Monday, May 05, 2014
Making girls wear pink is WRONG: Education expert says colour-coding children by gender is damaging
Feminists are pushing sh*t uphill on this one. I once came across a feminist mother who dressed her toddler daughter in brown but all the other mothers I have come across dress their boy babies in at least some blue and their girl babies in at least some pink. I suspect that in some cases it is in fact a deliberate defiance of feminism.
I am in a position where I often get to speak briefly to young mothers and I routinely congratulate them on their children. And only in the "brown" case mentioned above have I ever got wrong whether the child was a boy or a girl. Even in the case of the littlest ones, the colour and manner of dress make the identity of the child obvious
Making girls wear pink is wrong and could harm their future, an education expert has warned.
Hannah Webster, a spokesman for a private schools' organisation, said the idea of having blue for a boy and pink for a girl is 'pernicious' because it leads them towards certain roles regardless of their real identities.
She said: 'There will be those who say that pink and blue colour coding does not matter - that it is just a fact that boys like blue and girls like pink. They are wrong.'
She added: 'If we designate a particular colour to a gender, it leads us to designate all manner of other things by gender too.
'The result is girls and boys read different kinds of books, play with different kinds of toys, study different subjects, consider different occupations, have different roles within the workplace and family and are ultimately valued differently by society.
'What is pernicious about this is that everyone is then attributed with roles and characteristics regardless of their individual identities and talents. And this then occurs before a child is even born.'
Writing in the magazine Attain, produced by the Independent Association of Prep Schools, she writes that, at the time of the First World War, the colours were reversed.
According to a 1918 edition of Ladies' Home Journal, the rule at the time was pink for the boy and blue for the girl.
Blue was considered a softer colour which was prettier for girls, and also the colour in which the Virgin Mary was often depicted.
Ms Webster, the association's communications manager, wrote: 'Most of us want a society in which people are judged according to their whole identities rather than just their gender.
'We can only have a hope of this if we stop presuming an array of character traits - starting on the basis of colour preference - go hand in hand with a person's biological sex.'
Ms Webster spoke out after the parents' group Let Toys Be Toys launched a campaign to remove 'boys and girls' signs in shops.
Marks & Spencer and Toys R Us are among those who have already pledged to make its toys 'gender neutral'.
As previously reported in MailOnline, Let Toys Be Toys was set up by a group of British parents in November 2012, calling for a change in the way toys are marketed to boys and girls.
They had noticed girls were increasingly being encouraged to play with dolls, prams and kitchens - all inevitably in pink colours - while toys deems to be for boys were cars, guns and sports-related.
One of the campaign's founders, Tricia Lowther, 44, a self-employed copywriter from Durham, who has a six-year-old daughter, told the MailOnline: 'It does bother a lot of parents, we seem to have tapped in to a huge and growing sense of frustration with the way toys are promoted according to outdated, illogical and sexist stereotypes.
'I can't speak for any of the others but what pushed me to make a stand was the realisation, after my daughter was born, that gender stereotyping in children's products had become worse than when I was a child myself back in the Seventies. It's something that has become almost impossible to escape and is very limiting for children.'
A similar Let Books Be Books project, calling for reading material not to be marked as 'for boys' or 'for girls' is backed by children's laureate Malorie Blackman, poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy and the author Philip Pullman.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).