Nico (vilakins) wrote,

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Gender stuff

I haven't posted much lately. Time for a catch-up.

Last Wednesday I inadvertently went off to a friend's apartment on the waterfront without knowing there was a tsunami warning. I think it had fizzled out; I didn't see anything and I heard it was about 40cms. Anyway, this friend dresses her little boy in blue and green and grey, and her little girl in... pink. Pretty much all pink, or pink and red flowers on white, with frills and bows and whatnot. She's only two so she probably hasn't any taste of her own yet, but I am so glad my parents let me dress the way I liked when I was older, in shorts and t-shirts, stripes etc, and in colours I liked, none of which were pink. Actually I have grown to like a bright, strong pink, but only as an accent colour. It carries a lot of baggage.

An aside: a colour-blind guy once told me that he was puzzled for years about why the world's armies mostly dressed in pink. I wish. Also someone once said that red is a strong, aggressive colour and blue is calming, so maybe dressing kids in paler versions of those will even things out. Once again, I wish.

Further on gender stereo-typing though, I got talked into taking part in a children's charity thing which sends gifts to kids in the islands. You have to fill a shoebox with various gifts: something to cuddle, something to play with, to use at school, for personal hygiene, to wear etc. Then you label the box "girl" or "boy" and give an age range. I rebelled against that and bought things I thought any kid would like: felt-tip pens in a pencil case, stickers, a maraca, two ping-pong bats and three balls, a hacky-sack, a yo-yo, sunglasses, a cap, some dinosaurs, and a plushie I think is a dinosaur or possibly a frog. Plus some soap and a toothbrush. I shall label it "girl OR boy. 8-10". I daresay that will annoy them no end, but hey, it might fix an imbalance by one child anyway.

As a kid, I played with boys' toys and would not have liked to get a box of pink assumed girls' stuff. In fact I'd have probably lied about my sex. I used to on holiday when no one knew me, because it's not blondes who have more fun. It's boys.

Maybe I should label my box "boy" with a "tom" on the front. :-)

Tags: gender
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