Last week Borderstan’s urban parenting columnist Leslie Jones (Heister) wrote “TWBP: I Hate Park” as part of her bikweekly column, TWBP (There Will Be Poo, follow her on Twitter @ThereWillBePoo.). Jones writes about living in Borderstan and raising a baby here with her husband — instead of moving to an outer DC neighborhood or the suburbs. The story in question focused on the fact that it is difficult to buy clothing for her little girl in any color other than pink.
“I Hate Pink” caught the attention of the producers of HuffPost Live, a regular series of online live panel discussions. Tuesday evening, Jones was one of four panelists who discussed, “Toymakers Should Create Gender-Neutral Toys.”
As Jones wrote in her Borderstan column, “Actually, I don’t really hate pink, but I’m in active rebellion against the stereotype of little girls in pink. Sometimes people think Baby is a boy. I don’t really care; she’s dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and she doesn’t have much hair. Babies often look pretty androgenous at this age, and I don’t see being mistaken for a boy as some sort of slight.”
Regarding toys and gender, Jones wrote, “An article about gender-neutral toys on Today.com got me started on this rant. It asks if they are “much ado about nothing,” and I don’t think they are. I think it’s important to consider the choices you are making as a parent. That doesn’t mean you have to stress about every toy, every outfit; just that you should be aware that your choices, in general, are sending your kids a message.” And, “So the color pink isn’t responsible for the historical inequity of women; but for me it’s a representation. I don’t think everyone needs to follow my pink boycott. I don’t look at little girls dressed in pink and shake my head. Well, maybe I do a little, but I shouldn’t. Equality and empowerment are about being able to be whoever you want to be, and no one should be stereotyped based upon their appearances.”
What do you think? Do you agree with Jones? Do makers of baby clothing, toys and other products produce too many items that play to traditional gender stereotypes? Should more of the choices be gender neutral? One of the most common is blue is for boys, pink is for girls, for example. What about toys? Should you automatically buy your small son a truck and your girl a frilly doll?