Pink is for girls… (The Prompt Week 6)

Well it is, isn’t it? I wouldn’t dream of sending my boys out dressed in pink – it would just confuse everyone! Is that right? No of course not, but society says…

Should we challenge society? On this I ponder. The hubster is a bit of ‘man’s man’ and would shoot down the very suggestion of mixed gender roles – which is why I had to laugh when, one day whilst driving along with the boys in the back JJ suddenly said “I’m going to drive a pink taxi when I grow up” and then, without any sense of irony, “Daddy will be pleased won’t he?”

pink taxi

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to encourage my sons to paint their nails, wear my make up, etc. but when they grow up I will support their decision to do any of those things if that’s what they want and if they feel, like Eddie Izzard, that its part of who they are and if they aren’t prepared to let anyone else squelch that then good on ’em!

For me though, I fear the possibility of bullying when the school years are upon us. Whilst I desperately want to give a balanced view when my four year old asks me “Mummy, is pink for girls?” and often find myself trying to explain that pink mostly appeals to girls, but that no-one owns a colour, and anyone can choose to like whatever colour, accessory or toy that appeals to them – at the same time I don’t want them to be victims of those that have been told that boys who like pink are the lowest of the low.

I know I’m fighting a losing battle against society. Does this make me weak? Does this mean that I’m perpetuating gender stereotypes and when my boys grow up they wll expect the women in their lives to take responsibility for the full burden of childcare, housework and the entire planning and organisation of family life, the way it seems to be in the present day (obviously with some exceptions)?

I hope I can instill enough of a sense of respect, generosity of spirit, empathy and work ethic – both inside and outside the home – to ensure that there is a change for the better for (at least a very small proportion of) the next generation of mothers.

As for pink? Well I can see pink toys and clothes becoming less prevalent in favour of other, bright and neutral colours, but I’m afraid I can’t see a general acceptance of boys choosng traditionally¬† ‘girly’ things – not in my lifetime.

Linking up to The Prompt over at Mum Turned Mom.


12 thoughts on “Pink is for girls… (The Prompt Week 6)

  1. Aidan wore bright pink wellies when he was 3 as the shop only had pink ones with peppa on and he did not want george. It came in handy when i had neala as i passed them on and she was happy to have some pink in her quiet handmedown blue ensamble. She has taken to wearing a pair of aidan green camoflage trousers this week albeit with a pink flowerly top. Aidan also likes his nails painted like mummy but at 5 i just do toes as heaven forbide i forget to take it off for school in the morning.

  2. Great post Sam! It’s hard to find the balance. I don’t want to perpetuate gender stereotypes but it I wouldn’t want to expose monkey to ridicule from the rest of society for my beliefs. We just have to try and reinforce positive opinions as much as we can so they can grow up to see for themselves how ridiculous the stereotypes are. Love that JJ wants to drive a pink taxi! Bless him! xx

    • I’m glad you got what I was saying Caroline – its really difficult to keep that balance isn’t it? I was interested to read Sara’s post on the pink from the point of view of a mum of girls too… The pink taxi comment was a classic! X

  3. I think this is the hardest thing isn’t it, making sure that they know that the stereotypes are just that, a stereotype, and reinforcing positive roles, but also making sure that we protect them until they’re old enough to make those decisions themselves. It’s a tough balance. And, Caroline raised a good point in her post about whether ‘gender neutral’ was really any better?! Great post Sam, I don’t think there is a right answer, yet anyway, we just need to do our best to raise respectful, openminded children. I suspect I may return to this topic! Thank you so much for linking up with the #ThePrompt xx

    • Yes I think there is a big difference in being the parent who is so full of liberal righteousness that you allow your son to turn up at school in a pink tutu because he’s just expressing himself after all – and the kind of parent who subtly discourages such whimsy whilst reinforcing the fact that everyone is different and there’s nothing wrong with that. Actually a really difficult one to balance…

  4. I think you’re right – in the end we can only do our best but we can’t change the whole of society. As they get older children need to understand the way the society we live in works, and if they then choose to challenge that then I would support my child every step of the way!

    • Absolutely – I feel the same about organised religion actually – my kids aren’t being herded in one direction from a very young age but they can choose for themselves when they are old enough to appreciate the differences.

    • You occasionally get the odd pink shirt or jeans for a boy but not often! On the upside boys have the choice of any colour really except pink whilst many little girls (especially babies and toddlers) seem to be dressed in pink non-stop which can get a bit tedious to look at! I always love seeing little girls in bright rainbow colours and wish the shops would even the balance in colours for girls clothes.

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