Sunday, January 11, 2009

Pink prejudice.

Girls like pink don't they?

Is that why stores seem to stock girls' products exclusively in pink?

Or is a deliberate ploy to widen the gap between sexes and put pressure on youngsters to conform to traditional roles. I don't believe it is the intention of the stores or toy manufacturers, but more a subtle marketing strategy to maximise profit.
The extent to which the marketers have influenced vulnerable young minds, was demonstrated by observations made by Durham 'Speech Therapists', who reported that children could easily identify the colour blue, but would answer 'Barbie' when shown a pink object.

Having products so clearly associated with either sex due to colour, certainly discourages girls or boys from thinking for themselves. Toys are either for 'boys' or 'girls', children are expected to conform, and freedom of expression is suppressed.

But what affect does this have on children as they get older? The same strategies are employed to encourage our youngsters to grow up too quickly, whether it be make-up, 'Playboy' pencil cases or provocative clothing.

Are we not creating future generations that are strongly conformist and intolerant to others' views, religion or sexuality?


Middle Ditch said...

I'm not sure Dave. My girls were tomboys from an early age and are now oh-so fashion conscious it's just unbelievable.

My sister-in-law kept apologizing about her son's (after two girls) behaviour saying that he was truly a boy and she didn't make him like that.

David John Caswell said...

Dear Middle Ditch,
I must admit I was quite surprised when I first read an article about a lot of girls' things coming in pink, deeper meanings and implications. Maybe I have carried the particular argument to the extreme. I would be interested to know what others think.

amanda said...

I agree. We've been shopping for our impending baby boy, and the gender stereotypes in baby products are ridiculous. We've been trying to reject it by avoiding the blue trap, but it does seem much more difficult for girls.

Although, were I having a girl, I'd be opting for the chic browns and blacks and staying away from the froofy, frilly pink things.

I find it's one thing to control what we make available to this kid--we've been very conscious about potential branding and messages we will be exposing him to--but controlling the grandmothers is pretty much a lost cause. I've already started a hidden drawer for the Disney products that have begun to infiltrate despite my strict orders.

David John Caswell said...

Dear Amanda,
Congratulations, when is your baby due? You speak a lot of sense, and as you say it is often difficult to break out of the mould imposed on us! But you sound a strong character, who doesn't stand any nonsense from anyone, especially well meaning grandmothers.
On a separate note we have anew kitten and Amanda was a very strong contender for a name, but was pipped at the post by Lucy.
Stay in touch.

Kelli said...

Hi David, just wanted to stop by and see how you're doing! Hope 2009 is going well so far.

I remember when I was a kid, on several occasions I would visit my dad and he had a stack of pink plates and a stack of blue plates in the cabinet. I would sometimes use a blue plate (what difference does it make, I thought) and my dad would take my blue plate away and give me a pink one! "Blue is for boys, pink is for girls", he said. Not sure to this day what that was all about! It was a rule that he took seriously...maybe something that he experienced as a child himself.

My sister, on the other hand, is on the other end of the spectrum...she's a tomboy and hates pink. I guess I'm somewhere in between. I just don't take it into that much consideration myself.

David John Caswell said...

Hi Kelli,
It's great to see you again. 2009 hasn't been too bad up to now! Except the weather that has been rather cold and we have even had some snow. How are you getting on? Tell me all about how things are with you! Are things looking up? Do write back soon.
David. x

Kelli said...

Hi David, it's so nice to hear from you and I appreciate your kind words very much. Made my day. I have several conditions, one called Periodic Paralysis. There is a good explanation of it on Wikipedia. or you can search my blog for "periodic paralysis" to find the entries where I talk about it. I hope you have a wonderful week. ~Kelli

Kelli said...

Oops that's supposed to be an underscore between the words Periodic and paralysis, not a plus sign. :)

David John Caswell said...

Dear Kelli,
What a very interesting article. I understand it is a genetic disorder, is it something that has a history of being a problem through your family? Was your diagnosis difficult, or were you aware from an early age. Where do you feel you are on the spectrum, as I see the affects can be quite minor, right up to permanent muscle damage? I do ask a lot of questions don't I? Look there's another one! Tell me to shut up if you like, I don't mind. I will look on your blog as you suggested as well. You sound like a strong character, so keep on smiling and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
David x