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1) Pinkification reinforces outdated stereotypes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 counter attack
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, Gecko, 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 and 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 it was to be a girl and to be a boy.
Have you experienced your kids saying that ‘pink is ONLY for girls and blue is ONLY for boys’, how does it make you feel? Please SHARE in the comments below.