Boys shouldn’t play with pink toys

Gender Stereotypes – Don’t let your boy play with pink toys.

I heard the most ridiculous conversation the other day. So ridiculous I actually hope it wasn’t true, but unfortunately I think it was.

A grandparent (nothing to do with my family) said that their grandson who was 14 months old was playing with a pink toy. So the grandparent who is middle-aged took the pink toy off the boy and gave him a blue one ‘because boys shouldn’t play with pink toys’. They continued to say ‘it isn’t right for boys to play with pink toys, only girls should play with pink things’.

I am shaking my head whilst writing this. I still can’t believe it.

At first I thought stereotyping about gender is a generation thing, but sadly I feel all generations have very backward views on gender, but the older generation is certainly worse.

We have always dressed our boy and girl in fairly neutral clothing simply because my wife who chooses any outfits has colour schemes she likes and bright pink happens to not be one of those colours for our girl and everything blue isn’t for our choosing for our boy – not that there is anything wrong with pink and blue.

Taormina has never been a girly princess stereotype but if she wanted to be, we would let her. She is definitely feminine and has long hair so nobody confuses her for a boy, but they did when she was younger.

At her ballet class, the teacher asked each child (it is all girls) what colour tutu they would like and each girl said either pink or purple. The last girl to be asked was Taormina and she asked for a blue one. This was a very proud moment for me because she didn’t copy everyone else, she just chose what one she wanted even through it was different to everyone else.

It is important to me that Taormina isn’t restricted by choice due to her gender. If she wants to play football, we will play footy. If she wants to choose the blue cup, guess what? She can have the blue cup. I will continue this theory with Wolfie as he gets older. I don’t want my children to grow up having their options dictated to them due to their gender.

When we found out our second was to be a boy, although I was obviously very happy, it also niggled me slightly that we’d have to buy entire wardrobes again. It is bloody expensive!

We already had an iCandy Peach 2 marshmallow carry cot and we were not going to change that just because most believe a boy shouldn’t be in a pinkish pram. He was always going to go in that pram regardless. It’s a great pram. It’s a great pink pram!

Wolfie’s clothes aren’t typically all really blue with dinosaurs and tractors. They are a mix of clothes which general
ly are uni sex and the themes are whatever we are into such as animals and nature. He is more likely to have native Americans or Wolves. We have a bought a lot of clothes from Watching the Moments which are hand-made to order and again, mostly are uni-sex. He also has a selection of tights. The reason for this is because they are handy, look good and practical. Again I’m not talking pink tights, they are neutral coloured. The boy looks good.

Wolfie has a great head of hair. Due to a combination of this and his alternative neutral clothes, he more often than not gets mistaken for a little girl. I find it quite funny actually. Of course I think he looks like a boy but that’s just because I couldn’t think anything different as I know him, but it is interesting that people assume he is a girl just because he’s not wearing all blue and he has a fair bit of hair.

Taormina loves dolls and push chairs so we have plenty around our house. I’m not going to throw them away once she’s out grown them, Wolfie is more than welcome to play with them when he’s older if he wants to and he certainly won’t get discouraged in our house.

A family member said to me a while ago that they believed it is good for boys to play with dolls so they learn how to care for a baby like their parents do. Now I have two young children, I understand this much more because children are so impressionable. One thing Poppy does as a parent which I don’t, is breastfeeding, because I can’t! So other than human biology, we both muck in how we can so want our children to do so as well. I hold my children so there’s no harm in my children copying daddy and playing with a baby (a doll that is).

We have been to a few children’s parties and there will be pink party bags for the girls and blue for the boys. When we have done activities when on holiday, Taormina has been the only girl on some like football, and there’s nothing wrong with my son wearing warm tights. I think all children should be given the option of colours, activities and clothes. If your child chooses something, surely it is good to encourage something they like rather than something they don’t, right?

I will certainly allow my son to play with pink toys and my daughter to play with blue toys. Either way, I will love them all the same.

 

2 Comments

  1. Amanda Matthews
    May 11, 2017 / 7:38 am

    Great blog post. Like you, I had a daughter and then, two years later, a son. It was incredible to me that there were so many gender stereotypes around boys and segregate the sexes at such a young age. Girls seem to be able to get away with wearing non girlie clothing by being labelled as ‘tomboys’ but boys that like sparkly, pink, tutus and play with dolls as well as cars are obviously going to have their sexuality challenged. Nurseries plan activities for girls and boys – not just children with different interests. Admittedly there are differences in girls and boys and the way they are and behave, but I don’t believe these need to be highlighted – just an awareness and lots of options for individuals. Thanks for this great blog post from a fathers perspective.

    • dan
      May 11, 2017 / 8:15 am

      Yes, exactly! I just feel if a child enjoys playing with something – let them. Surely it is better to encourage a child to do something they like than forcing them to do something they may not.

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