Pink for girls and blue for boys - what do you think? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 11:07 AM - Thread Starter
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I asked how people felt about the extreme gendering of clothing on the Mothering Twitter account last week.  I got some interesting responses:

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It's so arbitrary. Colors are just a thing- they aren't alive, they don't have gender.

 

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Blue used to be for girls and pink for boys yet some people really feel like colours are inherently gendered.

 

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I feel fine about it. That is such a stupid question. Ask a serious question.

 

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Later in life a child would question their sexuality souly on the fact u dressed him primaily in pink as a child.

 

What do you think about the seemingly more pronounced gendering of baby and kids' clothing? Does it bother you? No big deal? 


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#2 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 01:33 PM
 
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I am also annoyed by the gendering of EVERYTHING baby related, even things like SPOONS. We have to make sure that "girls" only use pastel spoons, and "boys" only use spoons in bright colors? Seriously?!?!?

 

My daughter has a lot of "boy's clothing" - I buy most of her stuff secondhand and the boys' items are often cheaper.

That being said, I'm mostly talking about camo, denim, plaids, and stripes, so maybe those are more "gender neutral" clothes?

...She doesn't wear outfits with rocket ships, trains, trucks, etc., because those patterns don't appeal to me. Of course, if she develops "boy" interests like cars & trucks, or dinosaurs, at some point, I would buy her clothes to reflect that.

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#3 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 01:45 PM
 
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Oh I hate it. My son's favorite color is actually pink. Whenever it comes to toys or utensils or cups, we let him chose what color he wants. If he choses blue, HE chose it, not us. Mainly he choses pink, red, or green. Blue very rarely.

 

I get really aggrivated because it seems like EVERY little girl I see out and about, is dressed in pink in some form. Or playing with Barbies. Or has Princess-themed things. It's sickening. Colors should not dictate a child's personality.

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#4 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 02:17 PM
 
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I hate it! I don't understand why certain colours belong to a particular sex (because, really, are you 100% sure of the gender of your six month old?). DH and I are very open about gender expression and our child's clothing style (until s/he is old enough to express preferences) will be dictated by our own preferences and by practicality, not by useless stereotypes. Frankly we have found a lot of the "boys'" clothing quite ugly as there is a lot of emphasis on sports and motor vehicles. Obviously if our child develops an interest in those things that's fine, but DH and I prefer more stereotypically feminine things like Hello Kitty. I also think it's bizarre that babies, especially girls, are surrounded by pastel colours when we know they don't see those colours well.

I don't understand what sexual orientation has to do with the colours of one's clothing.
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#5 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 02:23 PM
 
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I was a tomboy. My mom says I NEVER went through a girly stage. My 6yo DD has spent the last 4 years wearing only pink, purple and red. Pink everything. If I bought something in green or blue she would not wear it. I suppose a lot of it came from the other girls in her daycare. Or the teachers there. I don't know where else, but it was not genetic. Now that she is in school, she is actually starting to wear a bit of blue and green. Hurrah. She still loves over the top pink and glitter though. My DS is 8 and has never given a toss what he has to wear. He could wear the same outfit 5 days in a row and be happy. The only time he has ever complained about clothes is if it was itchy or too tight, never because of the color or style. I never dressed him in pink, though his first bike he chose in pink. 

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#6 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 02:27 PM
 
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Look, i get the colors i like. I think the gender color association is stupid beyond words, but it doesnt bother me  because  i can avoid it easily . I like both pink and  blue as colors, but i especially like pastels like pink. Both my boys have worn pink until kindergarten-thats another subject. I was once told by the driector of a school that my 4yo could not wear his pink coat-i didnt fight it-she argued it was bad for his self esteem-i just thought she was an idiot.

 

Asthey  they get older,  they choose what they want to wear, and that is very influenced by popular culture and peer group....my boys like superhero clothing, or train themed clothing for eg. Im not going tp fight it. ....

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#7 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 02:32 PM
 
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Totally silly. My son never cared what he wore until age 3. Then he tended toward "boyish" styles like trucks and dinosaurs. DD is 20 months and has insisted on choosing her own clothes since about 12 months. She usually opts for superhero briefs, rainbow striped pants or legwarmers, and one of her big brother t's tee shirts. Big bro is now 4 and will only wear skinny jeans, glittery black combat boots and an old tee with sleeves cut off and arm holes purposefully stretched way out... Unless he is dressed as a super hero or cowboy. smile.gif
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#8 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 02:37 PM
 
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My girls wear (or wore - the older one is past the pink stage) a lot of pink because when you have girls and you get gifts of clothing, there's at least a 90% chance it'll be pink, and I'm not going to throw away free (and nice) baby clothes.

However, they also had other colors, and as they get older I let them pick their own clothes. Sometimes they've wanted pink, and sometimes something with trucks or soccer balls on it. I follow their lead and don't care what color or which section it comes out of. I understand that our society allows girls to wear boyish stuff more than it allows boys to wear girlish stuff, and I think that's too bad. It's both limiting for the boys, and it perpetuates an idea that moving from girl to boyish is good but moving from boy to girlish is negative, which is a knock to girls as well.
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#9 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 02:58 PM - Thread Starter
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My 6 year old loves all things pink, horse/unicorn related, princessy, cheetah, etc. she also hates having her hair brushed and non stretchy pants. Lol So I am one of those people who has the girl swathed in pink. I never chose it for her tho, it is all her choice.

The baby is getting more pink than I ever chose for my elder girl because...the elder girl is choosing it. lol.gif we will see what she decides when she is older.

I hate it though. I hate that everything is pink or ruffled or cut super slim for my baby. And I hate that I can't find good play clothes for my big kid, because apparently she should be into fashion by now?! I wish there were more options for all kids. I miss garanimals!! Lol

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#10 of 75 Old 04-08-2013, 07:49 PM
 
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I also object to the girls have to be pink and boys have to be blue. I do think it's harder for boys though, as PPs have mentioned. And many of my friends with boys have commented on how hard it is to get nice boys clothes.

I love pink so my girls do have lots of pink clothes (no ruffles though. It's pink and practical) but not all baby pink. My favourite at the moment is raspberry pink. They have other colours too though. Especially the older one. At the moment she is wearing a black Sea Shepherd t-shirt and denim shorts with aqua socks (an outfit of her own choosing).

More than colours I object to little girl clothes in teenager (or older) styles. I saw a pair of Daisy Duke shorts in a size 1 once! I prefer slightly old fashioned children's clothes.

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#11 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 10:04 AM
 
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Originally Posted by EchoSoul View Post

I get really aggrivated because it seems like EVERY little girl I see out and about, is dressed in pink in some form. 

 

This aggravates me too.  Seriously, head to toe!  I had some pink as a kid, but also red, yellow, green...

 

I only have experience with boy's clothes so far, and those aggravate me too.  Can I get something without "Number One American Sports Dude" splashed all over it?


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#12 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Yes, the short shorts for little girls....even in baby sizes.  I want my 6 year old to be able to run on the playground without showing her underpants to the whole place. I would like my baby to be able to wear shorts this summer and have them FIT OVER A DIAPER. LOL  


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#13 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 10:22 AM
 
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It doesn't really bother me... I think it would bother me if I had a girl because I hate pink things and ruffles. To me all kids should live the "little boy" stereotype: playing in the dirt, sports, cars,  fishing, hunting, building, exploring, etc. but maybe that's just me, I never played with dolls or pretended to cook. The closest I came to playing with dolls was animal husbandry. 

My son now dresses in typical "boys" clothing and plays with the typical "boys" toys, but if I had a daughter, she'd be playing with the same stuff lol

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#14 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 10:47 AM
 
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It's not just clothes. Everything baby related is gendered now. It drives me up the wall. I'm sure it stems from a desire to sell more product. It makes me appreciative of companies like IKEA, who have plain ol' kid stuff that is gender neutral.
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#15 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 01:23 PM
 
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I think it has gotten over the top. Have pink/blue available, sure, some people like it (sometime *I* like it honestly) but have lots of other colors available too. And baby gear, most of it should be neutral because it looks better in photos and makes it easier to use for subsequent children (not that the pink, flowered swing I have isn't going to be used by my boy twin if he likes swings, I'm not buying another one smile.gif ), but it seems to be trending the other way.

Honestly though, it isn't the baby stuff that bugs me as much as the toddler and up stuff. It is nearly impossible to find non-gendered anything: clothes, toys, shoes, cups, pull-ups, etc. Babies don't know what they are wearing/using/etc., but toddlers and up do and I often want to find something that is just a generic cup or a toy kitchen or whatever, but no it is all clearly boy-cup or girl-cup or boy-kitchen or girl-kitchen (if you can even find a boy-kitchen, grrr). That drives me bonkers! Even toys that I don't think people really think of as gendered are being marketed that way now and it is just so frustrating.

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#16 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 01:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Yes! My recent exersaucer purchase made me crazy. So I could get the cheapest one which was gender neutral. The next one up, which frankly had more interesting toys, was either blue/cars or pink/castles. Then you had to jump up to over $100 to get a gender neutral one again. I was annoyed. We got the cheapest one because it works just fine for the brief bathroom trip moment she's in it. But grumble.

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#17 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 03:27 PM
 
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It doesn't bother me.  

 

I don't LOVE pink, and probably wouldn't fill my daughter's room with pink things.  But, it doesn't bother me to have to hunt through things to find a non pink item.  

 

In the 70s, Orange, brown and Olive green were the colors for kids.  In the 80s, almost all things were primary colors.  Little Tykes toys were the traditional white with dark blue, red, and green accents.   Then, the bright pastels (or jewel tones) were popular, now it's the light pink, or earth tones.  Nothing lasts forever.  

 

I think people make too big of a deal out of it personally.

 

Try to find a men's polo shirt in a traditional Man color these days... you have to look on Land's End, or LL bean.  In the stores, they are all Easter basket colors now.  My husband won't wear those.  I don't judge.  He doesn't like them, so, we just did his entire wardrobe online.  (much more expensive than the Izod outlet)

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#18 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 03:38 PM
 
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http://pinterest.com/pin/24699497927552669/  About the 70s.

 

http://pinterest.com/pin/59602395040696132/  80s.

 

http://pinterest.com/pin/144326363029329640/  Early 90s.

 

Then, in the 90s, you could get a pink toy box, or toy bench, but before the 90s, you had to look for pink, or paint it yourself.

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#19 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 03:46 PM
 
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It doesn't bother me.  

I don't LOVE pink, and probably wouldn't fill my daughter's room with pink things.  But, it doesn't bother me to have to hunt through things to find a non pink item.  

In the 70s, Orange, brown and Olive green were the colors for kids.  In the 80s, almost all things were primary colors.  Little Tykes toys were the traditional white with dark blue, red, and green accents.   Then, the bright pastels (or jewel tones) were popular, now it's the light pink, or earth tones.  Nothing lasts forever.  

I think people make too big of a deal out of it personally.

Try to find a men's polo shirt in a traditional Man color these days... you have to look on Land's End, or LL bean.  In the stores, they are all Easter basket colors now.  My husband won't wear those.  I don't judge.  He doesn't like them, so, we just did his entire wardrobe online.  (much more expensive than the Izod outlet)

As I remember the 70s and 80s, in the 70s orange, brown, and olive green were just plain popular colors and everything came in those colors, including appliances. And in the 80s, primary colors were popular for everything but particularly baby stuff as they were seen as gender neutral. Pastels were very popular in the 80s (think of Miami Vice) but baby stuff was mainly gender neutral. I don't think the overwhelming pinkness and blueness of toys is something that is due to general color fashions.
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#20 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 08:01 PM
 
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Both of my kids (a boy and a girl) like pink. The genderizaton of colors does irk me sometimes, particularly the message sent to my DS that there's something wrong with a boy liking pink.

But on the other hand, it also irks me that the same people who would applaud me letting my DS wear pink may also scoff at my DD's sparkly pink wardrobe. I let them both wear what they like. IME, some parents seem more interested in subverting stereotypes than in letting their kid be who s/he is.
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#21 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 09:20 PM
 
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I love bright colours so that's what DD (just turned 2) gets. Orange, green, turquoise, red, yellow, and blue are the bulk of her stuff but she does have some pink (95% gifts). I buy lots of patterns and try to keep it fairly gender neutral. I did get her some boys pjs (tigers and alligators in outer space - I couldn't leave them!) and her Halloween costume was off the boys' rack. That really ticked me off: as a girl she could be a ladybug or a pink bunny but the boys had the elephants, lions and tigers. I didn't care; she still wears her lion hoodie and pants at times. I'm keeping her stuff for baby #2 and of its a boy, he will go out in the green-yellow-purple striped pants and he'll sleep in the pink fleece pants. They'll both simply get peed in anyways lol.
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#22 of 75 Old 04-09-2013, 09:34 PM
 
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"souly"  Haha.  Yes, those details derail me all the time, I had to stop reading after that.

 

When I was in high school, boys wore pink shirts and bright green pants.  Ugly, honestly, but it was the style for some people. I loved pink and had a pink canopy bed, but my sister loved brown and had a brown one.

 

When my oldest was a newborn, her carseat was navy blue, because, you know, that's how carseats came.  I was carrying her into the hospital to go to the breastfeeding class, and as we were riding up in the elevator, a man took one look at my baby in her carseat in the stroller, covered with a navy receiving blanket and asked about my boy. I told him she was a girl, and he said I obviously wanted a boy, judging by how much blue I had.  I was very annoyed. I don't even like navy blue, but, you know, that's what I got from people, so I was going to use it.

 

When I was a child, someone knit a baby blanket for my sister in pink, blue and white.  That seemed to be common, as I recall.  My MIL made one for my children in pale green and white, though. 

 

I loved pink, as I said, but I would not want all my toys in pink.  I really hate that trend!  Our play kitchen was mostly dark yellow and white with brown, as I recall.  It was the 70's, after all. :D

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#23 of 75 Old 04-10-2013, 06:50 AM
 
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When I was pregnant with our son, before we found out his gender, relatives asked me what color I'd prefer for gifts. I said either green or yellow. News spread it was a boy... and suddenly.... "boy" clothes.

 

That said..  my mom dressed me in pink and white and in dresses when I was a child. She did everything she could to make me a girly-girl. Never worked out. I saw trees and started climbing them and well... dresses don't work when you're climbing trees and acting like a monkey, lol. Nor are they cute when a little girl is covered in scratches, LOL. So she settled for pink shirt and short outfits.

 

So, I know colors don't make a child act a particular way. My son likes pink, and even though he's 2, he has yet to act LIKE a girl.

 

I just...resent all the toys marketed "For GIRLS!!" and "for BOYS!!". When we go to the toy store, if my son sees a pink fairy wand, I let him play with it. Regardless of the looks we might get. If he sees a giant pink bouncy ball, I let him play with it. I don't technically hate the assumption he's going to grow up using strictly power tools and fixing cars and whatnot because frankly, ALL our kids will be taught this. It's just practical. I don't think a girl should have her own car, and not be able to figure out what's wrong with it if it's not working just because she was never taught the ins and outs of how cars run. This was me. No one saw any reason to teach me, because I am a girl. This trend will not continue. Beyond that, I don't care for the assumption that my son shouldn't grow up liking fairies and unicorns.

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#24 of 75 Old 04-10-2013, 07:55 AM
 
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My girls love everything pink and frilly but you will also see them sporting a Bears jersey or a hockey sweater with that pink fluff. I hate it that some will judge me because of their pinkalicious tastes but would be equally thrilled if it was a son choosing the same colors. They like what they like, who am I to restrict pink because it bothers others.

Ironically a friend banned everything pink or girly and it completely backfired on her. Her daughter spent 3 years refusing to leave the house without a twirly skirt or dress, usually in a shade of pink or purple :-)
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#25 of 75 Old 04-10-2013, 08:29 AM
 
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My girls love everything pink and frilly but you will also see them sporting a Bears jersey or a hockey sweater with that pink fluff. I hate it that some will judge me because of their pinkalicious tastes but would be equally thrilled if it was a son choosing the same colors. They like what they like, who am I to restrict pink because it bothers others.

Ironically a friend banned everything pink or girly and it completely backfired on her. Her daughter spent 3 years refusing to leave the house without a twirly skirt or dress, usually in a shade of pink or purple :-)

 

I agree parents should not restrict their children's choices. The colour obsession is an adult thing, not a child thing. I don't believe children are very much influenced by corporate marketing at this age, they're influenced by who they look up to. For me, it was my dad, he did all sort of cool things, fix cars, go fishing, build things, play sports. "All" my mom did was clean the house and cook, as a kid that was terribly boring and I wanted no part of it, so of course I gravitated towards "boys" things. It never occurred to me at the time that those things weren't "girls" things, I wasn't much aware of gender as a kid, my two categories were "interesting" and "boring"... the "interesting" things to me all happened to not be pink. 

 

I don't like when pink and frilly things are "banned" by families in an attempt to guide their child... what message is that sending? That femininity is weak, inferior and undesirable?  I have many feminist friends (although now that I've started having kids, I'm not sure they would consider me a friend anymore lol) who see homemakers as oppressed victims. To them it seems unimaginable that some women might actually like working in the home and raising a family. 

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#26 of 75 Old 04-10-2013, 05:06 PM
 
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When I was little I was all about anything pink, purple, and/or sparkly... if I could have dressed only in those colors I would have. That said, I also had an obsession with dinosaurs and bugs. :)  Now, that I'm a mom I will admit that when I found out I was having girls I went a little crazy with the pink! I couldn't help it, it's my favorite color. Lol! I honestly never stopped and thought about what message I was sending, I just bought what I liked... and as they got older it switched to what they liked.  Dd#1 loved pink, Dd#2 not so much, Dd #3 loves all sorts of randomness, and now that I have a little boy- well, he gets to be dressed in pink sparkles too (and dinosaurs... I never did outgrow that obsession)! :) Haha!  I do work to teach my littles that there is no such thing as a "boy color" or a "girl color" (same for toys!).  I think *maybe* retailers are starting to come around on this, I saw a pink shirt in the boys section of Baby Gap the other day :)

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#27 of 75 Old 04-10-2013, 05:19 PM
 
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In case anyone is still reading ... 

 

I don't dress my daughter in pink b/c I don't like it and I don't think she looks good in it since she has light skin and dark hair and eyes.  Her closet is mostly blue, purple, green, and yellow.  I do search out non girly clothing for her.  Not that she doesn't have plenty of dresses! 

 

For my boys, my biggest issue is that even the baby clothes look like miniature adult clothing. I wanted them to look like babies! Not miniature - big people! And It's so hard to find boys clothing that does not have a character or a sports figure! What the heck?  They are three ... where is the t-shirt with the animals and cutesy stuff? 


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#28 of 75 Old 04-10-2013, 05:25 PM
 
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In case anyone is still reading ... 

 

I don't dress my daughter in pink b/c I don't like it and I don't think she looks good in it since she has light skin and dark hair and eyes.  Her closet is mostly blue, purple, green, and yellow.  I do search out non girly clothing for her.  Not that she doesn't have plenty of dresses! 

 

For my boys, my biggest issue is that even the baby clothes look like miniature adult clothing. I wanted them to look like babies! Not miniature - big people! And It's so hard to find boys clothing that does not have a character or a sports figure! What the heck?  They are three ... where is the t-shirt with the animals and cutesy stuff?

 

It's all in my son's closet! lol... I'll trade them for your miniature adult clothing, I think those look adorable! lol ....but then I'm the same person that dressed my son up in a 3 piece suit to go visit my parents because I thought it was hilarious (it was $10 on sale, in his size, I couldn't resist!smile.gif)

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#29 of 75 Old 04-11-2013, 08:49 AM
 
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Yes, the colour thing is nuts, but for me the issue goes WAY beyond colour.

 

My DS2 is what I have recently heard called a *pink boy*. He came out of the womb loving pink, glitter, barbies and all things girly. He is now in kindergarten and is very aware that he is not like other boys and what he is is not generally acceptable. In general the kids in his class have come to accept  him, but the number of times he has been told (by both children AND adults) that he shouldn't have a pink pony because he's a boy (or a Barbie, or whatever) is unbelievable. It makes me so angry that our society is still so rigid when it comes to gender stereotypes. Forget about clothing colours- EVERYTHING for kids is split along the gender line. Walk into Toys R Us and the aisles are split very distinctly into *boy* toys and *girl* toys. Before they are three kids know what their preferences are suppose to be and God forbid if you don't fit the stereotypes. My biggest worry is that my son will develop  gender identity disorder because he doesn't fit his gender stereotype. That he will think he must not really be a boy because he doesn't like the things boys are suppose to like and so he will come to identify too strongly with girls. Whereas if we as a society could just stop being so uptight and fearful of everyone fitting the role we have decided goes with their genitalia, people could be free to like what they like without feeling like freaks and misfits. My DH and I do our best to assure our son that he and his tastes are perfectly acceptable, but it is an uphill battle.

 

Has everyone heard of the couple in Toronto who made all the headlines last year because they are keeping the sex of their third child a secret until s/he is old enough to tell people him/herself? It has caused an absolute uproar! People are so angry with  them and seem to  think this is akin to child abuse. NUTS.

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#30 of 75 Old 04-11-2013, 10:30 AM
 
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Yes, the colour thing is nuts, but for me the issue goes WAY beyond colour.

My DS2 is what I have recently heard called a *pink boy*. He came out of the womb loving pink, glitter, barbies and all things girly. He is now in kindergarten and is very aware that he is not like other boys and what he is is not generally acceptable. In general the kids in his class have come to accept  him, but the number of times he has been told (by both children AND adults) that he shouldn't have a pink pony because he's a boy (or a Barbie, or whatever) is unbelievable. It makes me so angry that our society is still so rigid when it comes to gender stereotypes. Forget about clothing colours- EVERYTHING for kids is split along the gender line. Walk into Toys R Us and the aisles are split very distinctly into *boy* toys and *girl* toys. Before they are three kids know what their preferences are suppose to be and God forbid if you don't fit the stereotypes. My biggest worry is that my son will develop  gender identity disorder because he doesn't fit his gender stereotype. That he will think he must not really be a boy because he doesn't like the things boys are suppose to like and so he will come to identify too strongly with girls. Whereas if we as a society could just stop being so uptight and fearful of everyone fitting the role we have decided goes with their genitalia, people could be free to like what they like without feeling like freaks and misfits. My DH and I do our best to assure our son that he and his tastes are perfectly acceptable, but it is an uphill battle.

Has everyone heard of the couple in Toronto who made all the headlines last year because they are keeping the sex of their third child a secret until s/he is old enough to tell people him/herself? It has caused an absolute uproar! People are so angry with  them and seem to  think this is akin to child abuse. NUTS.

Your DS sounds a lot like my DH was as a kid. He played with his sister's dolls, wasn't into most boy things and his friends were generally girls. He is a very compassionate man and an amazing, very involved father. I'm so appalled at the comments people make about your son but it's so good to hear that you are supportive of him.
I've read about the couple you mentioned and although I wouldn't go that route myself, I can see where they are coming from. It wouldn't really bother me if I knew these people - a child is a child and as long as there is love and safety, the child will thrive.
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