clothing sections, or when you are asked if you want the boy or girl meal deals in popular chains. Because it should not matter! It is clear from recent events things need to change, we need to look and respect others in a different way to what we are doing. Perhaps if we teach our children to not view someone by something like their gender or colour of their t shirts or the toys they play with. Maybe with a bit of hope and kindness they can treat others with more respect and acceptance than what we are currently doing.
Shock horror society, boys can wear pink, girls want to become professional boxers and do you know what?
All of that is okay.