I knew I was going to encounter this someday and now is that time. I’ve noticed that many kids toys come in either blue or pink, but it hasn’t bothered me too much as enough variety is offered for me to choose. Though I’m not fond of the whole “boys must have blue, girls must have pink” attitude, I’ve no problem giving Sprogzilla the former and I don’t mind the latter in moderation.
As you know from my recent posts, we’ve bought Sprogzilla a lovely wooden kitchen for Christmas and I’ve accessorised it with various pots/pans/food etc. The kitchen itself has plenty of bold, neutral colours and most of the other stuff is plain wood with blue and/or red accents. I’m very happy with what we’ve got so far.
But I have had one heck of a difficult time trying to find a particular accessory – a simple wooden tea/coffee set. There are a few nice ones made by Santoys/Bigjigs etc, but they all come with a kettle which I don’t need and I’d prefer more realistic mugs. Not to worry, I was sure ELC would do something that fits the bill and sure enough they do – in a lovely pastel pink! They actually do a whole range of nice wooden accessories, all in this same delightful shade. There’s not a trace of blue or even anything vaguely neutral in sight.
To be fair, it is very nice and if I had a little girl I would snap it up like a shot. But as much as I don’t want to care about the colours in Sprogzilla’s toybox, I really can’t bring myself to have this level of pink overload.
To make it all the more frustrating, ELC have done something considerably more suitable in the past. They once sold a multi-coloured pastel tea set with no kettle – instead it had three canisters, for sugar, tea and biscuits. It came with a couple of regular mugs and even some fake cookies, sugar and teabags to finish the look.
The photo below was taken from an eBay auction that ended this week. I was going to bid on it, but clearly I’m not the only one after a decent gender-neutral tea set because it sold for twice the price it was new. I simply couldn’t justify spending that much on a second-hand item, but the seller must be pleased as punch.
What really irks me about this whole thing though is the obvious sexist marketing at work. Are little boys not allowed to play kitchen? Sprogzilla is 17 months old for goodness sake, he isn’t even aware of the gender difference. And I know that these particular items are meant for kids aged 3+, but I still don’t agree that anyone should be enforcing gender stereotypes like this. Ever. I can’t believe in this day and age that such blatant discrimination is still going on. It’s no wonder we grow into such biased adults when the conditioning starts this young.
Of course, girls have their own problems too. It’s not easy finding clothing that isn’t pink or lilac (the girls section in any given shop always sticks out like a sore thumb) and how often do you see a little girl playing with a toy dinosaur or toolkit? I remember having this discussion once with a friend who has two girls. She didn’t want to dress them up solely in pink. I think she’s given into it now, there’s just such a lack of variety and she can’t afford to be picky about what she buys.
Then there’s the sales aspect. I’d like to keep certain things for my next child, but if they are all blue and I have a girl, I’ll need to buy them all again. That’s not likely to happen as I’ve intentionally stayed neutral wherever possible, but this is something manufacturers and stores prey on. Why buy one when you can have two for twice the price?
Oh well, not much point getting my knickers in a twist about it. Hardly going to change things by having a whinge. But at least I’m making a small difference by going against the trend and buying my son a kitchen. Ha!